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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: capozzoli on December 10, 2010, 09:44:26 pm

Title: Counter top brewery.
Post by: capozzoli on December 10, 2010, 09:44:26 pm
Some of you guys have giant brew set ups. Some of them I have worked on.

Even five gallons is big for me, so I got to thinking. How bout going small? After all its not size that matters, its what you do with it that counts.

Im thinking counter top brewery. Something that I can brew enough beer to fill four or five liter ez cap bottles. Maybe some sort of electric kettle and a two gallon cooler?

There are those electric kettles for tea water but they might need to be modified so the thermostat does not turn it off as soon as it boils.

Or even better some thing that is made up of two kettles one with an electric heat source for the boil and the second with a warmer for the mash tun.

A slick looking stainless steel counter top brewery would be fun!

Im more into the process and the experimenting then I am into having large quantities of beer on hand. 

Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: tom on December 10, 2010, 10:33:03 pm
If you have an oven that can hold a 150ish temp you cold just mash in the oven.
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: tygo on December 10, 2010, 10:39:57 pm
Do a brew in a bag on the stovetop.  Throw a few pounds of crushed grain into a straining bag in the pot and hold it at your mash temp then pull it out and rinse it as best you can.  Your efficiency will likely be low but you can supplement with DME to get to the OG you're looking for.  Top up the water, boil it, chill it in a water bath, and then dump it into a ported 3 gallon better bottle.  Ferment and let it sit and then bottle straight from the better bottle with some carbonation tabs or measured sugar into each of the bottles.

Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: beerocd on December 10, 2010, 10:49:14 pm
No No NO. He wants something Rube Goldberg-ish.  :)
It needs lots of shiny moving parts. Pumps, coils, flux capacitors...
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: tygo on December 10, 2010, 10:59:25 pm
Well, he's handy.  He could design something like a coffee machine.  Dump some crushed grain into a basket filter, pour some water into it, push the button and cooled wort trickles out all ready to be fermented.
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: a10t2 on December 10, 2010, 11:26:49 pm
Well, he's handy.  He could design something like a coffee machine.  Dump some crushed grain into a basket filter, pour some water into it, push the button and cooled wort trickles out all ready to be fermented.

I actually designed something pretty similar a couple years ago, thinking maybe there would be a market in the Mr. Beer crowd. Got as far as pricing out the components and realized it would cost more to produce than a proper 5 gal AG brewing setup.
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: euge on December 10, 2010, 11:35:12 pm
Well, a hot-water heater element is easy to wire up and install. At 1500w 2-3 gallons will heat up nicely. Hell- a RIMS or HERMS would be fun. Solder up a copper kettle and hot liquor tank. All electric. Just on a smaller scale.

If all one had to do was 2 gallons it'd be a snap.

I'm also partial to the BIB idea. I think that mash would be manageable- except I'd try two pots- and do a batch brew in bag to maximize extraction.
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: capozzoli on December 10, 2010, 11:41:37 pm
Yeah, thats it. I have to look more into these electric burners.

Maybe include some marbles and domino's with a string attached to my toe so it wakes me up when the beer is ready.  ;D

There is a restaurant supply that has those diner coffee urns. I saw a dual one there the other say. Maybe just modify something like that.

Mashing in the oven sounds really cool though. Never thought of that.
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: myh3adhur7s on December 11, 2010, 01:55:23 am
No No NO. He wants something Rube Goldberg-ish.  :)
It needs lots of shiny moving parts. Pumps, coils, flux capacitors...

Are we going to get beer with this or time travel... or time traveling beer.
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: oscarvan on December 11, 2010, 08:32:28 am
I think he needs a Retroencabulator:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXJKdh1KZ0w

Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: beerocd on December 11, 2010, 08:55:00 am
Well after you put in your ingredients and press the button, the wort travels back in time and magically the output is fully fermented beer in the present time. Only problem is the trip knocks the bubbles out of the beer and so you still have to force carbonate. Unfortunately it is only a 110volt system so the beer can only go back 2 weeks in time.
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: tygo on December 11, 2010, 09:47:30 am
Unfortunately it is only a 110volt system so the beer can only go back 2 weeks in time.

