Author Topic: How do you brew?  (Read 6352 times)

Offline Chad Haatvedt

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Re: How do you brew?
« Reply #45 on: November 21, 2009, 05:18:31 PM »
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.
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Offline mixmasterbrewmeister

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Re: How do you brew?
« Reply #46 on: December 04, 2010, 06:55:57 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.

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.


Offline hokerer

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Re: How do you brew?
« Reply #47 on: December 04, 2010, 07:51:05 PM »
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.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2010, 09:46:06 AM by hokerer »
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Offline James Lorden

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Re: How do you brew?
« Reply #48 on: December 05, 2010, 08:20:59 AM »
My stand



My fermentation chamber





And my assistant



« Last Edit: December 05, 2010, 08:23:57 AM by James Lorden »
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: How do you brew?
« Reply #49 on: December 06, 2010, 08:21:11 AM »
Gotta get her some junior brewing boots.  No open-toed shoes in the brewery!   Adorable.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: How do you brew?
« Reply #50 on: December 06, 2010, 01:35:48 PM »
Very nice setup James.

I like the compact fermentaion chamber design.

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Re: How do you brew?
« Reply #51 on: December 06, 2010, 05:57:40 PM »
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


Offline andrew

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Re: How do you brew?
« Reply #52 on: December 06, 2010, 06:53:55 PM »
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.
Andrew Tingler

In bottles or on tap: porter, quad, and wit
Secondary: empty
Primary: empty
On Deck: Blackberry Stout and Irish Red

Offline andrew

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Re: How do you brew?
« Reply #53 on: December 06, 2010, 06:56:29 PM »
My stand

My fermentation chamber




that thing rocks! What do you have cooling it?
Andrew Tingler

In bottles or on tap: porter, quad, and wit
Secondary: empty
Primary: empty
On Deck: Blackberry Stout and Irish Red

Offline beersk

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Re: How do you brew?
« Reply #54 on: December 07, 2010, 09:00:00 AM »
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.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2010, 09:04:16 AM by beersk »
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Offline James Lorden

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Re: How do you brew?
« Reply #55 on: December 07, 2010, 09:17:28 AM »
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.
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Offline denny

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Re: How do you brew?
« Reply #56 on: December 07, 2010, 01:05:29 PM »
Gotta get her some junior brewing boots.  No open-toed shoes in the brewery!   Adorable.

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Online Kaiser

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Re: How do you brew?
« Reply #57 on: December 07, 2010, 08:22:18 PM »
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

Offline James Lorden

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Re: How do you brew?
« Reply #58 on: December 08, 2010, 07:14:49 AM »
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.
James Lorden
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Online Kaiser

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Re: How do you brew?
« Reply #59 on: December 08, 2010, 10:24:51 AM »
James,

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

Kai