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Brewing Topics => Professional Brewing => Topic started by: Troy on September 10, 2013, 02:29:24 PM

Title: Looking to upgrade
Post by: Troy on September 10, 2013, 02:29:24 PM
I have been doing 10 gal batches on just a single burner stand for a while now. I recently have found a place where I can get a couple 40 gal kettles at a decent price, so that means a pretty decent upgrade to a few things, including building a stand.
For those of you who brew on a 20+ gal level what do you use for equip. for burners, chillers, etc?

I want to do this right and not be chasing things around when brew day comes.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Looking to upgrade
Post by: Hubris on February 11, 2014, 05:43:19 PM
I have been doing 10 gal batches on just a single burner stand for a while now. I recently have found a place where I can get a couple 40 gal kettles at a decent price, so that means a pretty decent upgrade to a few things, including building a stand.
For those of you who brew on a 20+ gal level what do you use for equip. for burners, chillers, etc?

I want to do this right and not be chasing things around when brew day comes.

Thanks.

This might be futile to attempt to resurrect this thread, but I need the same information. 

Kettles: My mash tun is a 50 gal pot, HLT is 25 gal (24" diameter and 22.5" diameter).  purchased from http://www.kitchenfantasy.com/shopping_cart/stockpots.html
When it is time to boil, we transfer the wort from the 50gal tun to a couple of vessels, then clean the 50 gal pot to use for boiling.  our burner could be better. 

False Bottom: built my own (saved over $200).  bought perforated stainless steel sheet online at http://www.onlinemetalsupply.com/316-stainless-steel-perforated-sheet-030-x-24-x-24-3-32-holes.html . I built one for my 25gal kettle and one for my 50gal kettle.  Local sheet metal company helped me with the first one, they were clueless about what it was for and almost thought I was asking them to help me do something illegal when I talked about home brewing.  They failed to TIG weld it, so they re-did it for me.  I just did the second one (third really) myself, just cut the sheet with tin-snips and bought 3"x1.5" stainless steel tubing, cut them to 3" sections to use as legs/stand for the false bottom

Burners: We use the 10" banjo as burners (one under the HLT and one under the MT/Boil Kettle), purchased from local brew store (who am I kidding? I drive 2 hours to the closest brew store).  We went to the local salvage yard and found two 22" aluminum tire rims to nest each burner into (we cut a 4" hole into the side to fit the air vent, then we drilled a ring of holes around the rim to allow in more air--important to do that, and we also places 1/2" rebar strips on the top to hold the pot).  Before we rigged up the tire rims, we were just wiring the burners under an open grate.  The open grate method wasted a lot of fuel, the wheel rims does a much better job containing the heat into the region of the pots (cut our fuel to 1/3rd of previous use).  I saw a youtube video from the former frankenbrew guy, he used what he called a "bazooka burner" that he made, seriously want to learn more about that, but have not discovered anything--help in this area would be appreciated!

Wort Chiller: Therminator, again from the "local" brew store

Pump: standard March pump, 7gpm

Fermentor: sankey kegs and car boys, cold basement and converted chest freezers with temp sitters.  Considering using food-grade IBC tanks, HAS ANYONE DONE THIS?


Brite tank: Corney kegs with .5 micron stone connected to the gas intake spout (using normal beverage hose, long enough so the stone in on the bottom of the keg), we use this to bottle from and to serve from

Bottle Filler: Just connect a picnic serving spout to the keg, then take a normal bottling wand and shove it into the outspout of the picnic tap.  Cheap, but it works perfectly after dialing in the pressure.  Have to cap immediately.  Learned this simple trick from this youtube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyXEBSmx3jQ  in this video, the guy removes the pressure valve from the bottom of the wand, we leave it in--works great

Other: The three biggest peripheral equipment we use are:
1- a nearby sink in both the brewing area and the fermenting area, we bottle in the kitchen--over an open dishwasher.
2- went to the local scrap yard (where I got the rims) and picked up a warehouse shelving unit, cut it into a 1/3 and 2/3 sections.  That is what our kettles and rims/burners rest on.  HLT on the higher one, of course.
3- Installed a vent hood over the burners in my garage.  Very nice since we don't really want to brew outside during the cold

Using this setup we have been able to brew substantial amounts of liquid joy for no more than 4 cents per ounce (usually only 2 cents).  Normal batches are 20-35 gallons.  Our efficiency is mid 80s, don't know if that is good or not. 

We are actually going to step away from this setup as we prepare a business plan to go pro and open a brewery.  Cross your fingers and pray for us!

If anyone out there has any lessons-learned for us as we move somewhat blindly into the commercial world, please share!

Title: Re: Looking to upgrade
Post by: brewfun on February 11, 2014, 09:19:49 PM
We are actually going to step away from this setup as we prepare a business plan to go pro and open a brewery.  Cross your fingers and pray for us!

If anyone out there has any lessons-learned for us as we move somewhat blindly into the commercial world, please share!

Every homebrewer's dream.....

It's cool that you're resourceful enough to put things together and make what are large amounts by homebrewing scale. So, why would you wreck all that fun to turn it into a business?

If you want to keep your day job and just do it part-time, then you simply have a hobby... with overhead and taxes. The shift from making beer for friends and even the neighborhood to something you intend to sell is a whole different animal. You can't do it halfway.

I know I sound harsh, but it's really how it is. Most of owning or managing a brewery has nothing to do with making beer. If brewing is what you want to do, then become a brewer, not an owner.

There is plenty of room in the pool. If the idea of setting your beer apart in an increasingly competitive market appeals to you, then you may have the passion and stamina to achieve. If you have specific questions about your startup, you can PM me and I'll give you all the free advice I can.