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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: beerocd on November 05, 2009, 05:35:59 AM

Title: How do you brew?
Post by: beerocd on November 05, 2009, 05:35:59 AM
What's your brew setup? Wondering what's most common.

Currently I use my retaining wall, BBQ grill, a chair and a cinder block to hold my stainless pots so I can brew outdoors on camp chef burners. Hoping to go indoor electric before snowfall.

-OCD
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: majorvices on November 05, 2009, 12:35:58 PM
I normally brew 10 gallon batches, batch sparge and always outside. Brewing is a great excuse for me to be outdoors. I like in the south though so the weather cooperates.

I am in the process of building an electric system that I will unveil it here in a few weeks or so.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: skotrat on November 05, 2009, 02:37:16 PM
Many of the Brewrats put together a "HOW WE BREW" page a few years back.

Some good stuff...

http://www.skotrat.com/go/default/brewrats/how-we-brew/
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: Kaiser on November 05, 2009, 03:04:32 PM
As it is with many brewers, my brewing has evolved over the years. I actually moved back inside.

These days I mash in my 30qt turkey fryer pot on an electric stove. By doing so I can easily run step mashes (Hochkurz, i.e. 63 C –> 70 C –> 76 C, is my favorite) and don’t have to worry about getting the strike water temp just right. I have been able to do back-to-back batches with only 1% wort fermentability difference. I only have to stir during heating and rest the mash wrapped in blankets during the rests. I then use my old MLT as just LT and batch sparge.

Boiling is done in the same 30qt pot on the deck.

Brewing inside allows me to brew at night (I can easily start at 7 and pitch by midnight which includes a pretty long whirlpool rest in ice water) and watch the kids.

Kai
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on November 05, 2009, 03:18:25 PM
Click on the All-Grain Pictorial link in my sig to see how I brew. Actually, I should probably do a new pictorial soon since some of my practices have changed slightly in the past year.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: majorvices on November 05, 2009, 03:20:21 PM
One thing I do since I mash in a cooler is is I use a "bucket heater" and a Digital Johnson controller w/thermowell. Set my mash-in temp the night before and get my water ready so I can just dough-in first thing the next AM after a cup of coffee or three. Works like a champ!!
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: dontblake on November 05, 2009, 03:36:03 PM
I have 3 techniques
- extract w/ steeping grains for when time's tight, although with batch sparging I've been able to knock off batches in 4 hrs
- 5 gal All grain:  I have a 10-gallon brewpot that I'll heat my strike water in.  Mashing in a 7-gal gott cooler.  Water for batch sparging is heated in my "original" 3.5 gallon brewpot. 
- 10 gal All Grain:   I use my 10-gallon brewpot (w/ false bottom) as a mash tun, use the 7-gal gott cooler as a HLT, and the kettle is a converted keg. 
It's kinda nice that several of my vessels can do double duty depending on the need.
I'll post pictures sometime.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: bluesman on November 05, 2009, 03:41:37 PM
I normally brew 10 gallon batches, batch sparge and always outside. Brewing is a great excuse for me to be outdoors. I like in the south though so the weather cooperates.

I am in the process of building an electric system that I will unveil it here in a few weeks or so.

I can't wait to see the new system major. I'm in the process of building a Brutus 10 system .It will be a few months before it's complete.

Right now..I have a 15 gallon keggle for my kettle and a cooler for a mash tun. It's similiar to Denny's system.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: deepsouth on November 05, 2009, 03:51:03 PM
i'm doing 5 gallon extract with grains batches currently.  propane burner and ten gal. stainless brew kettle with the ball valve (i guess that's what it's called).  i brew just outside my garage on the back of my house so i can listen to music while i brew.   

i hope to make the jump to all grain in the next few months just to have some more control over the beers.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: hamiltont on November 05, 2009, 04:01:48 PM
Usually 10 gallons at a time. Equipment consists of:
Barley Crusher
70 qt Coleman X-Treme cooler w/ss braid
60 qt pot w/ball valve (should have bought an 80)
Propane cooker
Homemade 15 gallon conical fermenter made from an induction tank
Homemade fermentation chamber w/air conditioner, controlled by a Ranco ETC-111000-000
Kegerator w/3 Perlick 525's & room for 6 kegs
A very, very patient wife!!
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: majorvices on November 05, 2009, 04:11:29 PM
I normally brew 10 gallon batches, batch sparge and always outside. Brewing is a great excuse for me to be outdoors. I like in the south though so the weather cooperates.

I am in the process of building an electric system that I will unveil it here in a few weeks or so.

I can't wait to see the new system major. I'm in the process of building a Brutus 10 system .It will be a few months before it's complete.

Right now..I have a 15 gallon keggle for my kettle and a cooler for a mash tun. It's similiar to Denny's system.

This one is based on the Brutus X too, kinda. We are actually going gas first and then intstalling the electric as we go. We are testing it tomorrow. I will give a little hint - it uses three 55 gallon stainless steel drums.  ;D
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: theDarkSide on November 05, 2009, 04:42:37 PM
All grain brewer using a 70 qt Coleman Xtreme cooler for a mashtun.  I setup my walkout basement, aka mancave, to do my mash and setup my Bayou Classic burner just outside.  I have my TV, DVD player, and PC ( for playing Brewing Network podcasts while I brew ).  Basically the family doesn't see me for 5-6 hours on brewday.

Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: denny on November 05, 2009, 06:24:43 PM
You can see my setup at dennybrew.com
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: bluesman on November 05, 2009, 06:27:14 PM
I normally brew 10 gallon batches, batch sparge and always outside. Brewing is a great excuse for me to be outdoors. I like in the south though so the weather cooperates.

I am in the process of building an electric system that I will unveil it here in a few weeks or so.

I can't wait to see the new system major. I'm in the process of building a Brutus 10 system .It will be a few months before it's complete.

Right now..I have a 15 gallon keggle for my kettle and a cooler for a mash tun. It's similiar to Denny's system.

This one is based on the Brutus X too, kinda. We are actually going gas first and then intstalling the electric as we go. We are testing it tomorrow. I will give a little hint - it uses three 55 gallon stainless steel drums.  ;D

Wow...are you opening a pilot scale brewery or what...?
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: skotrat on November 05, 2009, 06:30:43 PM
My normal batch size now is 24 gallons...

I do often make 45 gallons of several brews that I want around for a while
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: Robert on November 05, 2009, 06:52:18 PM
I brew 5 and 10 gallon batches. I have two blue coolers, a small one for 5 gallon batches and small 10 gallon batches and the big one is for most 10 gallon batches and really BIG 5 gal batches. Both have stainless braid, with the big one having two braids running the length. Boiling is done in a converted keg with newly affixed valve. Don't know why I didn't do that sooner. Other than that, I use a wooden kitchen cart so I can gravity feed into my fermenters from the BK. Oh yeah, KAB5 for the fire.

I use mainly buckets for fermenting and one glass carboy for Brett beer aging.

Brewday takes place in my garage, with the laptop set up to surf Tastybrew and play my iTunes. Mainly Drive-By Truckers on brewday.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: boulderbrewer on November 05, 2009, 10:37:54 PM
I mash and batch sparge in the basement.Then I do the wort boil outside. Nice to have a walk out basement.

(http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u133/Boulderbrewer/SNAA4010.jpg)


(http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u133/Boulderbrewer/chicksandeggs003.jpg)

Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: beerocd on November 05, 2009, 10:45:15 PM
I mash and batch sparge in the basement.Then I do the wort boil outside. Nice to have a walk out basement.

Without the walk out basement part- I started thinking it'd be cool if someone pumped their wort up and outside to boil it, then gravity drain back down into the basement to ferment after a gravity feed through a chiller.

-OCD
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: matthew on November 05, 2009, 10:57:23 PM
I havent brewed in a long time ....March this year, but I've brewed beer for a while. I went from 5 gal batches to
2.5 to 3 gal batches mainly cuz I lazy and my health aint so good , so I  brew on th stove still, use a 4 gal pot
to mash in( I still step mash alot,decoct too) and boil in a 5 gal pot, sparge in an old bucket w/false bottom( have to
x-fer from MT)-still fly spage, fement in a 5 gal carboy and secondary in 2.5-3 gal carboys(yeah I still do that too)
Nothin' Fancy
I think I hurt somethin lookin at Skotrats stuff  ;)
Matthew
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: smurfe on November 06, 2009, 02:54:45 AM
I have a Sabco System and do all grain. Normally 5 gallon batches with the occasional 10 gallon batch.


(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v240/smurfe/Brew/BrewMagic004.jpg)
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: eccsynd on November 06, 2009, 03:33:20 AM
48qt. cooler based mashtun, HERMs with small external heat exchanger.  BCS controlled of course. 

