3-Tier Brew Stand [Pt3] – Welding (ULCBP)

April 26, 2011

Dangerous Dave and his dad, Russ, kindly volunteered their time to help put the brew stand together.  After not-entirely successful weld tutorial from Russ, it was pretty clear that the stand wasn’t going to stumble into a three-dimensional existence at the hands of me and Dave.  Russ very generously offered himself as hired gun.

Despite battling every imaginable obstacle – driving rain, poor welding rods, too small a work surface, an unrealistic time allocation – the skeleton of a handsome brew stand emerged!

Yes, we finished very much in the dark…

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Paddy Melon vs .270 WSM

April 19, 2011

A small paddy melon goes up against Joel’s .270 Winchester Short Magnum lever-action.


Unicycling

April 19, 2011

Mary and I took the unicycle out for an enjoyable autumn morning  of one-wheel action!


HLT Upgrade – High Flow Outlet

April 18, 2011

As great as my electric water urn Hot Liquor Tank (HLT) has been, it has always had a slightly leaky tap.  This was never a really massive issue but, seeing as the tap was quite slow to drain water, I did see it as an opportunity to drive some further performance gains from the tank.

I’ve now installed a 1/2″ ball valve in place of the old tap (see comparison photos below).  It provides the following benefits:

  1. No longer have to hold the tap down the entire time – just set and forget
  2. Can set the flow rate easily
  3. Much higher max flow rate – I estimate triple what I had before, meaning less temperature loss waiting for the mashtun to fill
  4. No leaks
  5. The ability to attach things to the end of it – like a sparging device

I also took the time to calibrate the sight glass.  Now it sports 3L increments all the way up to the 18L mark.

Cost: $22


Another Brew Day (ULCBP)

April 18, 2011

Dave, Nath and Mary rocked up for the latest installment in brewing.

The weather was atrocious, but by the end of the day we had pumped out 6 brews in a wide variety of styles: from pale ales and darks to even some experimental beers, such as Nath’s rauchbier using some smoked grain.

As you can see from the photos pretty much everything has to live on the ground.  So, hopefully this will be the last brew session before the new brew stand gets commissioned!


3-Tier Brew Stand [Pt2] – Grinding (ULCBP)

April 13, 2011

After visiting the steel suppliers the afternoon was spent behind a tape measure, set square and angle grinder.

All the stock for my brew stand is cut and ready to go in kit form.  Now to track down someone with a welder!

Cost: $48

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3-Tier Brew Stand [Pt1] – Design (ULCBP)

April 13, 2011

My brewing equipment is working like an absolute charm.  What isn’t so convenient is that I’m working off one small collapsible workbench and a handful of strategically placed milk crates.  This means that things tend to be pretty cramped and balanced fairly e (which isn’t great in the case of the water urn – 20L of boiling water!), and every time I finish one stage I need to rearrange everything for the next.

The boiling kettle gets heated on the ground balanced on stacks of house bricks.  The mongolian puts out a fair amount of heat and it’s only a matter of time before either a brick shatters or the whole lot topples over.  Again, this is up to 40L of boiling sugary liquid forming a tsunami of third degree burns.  Once the boil is over I have to man-handle the full kettle onto my workbench before it cools so that I can decant the wort into jerry cans.

The solution for addressing all these issues is a brew stand, where every piece of equipment has its place and each can gravity feed into the next.  No heavy lifting and a stable, fixed place for everything.

So far I have whipped up a quick paper design and headed off to the steel merchants for some stock.  A quick side note: Edcon Steel in Brookvale do square hollow section (SHS) for one quarter the price that Bunnings wants – just showing how expensive a standard hardware store is for basic materials.

Next step is to cut my bill of materials…