Well, that'd get you through the primary fermentation anyway.
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on December 11, 2010, 08:03:35 pm
I think he needs a Retroencabulator:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXJKdh1KZ0w


I do not know what the guy said but I like how he said it  8)
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: skyler on December 14, 2010, 09:54:25 am
In my partial mash days, I would mash about 4-6 lbs of grain in my old 5-gallon stock pot/brew kettle. I would preheat my oven to its lowest setting (200F), then mash in in the pot (brew-in-a-bag-style, though I didn't know that was what it was called), then I would put the pot in the oven and turn the oven off. I imagine that method could be easily employed for 2-3 gallon batches. You could drill out a hole for a weldless ball valve, then attach some kind of SS braid and batch sparge rather than brew-in-a-bag. That's what I would do. If you already have a suitable pots (one 4L for mashing and one 6L for boiling and HLT would do it), then the total cost would be as little as two weldless ball valves, some SS braids, and a couple fittings and hose clamps. You could ferment in a 3 gal better bottle pretty easily if you kept it to 2-2.5 gal batches. If you went even smaller, you could do the mash in a toaster oven and ferment in a 1 gal glass jug (the kind that fancy apple juice comes in).
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: glitterbug on December 14, 2010, 10:09:50 am
I've seen posts of people doing mini batches in coffee pots. http://www.menshealthliving.com/learn/Brew-Your-Own-Beer-in-5-Days.php
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: tubercle on December 14, 2010, 10:45:31 am
Y'all are trying to re-invent the wheel.

The perfect counter top system has already been invented.

http://www.onederbrew.com/Index.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf6q73jvdEQ
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: denny on December 14, 2010, 10:57:01 am
Y'all are trying to re-invent the wheel.

The perfect counter top system has already been invented.

http://www.onederbrew.com/Index.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf6q73jvdEQ

"Brew, ferment, carbonate, chill, and dispense from the same container"....... :o
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: bluesman on December 14, 2010, 11:00:38 am
A 2 gallon system is the answer.

Here a Coleman 2 gallon jug cooler. Modify it by adding a small SS braid.

(http://www.coleman.com/coleman/images/products/3000000736_500.jpg)

I know you have a 16 qt kettle. You'll be on your way to a counter top brewery.

Cheap and Easy!  8)
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: tygo on December 14, 2010, 11:08:28 am
Cute.  And it's even blue!
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: tubercle on December 14, 2010, 11:08:52 am
Y'all are trying to re-invent the wheel.

The perfect counter top system has already been invented.

http://www.onederbrew.com/Index.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf6q73jvdEQ

"Brew, ferment, carbonate, chill, and dispense from the same container"....... :o


 In a former life on the <shall remain nameless> forum, an email was sent to this guy with all of the contact info with an offer to try this out and give a fair assessment of the end product since he was pushing it hard on the said forum. Never heard back.
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: tschmidlin on December 14, 2010, 11:23:33 am
I've got a 2 gallon cooler with a SS braid that I use for making 1 gallon batches.  It works no problem.
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: Hokerer on December 14, 2010, 12:18:45 pm
I've got a 2 gallon cooler with a SS braid that I use for making 1 gallon batches.  It works no problem.

I used a 2-gallon Coleman drink cooler back when I used to Partial Mash.  Pulled out the spout and replaced with an SS braid - worked great.
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: euge on December 14, 2010, 01:29:35 pm
I've got a 2 gallon cooler with a SS braid that I use for making 1 gallon batches.  It works no problem.

I used a 2-gallon Coleman drink cooler back when I used to Partial Mash.  Pulled out the spout and replaced with an SS braid - worked great.

I see this 2 gallon Coleman at the Dollar General by my house- for $12... A good price?

Hokerer did you use a bung when you removed the spout? Please esplain!  :D Anyway, I'm transitioning to smaller batches. Doing 2 gallons at a time seems to me more fun and less time consuming. Quite frankly all the joy has gone out of the 9+ hour brew days and ending up with 12 gallons of so-so beer. I want to fine-tune my recipes and do some experimenting.

Cap's idea of the coffee-urn sounds interesting. With a thermostat controller it might be a good solution for some folks. The coffee pot approach seems a little iffy but OK if you only want two beers- which might be good for some flavor experimentation.

Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: tschmidlin on December 14, 2010, 01:39:09 pm
I left the spout in and just attached the ss screen to it.  It doesn't hold on too great, but well enough for a batch.  $12 seems like a good deal, I'm pretty sure mine was $20.
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: EHall on December 14, 2010, 01:48:40 pm
I have the 2gal cooler, removed the spout, put a drilled stopper in there, put a piece of copper thru it and attached the screen to it and a hose on the outside,  works like a champ.
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: euge on December 14, 2010, 11:38:08 pm
I left the spout in and just attached the ss screen to it.  It doesn't hold on too great, but well enough for a batch.  $12 seems like a good deal, I'm pretty sure mine was $20.

Thanks Tom. I've persuaded myself to buy it for the season. What do you use on the outlet side?

I have the 2gal cooler, removed the spout, put a drilled stopper in there, put a piece of copper thru it and attached the screen to it and a hose on the outside,  works like a champ.

That's a great idea!
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: tschmidlin on December 15, 2010, 12:10:51 am
I don't use anything, just run it out into a little pot that I then dump in to a big pot for boiling.  I like the stopper idea though, that's a good one.
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: Hokerer on December 15, 2010, 08:12:40 am
I used a 2-gallon Coleman drink cooler back when I used to Partial Mash.  Pulled out the spout and replaced with an SS braid - worked great.

Hokerer did you use a bung when you removed the spout? Please esplain!  :D

but Rickeeeeeeeyyyy  No, I used two hose barb fittings back to back.  They have female threads so I stuck a union? (the thingy with male threads on both ends) in between.  One barb to the inside for the braid, one barb to the outside for the hose.  Oh, and I re-used the washers from the spout.
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: euge on December 15, 2010, 11:02:13 am
That's another great idea!
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: ipaguy on December 15, 2010, 02:19:25 pm
I've got a 3 gal Rubbermaid tun that I got from Midwest that I use to mini-mash.  Easily handles 4-5 lbs of grain, so you could even use it for all-grain if you're only doing a couple gallon batch.  I like the tun way more than messing with grain bags.
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: kgs on December 25, 2010, 05:46:48 am
I started mashing 2 years ago in a two-gallon cooler with a SS braid. When I moved up to 5 gallons, I just unbolted the parts and moved it over to the new cooler; I could easily use the smaller cooler again if I felt like it. Parts list here, with illustrations. The only sketchy part is I still need fender washers to prevent a slight wobble. Ok, the second sketchy part is the coolers aren't blue. Life ain't perfect!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kgs/sets/72157615665837325/
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: euge on December 25, 2010, 11:13:43 am
I have a similar igloo 2 gallon cooler. Bought it last weekend. Drilled the plastic tap out with a 1/2" bit and then slid a section of 1/2" OD vinyl tubing through the tap. It leaked a little but some teflon tape took care of that. Might use a dab of silicon to finish it off but meh. Not something to worry me overmuch.

Looking forward to brewing some small experimental batches.

Merry xmas!
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: Kit B on December 28, 2010, 03:14:07 pm
I started mashing 2 years ago in a two-gallon cooler with a SS braid. When I moved up to 5 gallons, I just unbolted the parts and moved it over to the new cooler; I could easily use the smaller cooler again if I felt like it. Parts list here, with illustrations. The only sketchy part is I still need fender washers to prevent a slight wobble. Ok, the second sketchy part is the coolers aren't blue. Life ain't perfect!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kgs/sets/72157615665837325/

...Looks like my mash tun's Mini Me.

(http://i837.photobucket.com/albums/zz294/kitbutterfield/brewing/P7090972.jpg)
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: kgs on December 30, 2010, 08:39:05 am
I started mashing 2 years ago in a two-gallon cooler with a SS braid. When I moved up to 5 gallons, I just unbolted the parts and moved it over to the new cooler; I could easily use the smaller cooler again if I felt like it. Parts list here, with illustrations. The only sketchy part is I still need fender washers to prevent a slight wobble. Ok, the second sketchy part is the coolers aren't blue. Life ain't perfect!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kgs/sets/72157615665837325/

...Looks like my mash tun's Mini Me.