Trying to stock up for the winter.  I usually brew in the garage, and it gets cold here in MN.  Last time I brewed sub-zero, my chiller froze up and it was a real pain. 
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: karlh on November 06, 2009, 07:43:10 PM
I brew 10 gallon all grain batches on a 3 tier stand.  10g stainless HLT, 15g stainless MLT w. false bottom, 15g. keggle with false bottom (8 inch or so stainless mesh) for boil kettle.  Jet burners on HLT and Boil kettle.  March pump.  Chillzilla. 
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: slimsparty on November 06, 2009, 10:06:11 PM
Still evolving thanks to some coaching from club buddies, tastybrewers, and other veterans.

Now I have a Sanke HLT and BK 60qt cooler Denny style mashtun and my new KAB4 burner.

I use a sawhorse table and some fairly manual bucket transfer technology for moving hot water around and measuring it.  This is done outside in Northern Illinois.  I actually have had fairly mild weather every time.  I have the garage outfitted with music, man fridge, and tools for messin' with.

I will probably stick with 10 gallons from now on because of the economies of scale.  The last batch is only half bottled and just hitting proper carb.  Now I know I have 5 more gallons "in the bank"
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: pdbreen on November 06, 2009, 11:39:48 PM
As someone else said - always evolving.  Current setup:

Mill with a barley crusher.
Mash in the kitchen with 2 rubbermaid coolers - 1 for HLT and 1 for MLT.
Boil on the patio in a 15gal pot on a Blichmann burner.
Cool with an immersion chiller w/whirlpool.
Ferment in either glass carboys or Better Bottles (really liking the latter).
Keg in cornies.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: niquejim on November 07, 2009, 01:17:33 AM
I make Denny's C&E seem high class



(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3633/3465761247_db1753a0c4_b.jpg)
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3664/3466574244_2b3596ebf4_m.jpg)
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3652/3465758683_e374fc8b6c_m.jpg)


Of course it helps to live in an area with warm weather year round. There is no need for things to keep it warm in the cold weather
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: tomthebrewer on November 07, 2009, 03:52:09 AM
I made 5 gallons batches for 4 years and recently have switched to 3 gallons. I find since I don't drink as much beer as I used to (more whiskey now) I can still brew on a normal schedule, but not feel guilty about lots of extra beer sitting in the closet.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: weazletoe on November 07, 2009, 04:57:30 AM
70qt Coleman X-trem.......16.25 SS boil kettle, dual turkey fryer burners, 7.5 gal HLT, home made IC, and I do it all in my basement. Just got a pump, and have plans in the works to weld up a new sculpture. Hopefully in the next few weeks.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: dean on November 07, 2009, 01:25:22 PM
I use keggles and a blue cooler like many others.  Since I've moved I only need to brew 5 gallon batches now (so far anyway) and I like the keggles in that I can brew up to 10 or 12 gallon batches but I don't have to.  I'm building a brew shed and I'll be adding a few toys to the system as time goes by and once the shed is able to be used.  I procrastinate a lot so it might take a while.   ::)  ;D
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: tom on November 07, 2009, 04:37:12 PM
3 kegs on one level each on their own propane burners/stands. Soon to be converted to natural gas.
I batch sparge and use a March pump for liquid transfers.
I also use bucket heaters over night with RANCO thermostats to get the water ready and heated in the am. Mash in, coffee, comics, then brew on.
I also ferment in 5 gallon cornies. I love them.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: mrcceo on November 07, 2009, 07:51:39 PM
5 gallon batches - all grain.
Mash tun - 7 gallon cooler.
Boil using a ten gallon pot with spigot on a commercial range.
Looking to pick up a bigger cooler and a grain mill by the end of the year.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: woody on November 08, 2009, 10:22:40 PM
I brew in the garage.  I'd love to brew in the basement, but I need to find a heavy duty electric setup that can boil 12+ gallons.   
Right now I heat strike/ sparge water in the 7.5 gallon pot that came with my turkey fryer.    My mash tun is a 70 qt Coleman Xterme (best cooler EVER!)     I boil in a 15 gallon megapot with a ball valve dump.   I just picked up a fitting so I can rig up a copper tubing dip tube in it (can't wait to try it tomorrow!)   
Basement brewing would rule, but I need something other than propane to boil with.    That would save lugging full carboys down the stairs.   That always makes me nervous... 
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: scottyb on November 08, 2009, 11:49:06 PM
first runnings or was it second?

