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Messages - bentwood

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Pimp My System / Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« on: July 06, 2013, 08:15:49 AM »
Little temperature controlled fermentation chamber is nearly completed so I thought I'd share some pics.  This took me several weekends and I still have to insulate the ceiling and paint the floor with some heavy duty concrete and decking paint.  That and I'm on the hunt for electronic thermocouples to monitor conical temps externally.




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Pimp My System / Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« on: June 12, 2013, 03:50:57 PM »
Upgrades


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Pimp My System / Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« on: June 10, 2013, 09:51:14 AM »
Sorry, I meant cost for your entire setup.

About 8K for the kettles and pumps and automaton. Another 5K for the fridge. 3K for the serving tanks and kegs. 1k for all thee tapping filling and gas equipment. Another 3-5K in misc stuff like growlers, hose, fittings, pumps, grain storage, etc. Too much...

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Pimp My System / Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« on: June 10, 2013, 09:28:45 AM »
So how do you manage to keep big fermentors cooled in a garage? Also, can you give us a cost range?

Up to now I haven't so this is the remedy for that. I estimate the cost for the enclosure and cooling system at around $650. I picked up the AC yesterday for $170, the Coolbot is $315 and then materials.

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Pimp My System / Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« on: June 09, 2013, 04:22:42 PM »
Yes going pro would be interesting and its always on the back of my mind but I have a lot to learn about brewing off the stove top if you will.  So for now I'm enjoying the hobby gone wild scenario and having fun handing out samples.

I still have a couple challenges with my system. 
1) Cooling.  I think I have whipped this one by buying a second plate chiller.  I was 90 degrees into the conical on this last batch, still too hot but I think the second chiller will get me there.
2) Fermentation Temperature Control.  The temps are all over the place.  Anywhere from 65-80 on these last couple batches.  So after doing some research on the web I've come up with what I think will be a solution. 

I ordered two 55 gallon conicals to replace the 80 gallon I have now.  My plan is to build a 60"x72"x32" insulated wood box with cut outs for double doors.  Using a Coolbot and a 6K BTU window mount AC unit I should be able to control my temperatures within a few degrees and even crash the beer when it reaches target FG.  Here's a rough drawing of what I am planning.  Feedback is always welcome....  Has anyone tried what I'm doing using a coolbot and an AC?


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Pimp My System / Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« on: May 23, 2013, 04:05:40 PM »
Have you thought about hooking up with a local Pub? There are a lot of Brew Pubs popping up around here. As long as they are serving food and being inspected there is no other licensing required. Not sure what they are doing to retail as some are selling growlers. Personally I think there is a market for 5 gal kegs. Could sell premium beer and still be aforadable

At this size there really isn't any money in it. You don't break even till you hit 7BBL and only if you serve food which means kitchen equipment and staff. Bottling or kegging the break even happens at 17 BBL. Tight now it's a hobby and I have a small but devoted following and all the beer I can drink. Life is good.

My wife and I are fully licensed by the feds and state for our brewery.  Right now, we are only brewing ten gallon batches, and the hobby makes us money.  Next month we'll be moving a 1bbl system, but still pretty manual.  And all our profits go right back into brewing toys.  We jsut recently build a walk in fermentation room with cooling and heating for good temperature control. 

Here is a samll brewery in Portlan, OR that brews on a 1bbl system and they've been in business for 20 years.  They must be doing something right. 

Depending on the salary of day your job, and your market, you've got everything you need to do it.  (except you can't brew commercially in your garage unless you block the door to the house, if connected. if that's a seperate building, you are golden)

Yes the garage thing is a problem and because I'm not commercially zoned I couldn't get a license from the city. The day job is also a factor an I live away from the brewery 4 days a week sometimes 5. Also a challenge as the commute is brutal. To seriously consider this it would have to replace my current income and it would take a big system to do that. Believe me I have considered it and maybe someday I will take that route but timing is everything.

