Author Topic: 3 Tier Stand Question  (Read 2842 times)

Offline Sremed60

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 20
  • BeerSmith 2 Rocks!
3 Tier Stand Question
« on: September 08, 2016, 09:23:47 PM »
I've noticed that every 3 tier, single pole, stand I've seen has the HLT and boil kettle on one side, with the HLT directly above the boil kettle, and the mash tun in the middle position on the opposite side. I like the single pole idea because it is a smaller footprint than the step down type, but I don't like the HLT over the boil kettle. While trying to design my system I came up with this, (which I drew up in MS Paint), because a picture is easier than trying to explain it. Basically it uses three sides of the pole so none of the vessels have to be underneath or on top of each other.

Before I buy the metal and start cutting and welding stuff together I was just curious about why I haven't seen others who have set their system up this way? Have others tried it and discovered all kinds of issues that I'm missing?   


KellerBrauer

  • Guest
Re: 3 Tier Stand Question
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2016, 03:05:57 PM »
My only concern about your design ( very cool, btw) would be stability.  I see no reason why you cannot set your equipment in any configuration you want.  Basically, you're building a gravity system so you need to construct your stand accordingly with strong consideration to weight and balance as your brewing process progresses.  For example, your HLT may be empty while your boil kettle is full so how will your design balance out.  Just food for thought.

Check into the Blichman Tower.  It's very cool and very customizable. Get some ideas if you haven't seen it already.

Good luck!!!

Offline twhitaker

  • Beer, It's the best damn drink in the world! - Jack Nicholson
  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 247
  • Canadian Amateur Brewers Assoc. member since 1987
Re: 3 Tier Stand Question
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2016, 10:54:10 AM »
I have found the best brew stand structure to be like this. Very easy to clean, no elevated mash to stir or empty, easy to access all kettles for cleaning. The only elevated kettle is HLT with hot water only so doesnt need cleaning or no need to reach up there. HLT and stand come right off for storage. Requires one pump which you will find you will need with the 3 tier upright stand anyway to empty the boil kettle. Sparge by gravity and pump out runnings to boil kettle, flow throttled back. Pump out of boil kettle throttled back to fermenter. Heat strike water and sparge water in Boil kettle then transfer to HLT. Burner under Boil kettle and smaller one under mash tun to keep temperature or raise slowly for step mashes.Use an old exercise bench for stand, HLT extra stand is fabricated from old bed frame. Just sits on main stand. I studied all the different configurations and came up with this easy, cheap ( less than the cost of one 3 tier pump or chiller mount bracket) and very efficient structure. CHEERS!





« Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 10:57:55 AM by twhitaker »
On tap: 1/2keg cream ale with corn grits
             1/4 keg-  Trappist Quad Ale w/ oak
Day 10 primary: West Coast I.P.A. with homegrown columbus hops 46 liters

Offline Sremed60

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 20
  • BeerSmith 2 Rocks!
Re: 3 Tier Stand Question
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2016, 11:27:13 AM »
Quote
Requires one pump which you will find you will need with the 3 tier upright stand anyway to empty the boil kettle.
It's possible that MAYBE down the road I might decide a pump is practical - won't rule that out. For now, between fittings, square tubing, stainless steel this, stainless steel that, (a welder), sight glasses, thermometers, grain, hops, ingredients, etc, etc, etc., an over priced pump just isn't a "must have" item for me.

For the stand I decided to go with a mutated version of the Brutus 10 design. Basically the Brutus 10, but one burner is 5' high, one is 3' high and one is 1' high. The only reason I might consider a pump would be to do step mashes without directly heating the mash tun. But so far I'm not persuaded that a step mash would make enough of a difference to justify the added expense, effort and time. I played around with some step infusion mashes, and thought about trying a decoction - but I've had some pretty good results with single infusion mashing so, (for now anyway), I see no practical reason to spend that kind of money on a pump. With every batch I brew I revert more and more to the K.I.S.S. method. I've heard the discussions from guys who had this equipment failure right in the middle of a brew, or that equipment failure at the most inopportune time . . . I find there's more than enough things that can go awry with the simplest method. The big shiny brew system with all the pumps, controllers, bells and whistles once looked like the ultimate toy. Now I'm more into perfecting the recipes and making good beer. Spending $8k on a brew system would certainly impress fellow brewers and give the impression that I know what I'm doing and I'm serious - but in the end I can't see how it would make my beer taste any better.

KellerBrauer

  • Guest
Re: 3 Tier Stand Question
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2016, 05:59:41 AM »
Greetings again Stremed - I believe you're taking the proper approach based on your particular budget.  As far as emptying the boil kettle, you can simply place it onto a table and it can now flow into your fermenter.

All that said, you mentioned $8k for a system.  I'm my opinion, that's outrageous. I was able to build my system, including the wall its constructed on, electrical, lighting, equipment, etc for around $3,200. Point being, you're right, consentrate your efforts into your recipes.  The bells and whistles only simplify your brew day but do nothing, or very little, for the end product.

I attached a photo of my system for reference.  While I use a pump and plate cooler, the same can be done with the use of an immersion cooler.

Good luck!!!
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 01:56:54 PM by KellerBrauer »