(http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t137/scottybeegood/IMGP0023.jpg)
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: yugamrap on November 10, 2009, 02:33:48 PM
I crush with a Barley Crusher, mash in a cooler and batch sparge.  For now, my setup is pretty simple (see pic), and I do the whole brew day on the patio.  Over the winter, I'll be working on converting a used factory cart into a two-burner brew cart with a pump.  The idea is to eliminate as much lifting as I can. 


(http://i41.tinypic.com/vfwp5y.jpg)
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on November 10, 2009, 04:38:29 PM
I brew 5 gal batches in the kitchen.
I just build electric HERMS with Ranco controlled HLT.
I use 10 Gal orange cooler and I boil on the NG stove.
My 10 Gal Mega pot is wide enough that I can lid up 3 burners and get about 30,000 BTU from it.
I ferment in fermentation fridge in the basement.

I like electric powered brewing.
You get a lot of control over the process.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: Hokerer on November 11, 2009, 01:46:19 AM
Filter tap water into a couple of water jugs, add campden for our chloramines
Crush grain with two-roller Monster Mill
Heat strike water in 4-gallon stainless pot on Bayou Classic SP-10
Mash in blue Coleman Xtreme "Denny'ized" tun
Batch sparge into 10-gallon Mega Pot
Boil and then cool with copper immersion chiller
Transfer to 6.5-gallon glass primary
Pitch "grown from slant", stir-plated yeast slurry
Ferment in "son of fermentation chiller"
Rack to secondary
Bottle in 1 case of 12-oz plus remainder in 500ml flip-tops

(http://www.brinkleys.org/users/tsl/Files/FullSetup600.jpg)
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: realbeerguy on November 11, 2009, 02:24:30 AM
Mash in 10 gal Igloo commercial round w/ Phil's false bottom, 2 burners, 1 for strike & sparge water, 1 for brewpot.  Gravity feed MT to boil kettle using a household Werner scafolding.  Hand feed the sparge water into the MT/Lauter tun.  Motorized Schmidling mill.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: tesla_hv on November 13, 2009, 05:19:16 AM
A partial-boil setup with an outdoor propane burner.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: narvin on November 13, 2009, 06:47:12 AM
Bayou Classic outside, batch sparging in a 40 qt cooler.  CFC for chilling, all gravity.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: Nagel Family Brewing on November 13, 2009, 06:46:44 PM
5 Gallon All-Grain batches, carbon filtered well water, mash and fly sparge with 2 - 5 gallons coolers & gravity (60 min mash & 45-60 min sparge), 8 gallon SS brew pot (90 min boil), SS bayou burner, SS immersion chiller, autosiphon with fine nylon mesh bag as filter, primary and secondary in glass carboys, and bottle in 12 oz brown bottles.  You can see my brew stand in my profile pic.   
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: blatz on November 13, 2009, 09:38:39 PM
My normal batch size now is 24 gallons...

I do often make 45 gallons of several brews that I want around for a while

wow - how long on average do you keep a batch around?  I do 12gal batches and they're gone within 4 months (ales) and 6 months (lagers) and that seems to be just about right.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: onebarrel on November 18, 2009, 03:59:32 AM
I am lucky enough to have 2 systems...

My normal batch size currently is 15 gals at about 1045 OG.

How I do this quickly (6 hrs including cleanup) is usually skipping the sparge and maxing out the mash
tun (13gals) with 31-33lbs of grain. I usually do a 50 min mash and a 70 min boil. I do a concentrated boil
and top all the way up with water at knockout.
When I chill and transfer to fermentors I usually add 3/4 gallon of water to each fermentor to put me back
to 15 gallons (losses to heat expansion and trub)

If I don't top up I get 11 gals at about 1070 OG (first runnings)

My big system nets me 45 gals at about 1060 OG and the biggest beer I can produce on that system is
20 gals first runnings about 1095 OG with 20 gals of small beer at 1045 OG using about 100lbs of grain.

Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: ndcube on November 18, 2009, 04:58:17 PM
I put my banjo burner on cinder blocks on my deck which holds my 15 gallon megapot.  I batch sparge out of a cooler that sits on the corner of my deck railings.  Usually 5 gal batches.

