Author Topic: Rebuilding my brew house  (Read 344 times)

Offline Saccharomyces

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Rebuilding my brew house
« on: July 28, 2020, 10:35:50 PM »
Having sold off or given away my entire brew house over the last four years, including all of my labware (I just did not have the space to store equipment, let alone brew), I am now in the planning stage for yet another brew house.  The are more options than there were in 2016.  I have been contemplating buying a kettle with TC fittings just for the ease of cleaning.  However, they are spendy for a guy who mainly brews 2.5 and 3 finished gallon batches (2.5 and 3-gallon soda kegs are my preference).  The homebrew trade is still focused on 10 gallons as being the minimum kettle size, so getting a kettle that can do half and slightly larger than half 5-gallon batches where the thermometer port is submerged is challenge.  Spike is the only kettle manufacturer that places the thermometer port low enough on a 10-gallon kettle to be usable in a half-batch.  I had a sanity welder weld a coupler for a ball valve on a 27-quart Vollrath Optio stockpot that I used for most of my batches in my last brewhouse.  I eventually broke down and purchased a BrewBuilt 10-gallon kettle for the occasional 5-gallon batch.  I may get a sanity welder to make a custom kettle.  There are stainless welders in my area.

Offline tommymorris

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Re: Rebuilding my brew house
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2020, 11:00:36 PM »
Go for a used Picobrew Z. The company is going out of business. Used Z’s are selling cheap. The server needed to use the Z  (aka Picobrew.com) has been replaced by a homebrew version (available via github) running on a Rasberry PI. Two hobbies in one :)

I paid full price for the Z and love it. I can also vouch for homebrew server.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Rebuilding my brew house
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2020, 12:33:39 AM »
I recently started using the 6.5 gallon Anvil Foundry for my 3-gallon batches. There is definitely a big improvement in convenience for me, and the price is very attractive if you don't need all the bells & whistles.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Rebuilding my brew house
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2020, 02:32:45 PM »
If I was starting from scratch I’d probably go with one of the all-in-one coffee urn-style systems.  Programmable mash, boil, and distillation capability is pretty slick.


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Offline denny

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Re: Rebuilding my brew house
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2020, 03:11:25 PM »
I absolutely love my Grainfather. I highly recommend you check one out.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Rebuilding my brew house
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2020, 05:35:18 PM »
My neighbor has a Grain Father and loves it, as well.  I chose the Foundry, because it is switchable between 120V and 240V, so I can use it in my garage at 240V for quickly reaching temperatures and inside in the kitchen in the winter at 120 V when it is a bit too cold in the garage to brew.  I note that the Foundry also is a double walled stainless vessel for heat retention.  The Grain Father can be fitted with neoprene to achieve the same function of insulation of the device during operation (perhaps even better than the double wall of the Foundry).

A good choice either way, I am sure.  There are a litany of others that will find support among the posters here.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline denny

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Re: Rebuilding my brew house
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2020, 06:32:59 PM »
My neighbor has a Grain Father and loves it, as well.  I chose the Foundry, because it is switchable between 120V and 240V, so I can use it in my garage at 240V for quickly reaching temperatures and inside in the kitchen in the winter at 120 V when it is a bit too cold in the garage to brew.  I note that the Foundry also is a double walled stainless vessel for heat retention.  The Grain Father can be fitted with neoprene to achieve the same function of insulation of the device during operation (perhaps even better than the double wall of the Foundry).

A good choice either way, I am sure.  There are a litany of others that will find support among the posters here.

GF now has a 240v version.  That's what I'm using.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Rebuilding my brew house
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2020, 08:55:52 PM »
My neighbor has a Grain Father and loves it, as well.  I chose the Foundry, because it is switchable between 120V and 240V, so I can use it in my garage at 240V for quickly reaching temperatures and inside in the kitchen in the winter at 120 V when it is a bit too cold in the garage to brew.  I note that the Foundry also is a double walled stainless vessel for heat retention.  The Grain Father can be fitted with neoprene to achieve the same function of insulation of the device during operation (perhaps even better than the double wall of the Foundry).

A good choice either way, I am sure.  There are a litany of others that will find support among the posters here.

GF now has a 240v version.  That's what I'm using.

