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General Category => Pimp My System => Topic started by: Lowell Brewing Co. on February 15, 2011, 07:39:41 pm

Title: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: Lowell Brewing Co. on February 15, 2011, 07:39:41 pm
Hey guys,
I am new to this forum and just finished building my brewery in the little tiny 1/2 garage that I have. This was part of the reason for building a single tier rig. My brewery is semi-automated with the BCS-460 system (ECC), but can also run manually if I choose to do so. I heat my mash through a RIMS tube and recircualtion. I also have an in-line oxygenation system and plate chiller on the outlet of the brewery. Take a look and let me know what you think! I have tried to document the build of the brewery as well as the brewing that has finally begun to take place in a blog.

http://lowellbrewing.blogspot.com/

Enjoy and any feedback, positive or negative, is always appreciated. Have fun brewing, everyone!
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: denny on February 15, 2011, 08:06:56 pm
Snazzy!
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: tschmidlin on February 15, 2011, 08:11:11 pm
Very nice :)
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: realbeerguy on February 15, 2011, 08:26:04 pm
Welcome to the Forum!

Nice build.
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: Mark G on February 15, 2011, 08:50:00 pm
Impressive. I'm jealous. I keep telling myself, "one of these days."
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: bluesman on February 15, 2011, 09:19:12 pm
Sweet!

Is that a Sabco single tier brewstand?
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: Lowell Brewing Co. on February 15, 2011, 11:37:58 pm
 No, not the Sabco one. The stand came from a guy in Texas on the HBT forum and everything else I just built and added on. Thanks for the props, guys! It has been a long time coming.
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: maxieboy on February 16, 2011, 12:03:40 am
Nice rig! I've seen those stands. Must.....Keep.....It.....Simple.....Stupid....... ;D
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: kcjaz on February 16, 2011, 05:55:07 am
Very very cool.  I was proud of myself when I added an indication lamp to tell me I had power to the electric heater in my plastic HLT to help keep it from melting.  I have a ways to go before I get into BCS.  I had not seen BCS before, so thanks for posting.  I love seeing different set ups and everyone's different approaches to automation or lack there of.  Lots of ideas here to think about.
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: euge on February 16, 2011, 07:07:47 am
I want one.
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: phillamb168 on February 16, 2011, 08:49:55 am
What was total cost for your build-out? I've always wanted to switch to a converted-keg system but I can't for the life of me find the darned things. I can get SS kettles etc no problem, but they are $$$, and I would like to -$$ that $$$.
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: mrbowenz on February 16, 2011, 11:09:36 am
Most excellent brewery !
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: Lowell Brewing Co. on February 16, 2011, 03:04:45 pm
What was total cost for your build-out? I've always wanted to switch to a converted-keg system but I can't for the life of me find the darned things. I can get SS kettles etc no problem, but they are $$$, and I would like to -$$ that $$$.

Man, I wish I kept track of how much it cost....wait, I take that back. I basically sold off all of my old brewing equipment to upgrade. The keggles and one of the pumps I found on craigslist. The stand I bought from Marcus on HBT. Everything else was ebay scores and hardware stores. Honestly, I think if I bought everything straight out, it would be about $2000+. Keep trolling craigslist for keggles, they pop up every now and then. Other than that, you have to be pretty resourceful in acquiring stuff and know what to get. Keep hanging around these forums and asking questions, eventually you'll know what you want and know how to get it all. Keep us posted!
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: Tim McManus on February 16, 2011, 07:10:43 pm
Is that shipping or packaging insulation you've got wrapped around the mash tun?  What is that material and how well does it work as insulation?
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: euge on February 16, 2011, 07:13:39 pm
Is that shipping or packaging insulation you've got wrapped around the mash tun?  What is that material and how well does it work as insulation?

