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Old 17-07-2017, 11:22 AM   #1
jthomas
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Default Brew-system build help

Hi to everyone, I am fairly new to beer brewing, BUT... i am professional chef and have access to many second hand equipment, at the moment I actually have access to used pots & pans i various capacities, I thought I will build home-brew system as I have lots of steel tubing, i know how to weld and I should find some spare time to do it, important question is how big pans/capacity of system, 35litre, 50litre, 70 litre or 80/90/100 litre? Any tips/advice welcome.
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Fermenting:
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1DJ spicy banana wine
- 1DJ saffron banana wine
- 1DJ witbier mead (2:1)
- 1DJ raspberry melomel (3:1)
- 1DJ strawberry melomel (3:1)
- 1DJ xmas metheglin (2:1)
-1 DJ WOW rgj + rasp + cranb
- 1DJ WOW rose rgj+apple+wgj

Conditioning:
- 3 bottles amaretto

Drinking:
- 50 btls red wine Merlot type
- 2 btls blackcurrant wine
- 5 bottles Quince + vanilla liquer
- 3 bottles Apricot liquer
- 10 bottles elderflower + goosberry liquer
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Old 17-07-2017, 12:16 PM   #2
foxy
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Whatever you are most comfortable with, remembering you have to move and store etc. For me it is 23 litre batches and brewing fairly regularly.
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Old 17-07-2017, 12:28 PM   #3
jthomas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxy View Post
Whatever you are most comfortable with, remembering you have to move and store etc. For me it is 23 litre batches and brewing fairly regularly.
Not a big problem, I have spare room next to garage, next thing, i want to connect it with pipes-metal ones with pumps, so there will be no lifting, all system will be cleaned and rinsed through pipe/pump system, thats the idea

similar system >> http://homebrewacademy.com/brutus-10-build/
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Fermenting:
-
1DJ spicy banana wine
- 1DJ saffron banana wine
- 1DJ witbier mead (2:1)
- 1DJ raspberry melomel (3:1)
- 1DJ strawberry melomel (3:1)
- 1DJ xmas metheglin (2:1)
-1 DJ WOW rgj + rasp + cranb
- 1DJ WOW rose rgj+apple+wgj

Conditioning:
- 3 bottles amaretto

Drinking:
- 50 btls red wine Merlot type
- 2 btls blackcurrant wine
- 5 bottles Quince + vanilla liquer
- 3 bottles Apricot liquer
- 10 bottles elderflower + goosberry liquer
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Old 17-07-2017, 02:00 PM   #4
aamcle
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Big batches are OK but do you want to have 120 bottles of the same beer to look forward to? I know I prefer to have more variety and brew smaller batches, 23 litres and less if I'm checking a recipe out.


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Old Yesterday, 06:53 PM   #5
mgkpancake
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make the HLT higher for sparging, a couple of 3 way valves, and only have to worry about one pump instead of two. Check out my brewery build in my signature. I would not go as high as I did. It was nice because if I had a blockage I could do gravity for every step. Which HAS happened.. and a good tip I learned, if something does block with a pump using gas to reverse flow usually works.
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Old Today, 01:14 AM   #6
Dutto
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I'd stick with the 23 litre brews.

I have this three-tier gravity system that is completely dismantled after a brew but it could easily be set up as a permanent structure.

If you are looking at boiling inside then make damn sure that you have a LOT of ventilation, especially for winter.
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Old Today, 05:26 AM   #7
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5 gallons is the ideal home brewlength, or fermentation target volume. firstly because its a managable mass for a fairly fit and able bod to lump off the ground to a waist height counter top for easy gravity draining. going larger can mean splitting the brew (not a bad thing) or investment in equipment like pumps to move the beer.. And while providing a good volume, its not so large, so you will need to brew again within a few weeks, brew too much and you can reduce the number of highly enjoyable brewdays ;( also brew a not so hot beer (not that you would...) and you can be lumbered..

as you will be spending a day at the brewface if you dont enjoy the experience, well yer not gonna pursue it are ya??

your preboil or post mash volume will be larger as it still contains the volume you intend to boil off, an initial boil can foam up quite a bit, and a rolling boil without fine power/heat control can require a few inches of pot wall to contain the brew and avoid hot sweet splashouts not so much an issue on the patio, but in a domestic kitchen you can come across sticky patches for days after which someone may take great pleasure in pointing out to you and imposing a lifetime ban on kitchen brewing, perhaps, it has happened ..

So a pot with a larger capacity is good i would suggest perhaps 10litres above your target volume so say 35l for a 5gallon brew would be the minimum kettle size i would suggest. but any size upto 50l would be good and the capacity to brew a bit more if you want to isnt that bad either..

A hlt is a luxury/optional item, not needed really imho, but if used can shave 10-20 minutes or so off the brew day.. without one you simply sparge into a big bucket or FV, and when the kettle (used to provide sparge liquor) is free simply fill it from the bucket or buckets ?
A hlt allows you to sparge straigh into the kettle and start the heat up a little bit sooner...

If using SS pots, the fitting of drain valves elements etc is generally accomplished using a Qmax hole punch, for 1/2" bsp threaded pipe fittings (the standard ) a 20-21mm hole is ideal. i use/d 20mm..

drill a pilot hole with a small drill bit 3-4mm, and expand up a few mm at a time, a dab of cutting grease is good tho sprays of wd40 from a 3rd hand is an ilequipped bods alternative, once the hole is big enough for the Qmax bolt 10mm iirc fit the punch and wind it up to effortlessly punch out a clean smooth edged burr free hole.. standard jobber HSS drill bits will work ok with thin pots, thicker SS pots will probably go thru a couple of smallest bits if drilling lots of holes and colbalt bits might be worth the investment..
and dont forget to buy an allen key if you dont have one for the qmax.. the tight gits dont include one in the pack;(

SS bulkhead fittings can be fabricated from M20 SS washers (ebay) and a 1/2" hex nipple, then wrap the hilt/shoulder of a hex nipple with a healthy wrap of ptfe tape so an m20 washer needs some force to sit snuggly round the nipples tape wrapped shoulder. this forms the outside thrust plate for the fitting.. inside the pot fit a 2nd m20 washer and any fitting you need, a simple lock nut or perhaps a fitting to mate with any hop filter or like in my case a simple 90 degree elbow to piont down and form the internal aspect of a siphon so when draining i can minimise losses to dead space to a few ml.. to make a heat and food safe sealing washer/grommet a silicone cake mould or baking sheet can be cut with scissors easily, mark out a template undersizing slightly so a 19-20mm inner hole that you will need to stretch slightly to fit over the male thread, also under cut the outside diameter by 2-3mm (i you dont under cut it will get compressed and squeeze out a bit, tho you can trim it with a razor .. under cutting just saves the hassle)

well thats my take..

my 100l kettle lwd elements and 1/2" bsp sized drain, Pt100, and recirulation return. fitted with the above technique.



have fun..
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Old Today, 05:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutto View Post
I'd stick with the 23 litre brews.

I have this three-tier gravity system that is completely dismantled after a brew but it could easily be set up as a permanent structure.

If you are looking at boiling inside then make damn sure that you have a LOT of ventilation, especially for winter.
Have you got some insulation cable tied around your boiler there?
I could do with something like that - what's it made from?
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Old Today, 08:12 AM   #9
jthomas
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Thanks to all of You, Fil - thats long and interesting reply, many good informations there, mgkpancake - you have nice system i like it .
Unfortunatelly I am still not shure what i should do, one side I would go for 30-40L pans for 5 gllon brews, coz its small an easy to manage, in the other hand all equipment will not gonna be moved, it should be fairly permanent installation with posiibilities, I just expecting my first child, so 1 brew day every two weeks is max what i think i will be able to do, and I dont want to spend money for system which will not gonna give me options to grow in near future so I think would go more than 5gallon baches, maybe somewhere between? I have at the moment 24L pan and 70L pan, I thought about HERMS on 3x100L with 2 pumps and fairly big plate chiller (again have acess to good and cheap ones from my country)
__________________
Fermenting:
-
1DJ spicy banana wine
- 1DJ saffron banana wine
- 1DJ witbier mead (2:1)
- 1DJ raspberry melomel (3:1)
- 1DJ strawberry melomel (3:1)
- 1DJ xmas metheglin (2:1)
-1 DJ WOW rgj + rasp + cranb
- 1DJ WOW rose rgj+apple+wgj

Conditioning:
- 3 bottles amaretto

Drinking:
- 50 btls red wine Merlot type
- 2 btls blackcurrant wine
- 5 bottles Quince + vanilla liquer
- 3 bottles Apricot liquer
- 10 bottles elderflower + goosberry liquer
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