Sunday, June 5, 2011

This is why brewing does not save you money...

Just sitting around thinking about projects... restless... figured I could think out loud on here? That's totally what a blog is for, amirite?

So to recap my projects to date...

I started with a beginner extract kit. Due to the offensive odors and sensitive nose of my wife, I had to quickly move all  brewing activity outside. While not really a project, my first upgrade was a turkey fryer. Got a crazy deal at Cabella's bargain cave. $200 stainless turkey fryer marked $125 and I talked them down to $60. So I was soon doing full boils outside.

Boiling a full 5 gallon batch creates a small problem... it takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r to cool 5 gallons of boiling wort to 70 degrees so you can add the yeast. So I built my ugly junk wort chiller, which was easy, I wrapped 25 feet of copper pipe around a bucket to make a spiral and attached a washing machine hose...

From there, it was a small jump to doing All Grain. All I needed was a mash tun. I showed you how I made my 10 gallon tun. The 5 gallon was exactly the same, just... smaller.

Then I got sick of bottling. When I say "got sick of bottling", I mean I dreaded brewday bc all I could think of was the PITA to come when the batch was ready for bottling. That is when I built my kegerator. Bought the fridge on sale at Home Depot, bought the tower, tank, kegs, and fittings from my Local Home Brew Store. Drilled holes in a brand new fridge (so scary!) but so glad I did it... If I hadn't started kegging I don't think I would still be brewing.

I am in the middle of upgrading to a 10 gallon  brewery. I finished the 10 gallon cooler mash tun, as you saw... and that brings us up to now.

So what's next?

This old, tired, beat ass keg will soon be my main brew kettle. Sidenote... kettles made from kegs are called  "keggles" not to be confused with kegels (totally different thing, trust) although Google gets confused... 15.5 gallon (1/2 barrel) capacity will be enough for 10 gallon batches. I'll need to cut open the top to turn it into a pot. Also, 10 gallons of liquid weighs more than 80 lbs... so picking up to pour after boiling isn't an option. So... I'll need to drill a hole near the bottom and have a valve installed so I can drain it into the fermentor. Also, to make things easier, while I am drilling holes and having things welded, I am going to put in another tap to add a combo thermometer and sight glass (easy way to see how much wort/water in pot) All this thing will need is a total dyed ostrich feather and it will be 100% pimp... Also, unrelated, I can totally hear the old beer inside sloshing around... dare me? (I <3 danger games...shh!)

So... after keggle I will fully be able to do 10 gallon batches. Well... almost... I will need a couple more bucket fermentors, maybs a few more kegs, oh and my little 25' wort chiller is going to be pretty weak... so I'll need to build a bigger chiller. I'm thinking counterflow... picture a garden hose with a copper tube inside... hot wort flows through copper tube in one direction, cold water flows through hose around copper tube in opposite direction. now picture all coiled up to save space. Then I'll be all set...

Well... then I'll probably be looking to build a shed to start holding all this stuff. Oh, maybe I need a fermentation chamber to control temps... Also, a bigger kegerator... Also... A brewstand and automate the whole thing... Where does it end? Short answer... it doesn't.

Anyways... it's time for Game of Thrones (best show) Later...


  1. So funny. I was just reflecting on this "sickness" myself over ay mt blog.

  2. I just started brewing, so i have not started to invest too much in equipment, but i can see it getting a little costly in the near future. Now, the more beer i brew, the more craftbeer i drink (for my blog and for inspiration for my next brew). it is a hard life to lead...