Trying to plan a single tier system.

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I have been given three beer kegs, and more imprtantly the go ahead from SWMBO to build my brew setup.

The problem is I don't really knwo where to start.

I am planning on either building the stand out of wood. I have loads of woodworking tools. Or getting one made out of metal by a welder friend. I am pretty handy, I build by own apple mill and press for the cider I have fermenting in the brewhouse at present.

From there I am a little stuck. There seems to be a split between electric and gas. Which really is the best?

I love the look of many of the brew rigs on this site. I found one that looked awesome. Very shiney stainless steel with three glistening kegs on top. This is the sort of thing I am after.

Any hints, tips or advice to a new builder. If you were doing it again what would you do?
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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I am building a rig and have designed many. Check out my sig for the design I cam up with. I also have some other designs detailed in my blog.

Good luck and we expect pictures!!!
 

samc

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I have a combo system of natural gas & electric (rims). Electric certainly is cleaner & easier to use once installed and I think it is more easily controlled via PID. With gas you have extra valves to work with. I like the idea of being able to take my stand indoors during the winter and would do so if all electric, but with gas I would need to add more robust ventilation. Right now my HLT is manually controlled natural gas burner and I have been sitting on the fence trying to decide how to control it.

I am leaning towards all electric if I ever did a rebuild.
 
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I think I might go electric. We are on 240V here anyway, so at least I will have the power thing sorted out. And I like the idea of semi-automation in relation to using PIDs to keep the temps right.

I have never used these before. Are the hard to work out?

I am looking at the barrels at present and trying to work out how to get the tops off. Is there a standard method of converting barrels to be used in a brew rig?

Also, I noticed a few people are using CFC's. How are these made, or are they bought? Is it simply a cooling tube used in reverse?
 
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So got a bit of free time this evening and started removing the tops from the kegs.

All three I have are different from the pictures on the forum. They were two Guinness kegs and one Coors keg. It took a lot of work to get the kegs apart, but I got there.

How many posts do I need before I can post photos?

I tried to cut the lids out with a jigsaw .... not a good idea. Will have to rig up a jig for the angle grinder over the weekend and try again.

Then its planning the rig/stand it.
 

Boar Beer

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If you can go Electric
You can get a good retrofit from Brewmation.com Its easy to install and comes with good directions.
Or you can do it all your self I use two 3000 watt elements for 15 gallon brew. you need a temp probe and a low water limit.
 

Sawdustguy

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I think the best place to start is to decide what type of fuel will be used for your brewery. I guess you have three choices: Natural Gas, Propane and Electric. The one thing I love about this forum is the innovative thinking of the users. There is one fella here that is going to attempt to use solar panels for his heat source.

Once you decide on the fuel for the brewery you can decide how you are going to configure your brewery. There are lots of choices. It could be configured as a HERMS, RIMS etc.. Read as much as you can about each of the different brewery configurations so you can make an intelligent decision. Each configuration has it's own advantages and disadvantages.

You are lucky because all the information you need is right here in this forum and there are a ton of members who can help you and answer questions.
 
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