I also wrap a sheet of ductwork around the burner/pot to keep the wind out.  Works great.

Usually on Sunday no matter what weather (unless it's raining too hard or hailing which hasn't happened yet).
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: corkybstewart on November 18, 2009, 06:09:13 PM
In 2000 an ex employee built me a 3 tiered stand with 1.5" square tubing, something along the lines of a morebeer.com brew sculpture.  I use 3 converted kegs with false bottoms in the mash tun and kettle.  I brew in the garage with the door open unless the wind is blowing over 30 mph, then I leave the door open about a foot.
I use a combo immersion chiller and CFC to cool my wort, then it's pumped into a 12 gallon stainless conical in a refrigerated chamber or 2 buckets in a temp controlled fridge.
It takes me about 5 hours from firing up the mash tun burner to scrubbing the kettle to do either a 10 or 15 gallon batch of regular to lower gravity beers.  Big beers like a wee heavy or RIS require 2-3 hour boils so they take longer.
Brewing alone is great, but lately I've been teaching a newbie to brew.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: akr71 on November 20, 2009, 02:48:56 PM
I brew out on the deck and ferment in the laudry room or cold storage room (both in the basement).  48qt Coleman cooler for a mashtun, 30qt aluminum pot and turkey frier for a kettle, which also serves double duty for heating water.  This will be my first winter at it, so I won't be surprised if the eastern Canadian winters force me to mash inside, so I don't loose too much heat from the mashtun.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: mtbrewer on November 20, 2009, 11:33:17 PM
I mash and sparge in the kitchen, then boil outside. I live in Montana and have had brewdays at 10 degrees below zero.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: Chad Haatvedt on November 22, 2009, 12:18:31 AM
I brew mainly 5 gal batches, but have done 10 gallons.  Pair of Rubbermaid coolers for mashing/laudering/.  15 gal converted keg for boiling, immersion chiller, ferment in glass carboys in my basement.  During warm months I brew outdoors.  Northern Minnesota winters force me to mash/lauder indoors, and boil outdoors.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: mixmasterbrewmeister on December 05, 2010, 01:55:57 AM
I have 3 techniques
- extract w/ steeping grains for when time's tight, although with batch sparging I've been able to knock off batches in 4 hrs
- 5 gal All grain:  I have a 10-gallon brewpot that I'll heat my strike water in.  Mashing in a 7-gal gott cooler.  Water for batch sparging is heated in my "original" 3.5 gallon brewpot. 
- 10 gal All Grain:   I use my 10-gallon brewpot (w/ false bottom) as a mash tun, use the 7-gal gott cooler as a HLT, and the kettle is a converted keg. 
It's kinda nice that several of my vessels can do double duty depending on the need.
I'll post pictures sometime.

On the 5 gal All grain Technique - Is this an indoor on the stove setup? I don't have the best outdoor access considering I live in an apartment, but I would love to do 5 gallon all grain brews.

Also - Could I get away with Mashing in a 5 gallon cooler with this setup? (Like the ones they sell on NorthernBrewer) I assume you use the 7 gal cooler for the dual purpose of doing 10 gal All Grain brews as well.

Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: Hokerer on December 05, 2010, 02:51:05 AM
On the 5 gal All grain Technique - Is this an indoor on the stove setup? I don't have the best outdoor access considering I live in an apartment, but I would love to do 5 gallon all grain brews.

It depends on your stove.  For a 5 gallon all grain batch, you're looking at boiling 6-7 gallons.  Can your stove do that?

Also - Could I get away with Mashing in a 5 gallon cooler with this setup? (Like the ones they sell on NorthernBrewer) I assume you use the 7 gal cooler for the dual purpose of doing 10 gal All Grain brews as well.

A 5 gallon cooler will work for smaller gravity batches but, if you want to go larger, go with the larger cooler.  Also, those round coolers are way expensive compared to, say, a larger Coleman eXtreme or other rectangular cooler.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: James Lorden on December 05, 2010, 03:20:59 PM
My stand

(http://i707.photobucket.com/albums/ww76/jclorden/DSC_7456.jpg)

My fermentation chamber

(http://i707.photobucket.com/albums/ww76/jclorden/DSC_8567.jpg)

(http://i707.photobucket.com/albums/ww76/jclorden/DSC_8568.jpg)

And my assistant

(http://i707.photobucket.com/albums/ww76/jclorden/IMG_1026.jpg)

(http://i707.photobucket.com/albums/ww76/jclorden/IMG_1031.jpg)
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: gordonstrong on December 06, 2010, 03:21:11 PM
Gotta get her some junior brewing boots.  No open-toed shoes in the brewery!   Adorable.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: bluesman on December 06, 2010, 08:35:48 PM
Very nice setup James.