It does! My setup, which I actually use mostly for 3-gallon batches, has almost all those parts at this point, just to fit smaller brews, deck brewing, and a 6-foot bookcase in a city apartment (though the banjo burner fits under my printer table). Sort of like "The Borrowers Homebrew," if you remember that children's series.
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: beersk on December 30, 2010, 09:06:16 am
I started mashing 2 years ago in a two-gallon cooler with a SS braid. When I moved up to 5 gallons, I just unbolted the parts and moved it over to the new cooler; I could easily use the smaller cooler again if I felt like it. Parts list here, with illustrations. The only sketchy part is I still need fender washers to prevent a slight wobble. Ok, the second sketchy part is the coolers aren't blue. Life ain't perfect!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kgs/sets/72157615665837325/

...Looks like my mash tun's Mini Me.


It does! My setup, which I actually use mostly for 3-gallon batches, has almost all those parts at this point, just to fit smaller brews, deck brewing, and a 6-foot bookcase in a city apartment (though the banjo burner fits under my printer table). Sort of like "The Borrowers Homebrew," if you remember that children's series.
Awesome dude!  That looks like a cool setup for small batches!  I used to do 3 gallon batches, thinking about going back to them, for kicks.  I started off with a 3 gallon cooler with a ball valve setup, then got a 5 gallon cooler and moved the ball valve over.  I boiled in a 5 gallon kettle on a gas stove.  I pushed the envelope sometimes getting 4 1/2 gallons in the kettle and managing not to boil over...it was precarious.  But it worked!  And I made some of the best beer of my brewing career with that little setup.  Bottle it up and get about 30 bottles of beer, pretty neat really.  If I move and have to live in an apartment, I will likely go back to doing this.
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: hike20 on December 30, 2010, 12:47:29 pm
I use a 5 gallon igloo cooler with a bazooka screen and ball valve. I do 2.5 gallon batches, so the extra space in the tun allows me to do all-grain, even for high gravity beers. I'm also experimenting with no-sparge methods.

I did a few partial mash batches using the BIB method, and quickly found it very tedious and messy. Getting the cooler setup was just about the best money I've spent on equipment.
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: weithman5 on December 30, 2010, 01:32:57 pm
the issue to me isn't the brewing.  it is getting a smaller fermentation chamber, and most importantly kegging.  i have found a 2.5 gallon hdpe carboy that may work, for 12 bucks but also interested in those 6 liter pet bottles from tap a draft. anyone use these
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: gmac on December 30, 2010, 04:37:55 pm
Does a smaller vessel brew faster or does it take just as long to reach complete fermentation?  I've got a 1 gallon and a 5 gallon going and the 1 started slower (it was my starter jug) and seemed to finish quicker but I haven't taken a final gravity yet.  If it does, I may go to more little fermenters.  Just can't be patient.
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: weithman5 on December 30, 2010, 05:48:20 pm
my guess is that if you assume the same gravity at onset then it would likely depend on starter size.  1 million cells would polish off 1 gallon before it could polish off 5 gallons.  5 million cells would probably get the job done as fast.  roughly, i am sure that you have to take in to account thermal loss changes in the volume to surface area as well as oxygen, nutrients etc. and how these play in to the sugar consumption
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: Malticulous on December 31, 2010, 08:34:38 am
I just did 9L batch on the stove top.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f85/super-simple-mr-beer-all-grain-212639/
It's so easy I don't know why anyone would want to complicate it.
Title: Re: Counter top brewery.
Post by: kgs on January 01, 2011, 08:04:55 am
the issue to me isn't the brewing.  it is getting a smaller fermentation chamber, and most importantly kegging.  i have found a 2.5 gallon hdpe carboy that may work, for 12 bucks but also interested in those 6 liter pet bottles from tap a draft. anyone use these

Better Bottle sells 3-gallon carboys. I have two of them. I actually wish they were more like 3.5 gallons; they're a tight fit for a half-batch. But for up to about 2.25 gallons of wort they are pretty good, and they're skinny so they fit in a lot of places. That said, I generally ferment in my 5-gallon BB carboy.