Good on ya!  Is that the 10 gallon model or the 5 gallon or both that has/have the 240V (I am sure you can do 5 gallon batches on the bigger model, too, I would suppose).  I will let my neighbor know - his only complaint is his GF is a little slow to achieve boil on cold days.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline jeffy

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Re: Rebuilding my brew house
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2020, 09:16:23 PM »
My neighbor has a Grain Father and loves it, as well.  I chose the Foundry, because it is switchable between 120V and 240V, so I can use it in my garage at 240V for quickly reaching temperatures and inside in the kitchen in the winter at 120 V when it is a bit too cold in the garage to brew.  I note that the Foundry also is a double walled stainless vessel for heat retention.  The Grain Father can be fitted with neoprene to achieve the same function of insulation of the device during operation (perhaps even better than the double wall of the Foundry).

A good choice either way, I am sure.  There are a litany of others that will find support among the posters here.

GF now has a 240v version.  That's what I'm using.

Good on ya!  Is that the 10 gallon model or the 5 gallon or both that has/have the 240V (I am sure you can do 5 gallon batches on the bigger model, too, I would suppose).  I will let my neighbor know - his only complaint is his GF is a little slow to achieve boil on cold days.
Sort of funny, but I read GF as girlfriend at first.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Online Slowbrew

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Re: Rebuilding my brew house
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2020, 09:21:43 PM »

Sort of funny, but I read GF as girlfriend at first.

Denny's wife might laugh about that too.  Mine would because 'who else would have me?'.   ;D

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline denny

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Re: Rebuilding my brew house
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2020, 02:19:14 PM »
My neighbor has a Grain Father and loves it, as well.  I chose the Foundry, because it is switchable between 120V and 240V, so I can use it in my garage at 240V for quickly reaching temperatures and inside in the kitchen in the winter at 120 V when it is a bit too cold in the garage to brew.  I note that the Foundry also is a double walled stainless vessel for heat retention.  The Grain Father can be fitted with neoprene to achieve the same function of insulation of the device during operation (perhaps even better than the double wall of the Foundry).

A good choice either way, I am sure.  There are a litany of others that will find support among the posters here.

GF now has a 240v version.  That's what I'm using.

Good on ya!  Is that the 10 gallon model or the 5 gallon or both that has/have the 240V (I am sure you can do 5 gallon batches on the bigger model, too, I would suppose).  I will let my neighbor know - his only complaint is his GF is a little slow to achieve boil on cold days.


I was speaking of a 5 gal. 240v version.   They don't make a 10 gal. but they do make a 15 gal. 240v model.  I have one of those, too, sitting here for testing
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline denny

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Re: Rebuilding my brew house
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2020, 02:19:40 PM »

Sort of funny, but I read GF as girlfriend at first.

Denny's wife might laugh about that too.  Mine would because 'who else would have me?'.   ;D

Paul

Same reaction here!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline narcout

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Re: Rebuilding my brew house
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2020, 03:58:25 PM »
Spike is the only kettle manufacturer that places the thermometer port low enough on a 10-gallon kettle to be usable in a half-batch.

Those Spike kettles are really nice; I bought one not long before my hiatus.  I'm sure you've seen that they have different options for the location of the thermometer coupler (including the 2.5 gallon mark) and that they are available with tri-clamp fittings.  The stepped bottom is also great for easily leaving trub behind (I even stopped whirlpooling).  I have the 10 gallon version, and the deadspace in the stepped bottom is 0.6 gallons, in case that's helpful.

If/when I start brewing again, I plan to switch to 3 gallon batches, and I think it would be just fine for that.

There's nothing left to dismantle; the house it just collapsed on itself.  - A. Savage

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Rebuilding my brew house
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2020, 04:26:16 PM »
I went with a custom 10-gallon Spike+ kettle. I opted for just a drain valve TC port and an electric element TC port at 90-degrees from the drain port. I have no need for a thermometer port on a brewing kettle. Every kettle that I have fabricated with the help of a sanitary welder has not had a thermometer fitting. A kettle is boiling or it has not yet reached boiling temperature.

Offline narcout

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Re: Rebuilding my brew house
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2020, 07:04:54 PM »
Cool - I think you will be happy with it.
There's nothing left to dismantle; the house it just collapsed on itself.  - A. Savage