Author Topic: Half Barrel Brew Tower Design  (Read 6728 times)

Offline khillje

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
    • View Profile
    • Twitter
Half Barrel Brew Tower Design
« on: July 16, 2012, 09:58:52 PM »
Hey!  I've decided that I can make a brew tower at a higher quality for a cheaper price (considering the quality).  Plus, I can customize it to my specific needs and brewing style.  I've taken into consideration all of the specs (5 gallon buckets are around 15" tall (on the ground for catching wort), half barrels are around 24" tall, and my Bayou Classic SQ14 burners are 16"X16" which I'll be welding flush w/ the two platforms).  I'll be welding the entire structure.  I brew all grain using half barrels.  Any thoughts you may have about my design would be great!

Thanks!


Offline jmcamerlengo

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 625
    • View Profile
Re: Half Barrel Brew Tower Design
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2012, 09:09:43 AM »
Are you planning on doing 10 gallon batches?

I would suggest upgrading the Boil Kettle burner to a BG14. Youll get to a boil a lot faster in a 5 gallon batch and will handle 10 gallon easily should you decide to go bigger.
Jason
-Head Brewer, Brewtus Brewers in the Shenango Valley. Hopefully opening a brewpub/nano brewery in the next couple years.

Offline mmitchem

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 360
  • Suffolk, VA
    • View Profile
    • http://www.barfclub.org
Re: Half Barrel Brew Tower Design
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2012, 09:29:15 AM »
+1...I have a BG14 for the boil kettle on my brewstand. It is a hoss! It can handle a 10 gallon batch with ease. I have never brewed anything larger that 10 gallons on my stand, but I would wager it could handle quite a bit more!
Michael P Mitchem
Beer and Ale Research Foundation (B.A.R.F.)
AHA Member since 2011

Offline kramerog

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 774
    • View Profile
Re: Half Barrel Brew Tower Design
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2012, 09:52:46 AM »
Is this meant to be a three tier gravity system?  Where is the mash tun, HLT, boil kettle and burners going?  I don't want to make any assumptions.  Will you have access from all four sides?
Brewers of South Suburbia
Brixie's Brewers

Offline khillje

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
    • View Profile
    • Twitter
Re: Half Barrel Brew Tower Design
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2012, 10:27:05 AM »
Thanks for the input!  I'll definitely opt for the BG14 although I currently own an SQ14.  I usually brew 14.5 gallon batches, the the extra juice will help a lot.  That's also why I'm building the stand.  I've found myself brewing solo a few times and lifting 14.5 gallons of boiling wort to a higher elevation by my self has gotten a bit sketchy.  I'm using a two tier system.  Mash tun on the lower level.  The upper level is multi-use.  Sparge water and boiling the wort.  While the top sparges into the mash on the lower level, I collect the wort in 5 gallon buckets on the ground.  Once the sparge is done, I dump the collected buckets back into the top level.  After the boil, it's already at the height i need for gravity cooling into my fermenter.  I will have access from all 4 sides, and I'm thinking of turning a few of the levels into shelves.

Currently, my burner is always on the ground.  Here is how I usually do it (although my goofy brother is usually not there):


Thanks again!

Offline khillje

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
    • View Profile
    • Twitter
Re: Half Barrel Brew Tower Design
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2012, 10:17:28 PM »
I've updated my design a bit (thanks to your feedback).  Additional thoughts?

Offline kramerog

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 774
    • View Profile
Re: Half Barrel Brew Tower Design
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2012, 11:59:20 AM »
I think your 2-tier system will meet your objectives, setting aside construction issues that I'm not qualified to evaluate. 

I'm thinking though you could build a 3-tier system that would operate entirely by gravity and do away with lifting and pouring of wort into the boil kettle.  The 3-tier design would probably be a little taller than your current milk-crate system.  You could save some height by converting a cooler into your mash tun.
Brewers of South Suburbia
Brixie's Brewers

Offline kylekohlmorgen

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1163
    • View Profile
    • The South House Pilot Brewery
Re: Half Barrel Brew Tower Design
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2012, 12:19:42 PM »
I think your 2-tier system will meet your objectives, setting aside construction issues that I'm not qualified to evaluate. 

