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Specs for Keg Brewpot "Brewing Staircase"

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Ruy Lopez

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I'm putting together my plans to build a "brewing staircase" for a keg brewpot system. Anyone have measurements and/or pics of their working systems?
 

Uncle Fat

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Ruy Lopez said:
I'm putting together my plans to build a "brewing staircase" for a keg brewpot system. Anyone have measurements and/or pics of their working systems?
Here's a pic of my setup that I posted in another thread:

Erector Brew System

If it fits what you're thinking of, let me know. I'll pass the specs on to you.
 
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Ruy Lopez

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Nice setup.

All that time you spent as a child playing with your Erector set has payed off I see.

Post away.
 

Janx

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Uncle Fat's system looks really nice. Mine is much more simple. We basically built a staircase with 4x4 posts and dadoed 2x4 cross members. 3/4 in. plywood decks on the steps. Each step rises the height of one keg.

In retrospect, we have thought we could have just made 2 steps and put the lower burner and kettle on the ground. Our system is nowhere near as contained as Uncle Fat's. That thing looks like the setup.
 

Uncle Fat

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I can't seem to find the initial drawing / plans I made for it. I'll have to measure it out, and get back to you. (might be a day or two).

For now, find a good source for slotted angle iron.
 
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Ruy Lopez

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Uncle Fat said:
I can't seem to find the initial drawing / plans I made for it. I'll have to measure it out, and get back to you. (might be a day or two).

For now, find a good source for slotted angle iron.
Take your time. I'm not going to start for a least a week.

What size is that pot you have there?

Roughly how much did you spend on the whole setup?
 
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Ruy Lopez

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Janx said:
Uncle Fat's system looks really nice. Mine is much more simple. We basically built a staircase with 4x4 posts and dadoed 2x4 cross members. 3/4 in. plywood decks on the steps. Each step rises the height of one keg.

In retrospect, we have thought we could have just made 2 steps and put the lower burner and kettle on the ground. Our system is nowhere near as contained as Uncle Fat's. That thing looks like the setup.

Do you have a picture? I'd love to see it. I may have to go with wood if costs run too high on the metal.
 

Janx

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Look up at post #2 for a link to Uncle Fat's setup.

Wood isn't necessarily a bad material. It's the compactness of Uncle Fat's system that's cool to me.

Hey Uncle Fat. How do you go into your chiller and then to your fermentor from the kettle? That's the only step in our process that requires a lift. We lift the kettle up to the second step (the mash tun step) after the boil, and let it flow via gravity through the chiller into the fermenter which is on ground level.

For that reason and recirculating my wort, I'm thinking about adding a pump to my setup. I'm interested to hear what you do.
 
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Ruy Lopez

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I saw the link. I was talking about a pic of YOUR system.

You been drinking too much of that Janx Spirit with Zaphod, Janx?

;)
 

Uncle Fat

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Janx said:
Hey Uncle Fat. How do you go into your chiller and then to your fermentor from the kettle? That's the only step in our process that requires a lift. We lift the kettle up to the second step (the mash tun step) after the boil, and let it flow via gravity through the chiller into the fermenter which is on ground level.
I use a 50' immersion chiller. With stirring, I've got it down to about 15 minutes for 10 gallons. There's already plenty of room for a bucket or carboy under the kettle. I may eventually go to a therminator. You can see a few extra inches of angle iron above the HLT platform. So if, and when I go therminator, I can raise up the kettle and HLT platforms by about 4 more inches (I'd have to extend the mash tun platform, but no real problem there). That's about all the extra height needed (therminator is pretty small).
 

Uncle Fat

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Ruy Lopez said:
What size is that pot you have there?

Roughly how much did you spend on the whole setup?

It's a 14 gal kettle. It's a bit of a pain for 10 gal batches when we boil 12.5 gallons (boilovers do occasionally happen). Last brew, we put the last 2 gallons of run off into a 3 gal pot on the top burner until after the foam boiled off and settled down a bit. By then, the extra 2 gallons was also boiling, so adding it into the pot didn't slow down the boil at all. I think that's going to become SOP from now on.

Oh, and I think total cost was around $400. I bought it all in bits and pieces, so I may be a little off one way or the other.
 

Janx

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Ruy Lopez said:
I saw the link. I was talking about a pic of YOUR system.

You been drinking too much of that Janx Spirit with Zaphod, Janx?

;)
Yeah, well, my psychic abilities do feel a bit dulled.

I'll take a picture of Barney (our 3-tier) tomorrow during the daylight and post it. It's basically a big, burly staircase ;)
 

Janx

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Uncle Fat said:
I use a 50' immersion chiller. With stirring, I've got it down to about 15 minutes for 10 gallons. There's already plenty of room for a bucket or carboy under the kettle. I may eventually go to a therminator. You can see a few extra inches of angle iron above the HLT platform. So if, and when I go therminator, I can raise up the kettle and HLT platforms by about 4 more inches (I'd have to extend the mash tun platform, but no real problem there). That's about all the extra height needed (therminator is pretty small).
Immersion...far out...I can't believe you get it chilled so fast. Ours definitely takes longer gravity-feeding through a counterflow chiller.

What is a therminator?
 

JEM Australia

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If you want some plans, there is a book called "Brew Ware" by Karl Lutzen and Mark Stevens (Storey Books - Vermont). It has all sorts of plans and materials lists for making home brew equipment (including gravity flow towers). They also do some equipment surveys, discuss growing hops, culturing yeast etc etc.
 

Janx

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friscobeerguy

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wish I knew how all this cool stuff worked. Been brewing since Jan 1st and have been hooked. Next step is all grain.. which i'm sure gets me into these goodies. I've got to wait a while though cause the lady says i'm spending too much too quickly.

So far:

Five 5 gallon batches of ale
Keg system
5 kegs
4 spigots for the garage fridge
.. and I feel i'm just getting started.
 

Uncle Fat

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friscobeerguy said:
wish I knew how all this cool stuff worked. Been brewing since Jan 1st and have been hooked. Next step is all grain.. which i'm sure gets me into these goodies. I've got to wait a while though cause the lady says i'm spending too much too quickly.

So far:

Five 5 gallon batches of ale
Keg system
5 kegs
4 spigots for the garage fridge
.. and I feel i'm just getting started.

Man, you might be 'just getting started', but it sounds like you've got a heck of a draft system!
 

Wayneh

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Hey guys, I'm on the mailer hopefully I'll be a able to make a brew day some day. Is it ok that I'm an extract brewer or are you guys strictly all grain? Peace
 
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