I like the compact fermentaion chamber design.

Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: jaybeerman on December 07, 2010, 12:57:40 AM
5 gallon batches

Stirplate (brewers hardware)
Treat water for chloromines the night before
Heat (outside using 75k burner) mash water while crushing grains (crankenstein)
mash-in (10 gal rubbermaid)
two-tier brewstand is made w/parts from a kid size metal desk frame, a twin size bed frame and treated wood tops
fly sparge (old bottling bucket that I never used w/ insulation)
boil (outside  with 75k burner and 40 qt pot)
10 min whirl (march pump)
plate chiller
aquarium pump aeration
5 cu ft chest freezer for fermetation if using carboy for fermentation
upright fridge (serving fridge) if using 1/2 bbl keg for open fermentation
force carb (almost always) and serve

Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: andrew on December 07, 2010, 01:53:55 AM
JSP malt mill turned with an electric drill like it tells you not to, in-line water filter, 10 gallon water cooler HLT, Blichman 10 gallon SS pot with false bottom and auto-sparge(fly sparge), 7.5 gallon economy SS pot boil kettle, a LP burner that came with a turkey fryer kit from Sam's, tha wife, and a barley pop.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: andrew on December 07, 2010, 01:56:29 AM
My stand

My fermentation chamber

(http://i707.photobucket.com/albums/ww76/jclorden/DSC_8567.jpg)


that thing rocks! What do you have cooling it?
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: beersk on December 07, 2010, 04:00:00 PM
My stand

My fermentation chamber




that thing rocks! What do you have cooling it?

I was wondering the same thing, I'd consider building something like this also.  Is it relatively cheap to build?

I mill with a barley crusher set at .035", mash with an orange rubbermaid 10 gallon cooler.  Heat mash water in a stainless steel 7 gallon pot, boil in a Bayou classic 11 gallon kettle, ferment in 6.5 gallon glass carboys.
I use Iowa City tap water, treat it with Camden for mash and sparge.  It's decent water, relatively hard, which I find is good for brewing most ales.  I prefer to crush the grains the night before I brew, get up and start the mash water at around 10am if I'm not hung over and usually get done brewing in 4-5 hours. 
I have an old burner that my stepdad gave me, not sure what the BTU output of it is, but it works pretty well.  Usually get around 5 boils out of a 15lb tank.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: James Lorden on December 07, 2010, 04:17:28 PM
This is an old wine refridgerator.  I took the door off and used some plywood attached to insulation with liquid nails to extend the box out.  The cooling comes from a cold plate in the back of the unit.  To keep the air circulating I took a computer fan and wired it to a timer.  It cycles on every couple of hours.  Also stole my wifes heating pad for winter time brews.  She has no idea where it is and I'm playing dumb!  Listen, there is a reason that I am a CPA - I can't build anything! that should tell you how easy it was to throw this together!  Anyone could do it in an afternoon.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: denny on December 07, 2010, 08:05:29 PM
Gotta get her some junior brewing boots.  No open-toed shoes in the brewery!   Adorable.

One of the women in our club...

(http://i794.photobucket.com/albums/yy221/dennyconn/TAF%202009/Mattboots.jpg)
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: Kaiser on December 08, 2010, 03:22:18 AM
James,

I noticed that you use a heating blanket to heat the carboys. Have you found a way to bypass the auto-shut-off? The one I have shuts itself off after a while and is therefore not suitable for heating carboys.

Kai
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: James Lorden on December 08, 2010, 02:14:49 PM
The heating blanket is attached to the ranco controller.  Inside the insulated box it seems to be able to hold temperatures very well.  That said, the basement doesn't usually get much lower then 60 degrees so I am not looking for huge temperature swings.

I also brew by weather so I am usually doing lagers in the winter and ales in the summer.  Generally relying on the cooling more then heating so I dont't use the heating blanket all that often.
Title: Re: How do you brew?
Post by: Kaiser on December 08, 2010, 05:24:51 PM
James,

Does your heating blanket have an auto shut-off feature? The newer ones all seem to have this as a safety feature.   

Kai