I'm thinking though you could build a 3-tier system that would operate entirely by gravity and do away with lifting and pouring of wort into the boil kettle.  The 3-tier design would probably be a little taller than your current milk-crate system.  You could save some height by converting a cooler into your mash tun.

Buy a pump.

Filling the HLT, recirculating MT (for step mashes or vorlauf), transfer to kettle, recirc kettle, transfer to fermenter.

Its worth it.
@southhousebrew

Indianapolis, IN

Recipes, Brett/Bacteria Experiments:
http://southhousepilotbrewery.blogspot.com/

Offline khillje

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
    • View Profile
    • Twitter
Re: Half Barrel Brew Tower Design
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2012, 02:17:28 PM »
I think your 2-tier system will meet your objectives, setting aside construction issues that I'm not qualified to evaluate. 

I'm thinking though you could build a 3-tier system that would operate entirely by gravity and do away with lifting and pouring of wort into the boil kettle.  The 3-tier design would probably be a little taller than your current milk-crate system.  You could save some height by converting a cooler into your mash tun.

Buy a pump.

Filling the HLT, recirculating MT (for step mashes or vorlauf), transfer to kettle, recirc kettle, transfer to fermenter.

Its worth it.

I'll have to do that!  Should I mount the pump to the tower?  Also, do you just have hoses w/ clamps to connect to the barbed fittings?  Just like all of my other projects, this one is getting expensive quickly!  I'm long overdue for a brewery update anyway (justifying it in my brain).

Thanks!
« Last Edit: July 18, 2012, 02:20:25 PM by khillje »

Offline mtnrockhopper

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2874
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Half Barrel Brew Tower Design
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2012, 06:08:57 AM »
With a pump and a little mod to your design, you could do this.
 
http://morebeer.com/search/103470
 
HLT on bottom, mash tun on top, kettle on side.
Jimmy K

Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup when the old president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP: B0958

Offline khillje

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
    • View Profile
    • Twitter
Re: Half Barrel Brew Tower Design
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2012, 03:47:21 PM »
With a pump and a little mod to your design, you could do this.
 
http://morebeer.com/search/103470
 
HLT on bottom, mash tun on top, kettle on side.

I might have to do that down the road.  I think I could make an addition eventually to the existing design.  Also, if anyone is planning on building something like this, go to a steel shop/surplus.  It's 25% of the cost compared to Lowes or Home Depot.  Just an FYI.

Offline khillje

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
    • View Profile
    • Twitter
Re: Half Barrel Brew Tower Design
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2012, 04:38:34 PM »
So I special ordered 2 banjo burners, 2 high pressure regulators, and a splitter from my local homebrew shop. I know it's probably a good idea to invest in a 100 lb propane tank too.  Is there anything else I may be missing?  Any recommendations on mounting, etc?  On another note, I just bought the steel for welding tomorrow!  I'll post pics when I can.  Thanks for all the help!

Offline khillje

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
    • View Profile
    • Twitter
Re: Half Barrel Brew Tower Design
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2012, 06:23:30 PM »
Woohoo!

Offline khillje

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
    • View Profile
    • Twitter
Re: Half Barrel Brew Tower Design
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2012, 02:12:30 PM »
I think it should be noted (for any people wanting to built their own tower in the future), you'll also need to cut 8 pieces w/ 45 degree angles to weld into the corners on the top.  I don't know why I forgot about this in my plans, but it was simple enough to add in.  My burners come in this week (hopefully).  Getting excited to mount the banjo burners.  I'm also going to paint the frame w/ high temp paint.

Offline mtnrockhopper

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2874
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Half Barrel Brew Tower Design
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2012, 05:51:11 AM »
I think it should be noted (for any people wanting to built their own tower in the future), you'll also need to cut 8 pieces w/ 45 degree angles to weld into the corners on the top.  I don't know why I forgot about this in my plans, but it was simple enough to add in.  My burners come in this week (hopefully).  Getting excited to mount the banjo burners.  I'm also going to paint the frame w/ high temp paint.

I wondered about that - those angle pieces will increase strength a lot. Triangular pieces of plate steel would work too.
Jimmy K

Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup when the old president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP: B0958