It looks like Reflectix- silvered bubble-wrap. Works ok as an insulator but is better as a radiant barrier.
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: oscarvan on February 16, 2011, 08:35:56 pm
I went to the local beer distributor and said "Hey, I need some kegs..." He said OK, and charged me the deposit.....$30 each. Let me pick the nicest ones out of the pile too. Don't think these guys were more than a year old, if not younger.....  8)
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: maxieboy on February 17, 2011, 12:54:30 am
Aren't the kegs property of the brewery? Don't they cost the brewery $100 or more? This isn't passing the sniff test...
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on February 17, 2011, 04:08:40 am
Aren't the kegs property of the brewery? Don't they cost the brewery $100 or more? This isn't passing the sniff test...
Yeah, try $150 for new one.
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: tschmidlin on February 17, 2011, 06:18:41 am
Yeah, oscar can be forgiven for ignorance but the beer distributor knows better.  They aren't allowed to sell them to you.
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: euge on February 17, 2011, 06:29:12 am
I went to the local beer distributor and said "Hey, I need some kegs..." He said OK, and charged me the deposit.....$30 each. Let me pick the nicest ones out of the pile too. Don't think these guys were more than a year old, if not younger.....  8)

Dude. Seriously? I want three but only if it's totally legit.  ;)

All I know about "commercial kegs" is that in the last four years very few have said anything positive about misappropriated kegs. :(
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: maxieboy on February 17, 2011, 04:02:30 pm
Yeah, oscar can be forgiven for ignorance but the beer distributor knows better.  They aren't allowed to sell them to you.

My thoughts also.
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: rabid_dingo on February 17, 2011, 09:59:58 pm
Meanwhile back at the ranch...

Did I read the blog right? Wirelessly controlling the brewery from inside the house? WOW that is one
upgrade that never crossed my mind. Nice rig!
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: Lowell Brewing Co. on February 22, 2011, 01:20:07 am
Meanwhile back at the ranch...

Did I read the blog right? Wirelessly controlling the brewery from inside the house? WOW that is one
upgrade that never crossed my mind. Nice rig!

Hey, rabid-dingo! That's right, I put a small wireless bridge in the box with the control system and I can monitor temps and processes from inside of the house. It helps when it is colder than a witch's outside! I also like having the enclosure waterproof and everything inside of it as well. Thanks for the thumbs up!
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: punatic on February 22, 2011, 01:31:23 am
Meanwhile back at the ranch...

Did I read the blog right? Wirelessly controlling the brewery from inside the house? WOW that is one
upgrade that never crossed my mind. Nice rig!

See SCADA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCADA)

Access and control wherever there is broadband connectivity.
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: bluesman on February 22, 2011, 01:39:23 am
Meanwhile back at the ranch...

Did I read the blog right? Wirelessly controlling the brewery from inside the house? WOW that is one
upgrade that never crossed my mind. Nice rig!

Hey, rabid-dingo! That's right, I put a small wireless bridge in the box with the control system and I can monitor temps and processes from inside of the house. It helps when it is colder than a witch's outside! I also like having the enclosure waterproof and everything inside of it as well. Thanks for the thumbs up!


This is a great idea. I like the idea of remote control in any design. I use a remote wireless thermometer on my smoker. It even has an alarm to let me know when the BBQ is done. Anything to make it easier is fine by me.
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: punatic on February 22, 2011, 01:43:11 am
You can do it via iPhone.
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: Lowell Brewing Co. on February 22, 2011, 02:59:12 pm
You can do it via iPhone.

That is a really cool feature to use with the BCS control...but unfortunately, I don't have one of those confangled smart phones! There is actually an app for the BCS control system I think. Some day, maybe.
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: narvin on February 22, 2011, 06:32:27 pm
I went to the local beer distributor and said "Hey, I need some kegs..." He said OK, and charged me the deposit.....$30 each. Let me pick the nicest ones out of the pile too. Don't think these guys were more than a year old, if not younger.....  8)

I can overlook this only if you picked the BMC owned kegs....
Title: Re: Single Tier Semi-Automated, Lowell Brewing
Post by: oscarvan on March 11, 2011, 01:15:14 pm
I went to the local beer distributor and said "Hey, I need some kegs..." He said OK, and charged me the deposit.....$30 each. Let me pick the nicest ones out of the pile too. Don't think these guys were more than a year old, if not younger.....  8)

I can overlook this only if you picked the BMC owned kegs....

Yes, I "liberated" two from the evil empire...... 8) Wasn't 100% sure at the time, but he didn't even hesitate, so I said what the heck.