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Three Tier Stand - Design Considerations

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Hello all,

I am ready to tackle the build of a 3 tier brew stand, I have the capability of welding in my garage and intend on using 1" box tubing to build the structure. I am wondering if there are any issues that have been seen with certain design details that should be avoided or added. I will be using converted kegs for the HLT and kettle and an Igloo Ice Cube for my MLT. I envision about a two foot rise for every step, starting with the bottom of brew kettle at about 2 feet from the floor. I do plan on incorporating some small step platforms on the stand.

The kind of things that come to mind as potential issues are:

* Heat shield for MLT
* Not a large enough height difference
* Being able to level the whole stand
Any help would be greatly appreciated.


If you're set on a three-tier system, go for it.  However, have you considered a two-tier system with a pump?  That would let you keep the overall height lower.  You'd be able to fly sparge if you want, and you can use the pump for a variety of other uses - like recirculating while chilling, or pumping to your fermenter.  I'd suggest that you try building a a mock-up of your system to try the height dimensions you're thinking of.  You could do that with a ladder, table, saw horses, or whatever is handy.  I did a brew session with a mock-up of the system I'd been thinking about to see how it worked out.  It was very helpful to actually brew on the mock-up because I found some things I'd like to change, add, and delete from my design.

I've been working out the details for converting a salvaged factory cart to a brew cart, and I've settled on a single-level system.  I batch sparge, so I'll only need one pump -  which I recently got as a holiday gift.  The cart will have two burners on one level, and a folding shelf on the end to hold a mash tun.  I might even try to design the shelf so I can tip the mash tun for emptying.  I settled on a single-level system because I won't need to lift very much, or have hot water up high.  I also want to be able to look into the top of any of the brewing vessels without using a ladder, stool, or mirror.


In my 3 tier stand I have not found it necessary to put up a heat shield but I did wrap some aluminum foil around a wire that  passed near one of the burners for a margin of safety.  I purchased some "roof tin" made of steel for the shield but did not use..

I built my 3 tier system for doing 10-gal batches tall and narrow rather than wide and short in my basement, see  I am having an issue with a very yellow flame for my bottom jet burner due to what I think is too little clearance from the floor.  If you are using a burner assembly that mixes the fuel with air before going into the burner then floor clearance should never be an issue.

I started out with a three tier stand and made some pretty good beer with it.

As I progressed in the hobby, safety became a higher priority.

I wanted to move to ten gallon batches.  In addition, I found myself brewing alone during the week when nobody was home including neighbors.  I found dismantling the HLT, even when almost empty was getting to be a drain on me.  I also began to question if I wanted 7-8 gallons of water a 190F above my head.

I went to a single tier and love it.  Although my next build will be electric and I may opt for a two tier at that time.

I do think you are asking the right question.  careful consideration is always a good idea.

Good luck

Thank you for the feedback. I think that mocking up the proposed setup is a really good idea before finalizing the stand design.

kramerog - Why did you reduce the number of jets on those burners? I picked up two of those exact burners.

rep - Totally understand the safety issue, I think I will include a "rail" around the HLT to prevent tipping.

I am sure that some day I will go to a single or two tier system. The nice thing about steel is that it can be cut and welded and anything that I build now can be modified at some point down the line.


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