Please help me build a brew rig

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Knute Zinc

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Hi brew heads!!!

I am an old extract brewer that wants to get back into brewing. I haven't brewed for 7 or 8 years. I want to go all grain and have been doing quite a bit of research on technique. I was wondering if someone could help me with info sources/tips/recommendations on a sizable home brew system. I have two sons, two nephews, a brother in-law, and a few moocher friends that will be drinking the beer with me. And me? Well, I am a gold star drinker myself. As you can imagine, weenie five gallon batches are not going to cut it. My spare time is valuable and I want to brew at least 10 to 15 gallons at a time. I am a restaurateur (that is restaurant owner spelled fancy) and have access to a self contained twin tapper commercial keg refrigerator, an extra walk-in refrigerator, stoves, beer kegs, racks, etc, etc,. I need some ideas on the equipment for the liquor tank, mash tun, and brew kettle, the rest of the supporting equipment and space to brew, store and dispense is going to come easy.

Help would be appreciated...

Thanks,

Mike...
 
you listed five relatives, yourself, and some moocher friends. thats a lot of beer drinking. it sounds like you have good brewing and fermenting space, way better than most home brewers have. sounds like capital is probably not a huge factor and you said your time is valuable. so you want to buy a ready-made system, not build one from scratch.

based on that i would recommend a fully optioned 20 gallon system like the morebeer b3-2050 or b3-2100.

by fully optioned, i mean stainless stand and the stainless ball valve option, no brass option (replaces all remaining brass with SS). I don't know if it is NSF approved though. in a restaurant you surely have natural gas, so go with that option as it'll be cheaper and less bother to operate than propane. get the Digital SMART and the related no-brass option. get the digital hot liquor option and the deluxe upgraded control panel so that you also get float values in your mash tun. get the step-up (welded ladder built in) if you go with the b3-2050. consider the full-pro option if you want the best connectors and couplings, but i probably wouldn't bother unless i had a brew-pub license and was brewing to serve the beer to customers.

buy a counterflow chiller but not from morebeer. get the therminator. morebeer doesn't sell it. get a blichmann 27 gallon conical "fermenator" fermenter. in fact, get two so you can have two beers fermenting or conditioning at a time. i like these better than the ones that morebeer makes, but you could look at those too. you might get a better deal on them if you buy a big rig system.

you're going to want to keg your beer. most people use cornies. i bottle, so i can't advise you.

there's a few other things you'll need, but that pretty much covers the brewing system. now if you want to scale that down, it's easy to do by deleting options. but optioned out, it is maximum brewing capability and ease of operation short of a full-scale brew-pub operation, leaving maximum time for drinking.

if money and space were no issue, the b3-2100 fully optioned would be my personal preference.
 
Or, if you don't have $3-4K to spend on a pre-fabbed setup, you can easily build one or get a welder friend to help you. Check out this thread for some ideas. I use 3 modified 15.5 gal kegs for my HLT, MLT, and BK and can brew 10 gal batches easily. To brew bigger batches, you'd just need to get larger equipment, which usually means more $$.
 
Thanks for the quick reply.

I have more resources than I have money (as is, I is po' :D )

I don't have bundles of cash to spend on a brew hobby (according to the wife in charge) BUT, what I DO have is some stainless steel fabricating friends that will build anything I want at cost and commercial equipment at my disposal and ample space to brew.

This will be a personal hobby not offered to our customers in our business. (Whoa,..you brew beer??? is it as good as Bud Light ???) Get my drift ?...

However, I will use our business resources for personal production.

I am looking over the info you offered, lots to be considered...thanks...
 
given your clarifications bb&b, i would instead direct you to the 2007 november issue of BYO magazine in which lonnie mcallister (colplink on this forum) lays out the plans for building his Brutus Ten that you can see on http://www.alenuts.com/brutus.htm and http://www.alenuts.com/brutusbuild.htm.

i am building a Brutus Ten right now based on colplink's BYO article, except i'm using mild steel for cost reasons. his is stainless. i'm teaching myself to weld in the process, but if you have people who can do that for you it'll go faster than my project is going.

what is nice about this system is that you can build the basic stand and burners and leave out the fancy electronics at first and save a bundle. you'll still need the pumps for recirculation and i recommend the therminator, but the temp sensors and solenoid values to automate the system are pricey and can be added later. you could use an immersion chiller instead of a therminator for wort chilling and save some more.

then do what lil' sparky said and build yourself some converted kegs, easy if you got welder friends. and you have yourself a great ten gallon system. you could easily expand the dimensions to accommodate a 20 gallon system and get bigger kettles later on if you want that. i'm sticking with 10 gallon.

get a backorder of the november BYO, it'll be worth it.
 
Man, you guys are the greatest!!!
Thanks for the support.

Got lots to research and think about.

Who knows where this will lead...




Hey, does anyone on this forum barbecue or play electric blues?


Mike...
 
Blues Booze and Barbecues said:
Man, you guys are the greatest!!!
Thanks for the support.

Got lots to research and think about.

Who knows where this will lead...




Hey, does anyone on this forum barbecue or play electric blues?


Mike...
I try to play electric blues, but I suck.
 
I thought that beer and bbq were just a given?
And yes, some of us northwest boys do know the difference
between grilling and bbq. I love my grill, and would never get
rid of it, but I also never pass up some good bbq.
 
I've been known to do a bit of barbequin'


DSCF2441.jpg


Who said Yankees don't know anything about BBQ?
 
rabidgerbil said:
I thought that beer and bbq were just a given?
And yes, some of us northwest boys do know the difference
between grilling and bbq. I love my grill, and would never get
rid of it, but I also never pass up some good bbq.


:off:

I'm originally from Kansas City and live in Seattle now... Love BBQ and do some smoking (ribs, tenderloins, chicken etc...) when I have time too.

You're probably one of like 5 people that I have talked to from Seattle that doesn't think grilling is BBQing. On that note, BBQ restaurants up here suck (Pig Iron in Sodo is pretty good for being in Seattle).

Back on topic... Let us know (with pics!!) when you figure out how/what you're going to build Blues! I'm working on plans for my single tier system right now too.

Austin
 

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