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Pimp My System / Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« on: May 22, 2013, 07:53:26 PM »
Have you thought about hooking up with a local Pub? There are a lot of Brew Pubs popping up around here. As long as they are serving food and being inspected there is no other licensing required. Not sure what they are doing to retail as some are selling growlers. Personally I think there is a market for 5 gal kegs. Could sell premium beer and still be aforadable

At this size there really isn't any money in it. You don't break even till you hit 7BBL and only if you serve food which means kitchen equipment and staff. Bottling or kegging the break even happens at 17 BBL. Tight now it's a hobby and I have a small but devoted following and all the beer I can drink. Life is good.

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Pimp My System / Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« on: April 28, 2013, 08:22:52 AM »
So here's the result of batch number two.  A mostly trouble free batch and I would score the result at a 7, taking points for appearance as cooling issues led to some cloudiness and head retention isn't great.  Tastes great though :-)



The growlers are done finally.  I picked them up yesterday and have handed out a couple cases of samples so far with good feedback.


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Pimp My System / Re: Finished 1BBL system
« on: April 14, 2013, 08:26:02 AM »
Looks nice.  How is that cooling rig working for you?  I went with a convoluted chiller and am not liking it. 
Who did you go with for the tanks?

I love it, it went from 210 to 68 at about a gallon or a little less every minute, What is a convoluted chiller?

It's a coil chiller where a convoluted (twisted) copper pipe runs through a larger coiled copper pipe which carries the water for cooling. Mine is nowhere near as efficient as yours and requires too much wort circulation leading to cloudy beer. Need a PC just not decided on which one yet

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Equipment and Software / Midwest Supply Plate Chiller or alternative
« on: April 13, 2013, 03:58:56 PM »
Anyone tried this item?  They have only 3 reviews on the site so I'm hoping a few people here have some experience with this or can recommend an alternative. I need to cool 32-33 gallons of wort and am willing to buy a pair of plate chillers if needed but cooling has to be fast.
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/plate-heat-exchanger.html
Ideally I would like a gasketed PC but haven't found any that were reasonably sized/priced.

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Pimp My System / Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« on: April 13, 2013, 03:34:09 PM »
I brewed a Red last weekend on the new set up and the brewing part was cake.  The heaters are touchy and you have watch the boil very closely but everything else was smooth and by the numbers.  My friend Jim loading grain into the tun.


Mostly finished the first brite beer tank today.  Cleaned, sanitized, figured out where all the bits went.  I'm still waiting on the clamps and a couple fittings but this is just about ready for the Red which I hope to transfer next weekend.  It's pretty cloudy yet and on a brewer friends advice I'm temperature crashing it today.  Fingers crossed.


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Pimp My System / Re: Finished 1BBL system
« on: April 13, 2013, 02:48:21 PM »
Looks nice.  How is that cooling rig working for you?  I went with a convoluted chiller and am not liking it. 
Who did you go with for the tanks?

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Pimp My System / Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« on: April 03, 2013, 06:59:15 AM »
How much did all of that cost?

That is the one question I won't answer. Suffice it to say you could do it for less.

 ;D  my system isn't quite as elaborate as yours, and i cringe when even my nonbrewing friends say "damn, how much did all this cost?!"  at least its less than what most car guys spend on rebuilds!

Lets put it this way, for what I paid for this system I could have had a professionally built STI boxer motor with all the bells. 1BBL brewing can be done for considerably less but when I'm done with this it will be fast, consistent and repeatable. Which is what I wanted.

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Pimp My System / Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« on: April 02, 2013, 04:58:24 PM »
How much did all of that cost?

That is the one question I won't answer. Suffice it to say you could do it for less.

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Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: 21st Amendment Brewery...Hop Crisis DIPA
« on: March 31, 2013, 08:21:11 PM »
A local wannabe "Irish pub" is currently serving this DIPA (Hop Crisis) on tap.  Is it a threat to Pliny's legacy?  Just askin'...
This brewery also has an IPS named Brew Free! Or Die IPA




http://www.21st-amendment.com/

Old post I know, but I just tried Hop Crisis this year and thought it was an outstanding DIPA.  So many of those have a cloying heavy aftertaste but HC was clean and had a nice alcohol bite to finish.  I assumed it was a new beer for them but this proves it has been around a couple years.  A little pricey at $10 for a four pack but definitely worth it. 

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