Pimp My System: Three-Tier Beer Sculpture
Here's what Chris had to share about his brewing system:
I was introduced to homebrewing by my roommate who brews pretty regularly. My girlfriend is allergic to gluten, but she really likes beer, so I thought why not learn to brew so I could make beer for her. After discussing it with my friend, I decided to go for it and brew a gluten-free beer. After reading a lot of information, I brewed a partial mash gluten-free beer as my first attempt at brewing. It actually tastes OK!
What I learned (like it seems with any job) was that it was a lot of fun, but the way I did it was difficult. Between hauling pots to my bathtub and washing in my kitchen sink, I decided there was a reason for all those fancy toys. I made three keggles following instructions found on your website. I acquired all the other necessary tools for brewing in my kitchen. But I am a gadget lover and thought it would be really cool to have a beer sculpture for the man cave. I am not an expert at welding so I talked with a few of my friends at Centex Diesel where I live in Texas and we decided we could build a prototype to play with. The second batch of beer will be done on the brew sculpture.
We looked at a lot of pictures and thought about where we would put it before we began. My two friends, Logan Schneider and Casey Bamburger, have no brewing experience and at that point I had only the single batch under my belt, but we put a lot of thought into it and decided we needed a light weight, portable system that wasn't very tall.
We used angle iron on the corners and square tubing for the frames. We placed high pressure banjo burners on all three tiers. A counterflow chiller will be attached to the back of the sculpture for cooling the wort. We are trying to make our own but haven't done well with that just yet so we may just buy one. We are trying to make all the parts we can from, scratch.
Logan, Casey, and my girlfriend are nowhere near my height, so making the kettles and average height was important for our project. We also didn't want to be lifting heavy pots of water, so we added a filtered water fill system that fills directly into the top tier kettle. We added quick disconnect fittings with clear food-grade tubing to move fluids for each kettle. We also wanted it to have some artsy features, so we made a copper manifold using copper tubing to move the natural gas.
Logan and Casey are talented welders and fabricators and they have already come up with some cool ideas to make the system even better We are going to wrap the mash tun with cedar and copper bands and once we finalize everything, we are going to powder coat the whole rig. We are adding a small elevator on the third tier so we can raise the brew pot high enough to fill the fermenter. (The elevator idea was taken from a pimp my system article)
It took us about 8 hours and less than $200 build it and we did it on the fly.
Here's a link to the previous Pimp My System article that helped inspire Chris's system: