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Modular brewing "rig" thoughts/help
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 76,479
    I want to put together a relatively low cost two or three tier system for 10 gallon batches. I don't get to brew very often, so I would like to streamline what I have as best I can. I brew outside. In Ohio. I know that shows a lack of solid decision making aptitude. But to this end I still like to make beer and I need a way to live within my constraints as well as possible until something else changes (lottery, huge promotion).

    Here is a list of limiting factors and considerations
    I store all my stuff in the basement which is accessed through the kitchen and office. So all items need to be carried from downstairs set up outside and after brewday and cleaning would need to be carried back downstairs and stowed away.
    It's friggin Ohio, so when I get a window on a rare day off I want to be able to set up and go quickly.
    Once the beer is in the bucket it goes back to the fermentation room (aka; basement).
    At some point down the road (years) I want to probably go electric so I don't really have any desire to purchase another burner.
    I have various ladders, tables etc to make a 2 or three tier ideas work.

    Current equipment list:
    2 15.5 gallon keggles each with one bulkhead
    1 5 gallon extreme cooler MLT
    1 15 gallon extreme cooler MLT (yet to be converted)
    1 turkey fryer burner with a taller than normal stand.
    1 March pump
    1 copper IC

    Possible configurations....

    Full on 3 tier using the single burner and one kettle with pump to heat strike water then as the mash is going heat sparge water and pump to the 5 gallon cooler HLT before running the mash into the same kettle. I would have to run the mash off into a bucket so I can run the first sparge water into the MLT since the MLT isn't big enough to hold all of the sparge water. This set up would be possible with all parts I currently have except some QDs and a weldless bulkhead or two.

    Option 2 would be option 1 with the HLT is the second kettle, but that would require a second burner which I don't want to purchase and likely won't use down the road.

    Option 3 is a single tier using the second keggle as the HLT and just swapping pump hoses around to utilize the one pump while MLT draining would be done into a bucket then dumped into the kettle. However if the kettle was nearly on the ground then the MLT could be run directly into it. This design would require another burner.


    There are endless other possibilities I'm sure. Let's hear some suggestions.

    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 72,164
    Option 2, but rather than buying a second burnee; set it on cinder blocks and use one of these image
    12 bucks and a few hours of work
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 100,767
    i'd probably just start with option 1. you have everything you need. you could really finish your sparge with cold water, any efficiency loss will be minimal and you wont have to worry about tannin extraction
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 76,479
    Lakewood said:

    i'd probably just start with option 1. you have everything you need. you could really finish your sparge with cold water, any efficiency loss will be minimal and you wont have to worry about tannin extraction


    I read this somewhere.... I really want to try that.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606

    Option 2, but rather than buying a second burnee; set it on cinder blocks and use one of these image
    12 bucks and a few hours of work


    What is that, a home made light saber?
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,034
    CB said:

    Lakewood said:

    i'd probably just start with option 1. you have everything you need. you could really finish your sparge with cold water, any efficiency loss will be minimal and you wont have to worry about tannin extraction


    I read this somewhere.... I really want to try that.


    i've done it a couple times when my water guestimates were a little short. works fine, but adding cold wort to the kettle makes the boil happen much slower.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    I am working toward all grain, but don't know how to proceed with equipment purchases. I have two keggles, one with a bulkhead, other just top cut. One burner. Immersion chiller. I would like to make a single tier system. Eventually, way down the road go all electric. I know I need a pump, hoses and quick disconnects and a MLT. Maybe another burner?? Batch or fly sparge? Will that matter regarding equipment?
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 100,767
    @benvarine

    Batch sparge requires less control over the flow rates and can simplify some stuff, since you can use the same plumbing for more than one purpose if you are only flowing one thing at a time.

    ultimately you can make it as simple or as complicated as you want. but head my warning on the infection thread....

    i would recommend keeping it relatively simple, but decide what process(es) you want to support. this is key. if you know you want to be able to whirlpool then design for whirlpool, if you don't care, then don't... but buyer beware, if you don't care today, it will be more painful to start caring down the road. Re-purposing the equipment can be somewhat difficult if you haven't set yourself up for the transition ahead of time. it's all a balancing act.

    I'd start a thread indicating the type of brewing processes you want to employ and we can point you in the right direction.

    That said, if you just want to try out all grain --- go buy a big grain bag and drop it into your brewkettle. check out my simple brew in a bag techniques thread.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    I'll try the thread, but I can't find the thread you mention. Searched via the search bar and in techniques. Point me in the right direction.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 100,767
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny