Show us your equipment builds

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

Murph4231

Homebrew Advocate
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 19, 2021
Messages
848
Reaction score
1,380
@OakIslandBrewery and I were discussing our equipment builds from days gone by and thought it would be interesting to see some of the equipment our fellow homebrewers have created during their years of brewing and fermenting. Old, new, home built or adapted, show us pieces of equipment you have used in your endeavors to make homebrewed beverages.

I'll start. This is my tower brew stand that built back in 1994. It is a three vessel system with gas burners. Up top is the HLT, obviously a converted 1/2 barrel beer keg. In the center is 10 gallon vacuum insulated coffee urn that I acquired from a military disposal. A machinist friend concocted a 3 piece false bottom for it. And of course the bottom is another converted keg utilized for a boil kettle.

I used this system for over 10 yrs before selling it to a fellow brewer, a member of the Birmingham Brewmasters. As far as I know it is still being used. I miss my tower.

20220821_151241.jpg
 

OakIslandBrewery

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 19, 2011
Messages
337
Reaction score
412
Location
DePere, WI
Unfortunately, I have no pictures of past brewing equipment, but I can tell you about it. When I first started brewing there wasn't alot to pick from as far a "brewing" equipment. I had a canning kettle I used for my boiling kettle. At the time extracts could be found fairly easy so fancy equipment wasn't really needed. My fermenter was a plastic trash can with a snap on cover. It served me well until I could source a proper bucket. That was 1985.

Fast forward - I do all grain batches now, a ten gallon system using an insulated cooler as the mashtun, a twenty gallon modified electric water heater as the HLT, a twenty five gallon fabricated kettle, a Spike CF10 as my fermenter and a recently purchased plate chiller. I brew in the basement with natural gas. I'll get some pictures of the burner system I built and the exhaust system.

Attached is a picture on a lautering grant I built. Inside is a 300-micron basket. I use it to filter from the mashtun to the boil kettle and also from the boil kettle to the plate chiller. Besides the filtering part it acts as an accumulator.
 

Attachments

  • Lautering Grant.jpg
    Lautering Grant.jpg
    241.6 KB · Views: 0

Red over White

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2022
Messages
106
Reaction score
105
This direct fired mashtun is my favorite piece of equipment. About $500 all in, but it is "manually" capable to be within .5°F of desired temps for step mashing.
 

Attachments

  • 20220429_083907.jpg
    20220429_083907.jpg
    1.5 MB · Views: 0
  • 20220429_081146.jpg
    20220429_081146.jpg
    1.5 MB · Views: 0

OakIslandBrewery

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 19, 2011
Messages
337
Reaction score
412
Location
DePere, WI
This direct fired mashtun is my favorite piece of equipment. About $500 all in, but it is "manually" capable to be within .5°F of desired temps for step mashing.
Your grain hopper looks alot like mine - a large funnel? I picked mine up at Fleet Farm in the automotive department. So many items in that store that can be used in the home brewery.

Great build! Thanks for sharing.
 

Red over White

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2022
Messages
106
Reaction score
105
Your grain hopper looks alot like mine - a large funnel? I picked mine up at Fleet Farm in the automotive department. So many items in that store that can be used in the home brewery.

Great build! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks, I have $425 in the 3GT mill and 50 rpm gear motor. The hopper is the stock option Crankenstein offers. It's fugly, but stows inside the tun and that was the goal. Mill directly into the mashtun and stow away in it as well.
 

OakIslandBrewery

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 19, 2011
Messages
337
Reaction score
412
Location
DePere, WI
Thanks, I have $425 in the 3GT mill and 50 rpm gear motor. The hopper is the stock option Crankenstein offers. It's fugly, but stows inside the tun and that was the goal. Mill directly into the mashtun and stow away in it as well.
The hopper doesn't look bad at all, as long as it's functional. I had looked at that same one when I was shopping for a large hopper. The funnel I bought is functional and looks identical to what you have. I also direct mill into the mashtun. I bought a milling setup, it was a JSP mill mounted into cabinet with a large hopper but it milled grain into a bucket inside the cabinet. It was powered by a drill that attached on the side. I didn't have room for another piece of "furniture" in my brewery.

I took the JSP off and mounted it to a plywood base then added a gear motor. The whole thing sits on top of my mashtun. It's shown with the funnel hopper removed. I'm making a slide gate so I can stop the grain flow in case of a jamb.
 

Attachments

  • Milling.jpg
    Milling.jpg
    356.9 KB · Views: 0

superiorsat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Messages
450
Reaction score
390
These are a couple things I built to use on a home brew scale but they were built with next level in mind. Have been using both for 5 years at home. 57 foot 1/2"ID counter flow chiller, and explosion proof grain mill.
 

Attachments

  • 20170516_205921.jpg
    20170516_205921.jpg
    1.9 MB · Views: 0
  • 20170516_135724.jpg
    20170516_135724.jpg
    2.7 MB · Views: 0
  • 20190420_194831.jpg
    20190420_194831.jpg
    1.2 MB · Views: 0

Red over White

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2022
Messages
106
Reaction score
105
The hopper doesn't look bad at all, as long as it's functional. I had looked at that same one when I was shopping for a large hopper. The funnel I bought is functional and looks identical to what you have. I also direct mill into the mashtun. I bought a milling setup, it was a JSP mill mounted into cabinet with a large hopper but it milled grain into a bucket inside the cabinet. It was powered by a drill that attached on the side. I didn't have room for another piece of "furniture" in my brewery.

I took the JSP off and mounted it to a plywood base then added a gear motor. The whole thing sits on top of my mashtun. It's shown with the funnel hopper removed. I'm making a slide gate so I can stop the grain flow in case of a jamb.
One nice side effect I have milling into the tun is that since I fill the 2.5 gals under the false bottom and heat it up as I mill, there is almost no flour on the bottom of the mill. I imagine the humidity allows the flour to just fall right into the tun and not stick to the underside of the mill and board. Absolutely everything gets used in the mash which is pretty cool.

The gate is a great idea. I would have to add a secondary electrical fitting with the polarity reversed on my motor to run it backwards. So far I have not had a pebble in the grain with this mill, but I have had one before in a bag of weyermann pils malt in the past. Things really come to a sudden stop with pebbles.
 

OakIslandBrewery

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 19, 2011
Messages
337
Reaction score
412
Location
DePere, WI
One nice side effect I have milling into the tun is that since I fill the 2.5 gals under the false bottom and heat it up as I mill, there is almost no flour on the bottom of the mill. I imagine the humidity allows the flour to just fall right into the tun and not stick to the underside of the mill and board. Absolutely everything gets used in the mash which is pretty cool.

The gate is a great idea. I would have to add a secondary electrical fitting with the polarity reversed on my motor to run it backwards. So far I have not had a pebble in the grain with this mill, but I have had one before in a bag of weyermann pils malt in the past. Things really come to a sudden stop with pebbles.
I don't get a stone very often but when I do it's real annoying . . . and it's when the hopper is full of course. My gear motor can reverse so I'll toggle it some just in case it's a tough piece of grain.

I fill my mashtun from the bottom too. The HLT sits close to the ceiling, so it fills from the bottom very nicely and I haven't had any dough balls. My mashtun is an insulated cooler with a spotted manifold built from 1/2 inch CPVC tubing.
 
Top