Building A Brew Stand – An Introduction

I am not a perfectionist by any stretch of the imagination. I do realize however that when it comes to brewing, I really feel good about a brew session when it seems to go predictably and consistently as the previous one I also really like the idea of having a brewing “plant” that requires minimal setup and breakdown session to session.

For those reasons, I have thought numerous times about building a brew stand. I am focused on building a stand that keeps my pump, burners, and kettles all together as one unit. I think it will help streamline the setup and breakdown of each session. It will also create a more “rigid” feel to my brewing process that I think will contribute to a more consistent and predictable brewing process.

Right now, my stand is an old aquarium stand made out of pretty hefty angle iron. One side of the stand is a decorative wire “lattice” like thing. I suppose it looks nice but it does make the stand seem a little precarious missing a whole set of legs on one side. I am also a little concerned about how high the current stand is. When I put the vessels on top, like the kegs you’ll see in the video, they are a little high. I can still stir easily enough for mashing in but if they were lower, it might be a little easier. I might try and clamp my current burner underneath the stand to see how it would work at this height.

In an effort to make my brew sessions a little shorter (I am a family guy after all and brewing windows are getting narrower and narrower.) I’d like to get a plate chiller. I expect a plate chiller to reduce my sessions by about 30-40 minutes. I love my immersion chiller setup. But if I could mount a plate chiller just below the kettle on the end of the stand, I’d be able to chill while moving wort from the kettle to the fermentor. To me that sounds like a great time saver.

The biggest challenge will come with plumbing the system in for propane. I currently brew with only two burners, but getting a third burner would be nice for heating sparge water and it would save me the time of transferring wort to a bucket before I move it to the kettle. I have been reading a lot about gas orifices and needle control valves. I also just completed a black pipe job installing a new gas stove in my kitchen so I feel pretty confident about setting up the brew stand with some rigid piping for the burners.

In this week’s video, I show you what the aquarium stand looks like now and talk about some of my ideas to start moving forward.

Have you ever built a brew stand?

Thinking about it?

What has your research told you that I may be missing so far?

Feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you think.

Cheers.

Comments

  1. Matty Mac says:

    My dad and I are currently in the process of building an E-HERMS system, but we have not designed the stand for it yet. It will need to be sturdy enough to hold the 3 keggles for 10-gallon batches, so we are likely going with square steel tubing we will weld ourselves. If we can find something pre-built that is cost effective we aren’t opposed to that either. We are using electric for heat though, with the hot water heater elements welded into the HLT and kettle, so mounting/fitting for gas won’t be an issue for us.

    Can’t wait to see how it turns out for you!

    Matty
    Swampscott, MA

  2. From a previous video, it looks like you only have one pump. Are you purchasing another one just to have a single tier setup? I only have one muon also, but after researching, I think I’m going to build a compact 3 tier stand. I’ll have my MLT on top, HLT on bottom, and boil kettle on the side. Might be a good option if you don’t NEED a single tier. Plus, it takes up less room, which is a massive plus in my garage packed with the kids things. I’m very interested in how things come along. Once nursing school is done, I’m diving back into brewing. Maybe send one your way someday for a taster.
    N in NW Ohio

  3. Lauren Warren says:

    I’ve always wanted a single tier set up, with three burners. Just today as I was making a Pilsner, and ran out of Sparge water, I was cursing only having one burner. I’ve been waiting for the perfect, bench, or table. Waiting for one of those large scissor hydraulic carts, that way I could always adjust the level for loading, unloading, or storage. I’m still waiting, as the cheapest table that I’ve seen that’s large enough was 300 bucks.
    My Idea was to just make it as easy as possible. Bolt 3 burners with stands to the cart, connect the propane with a simple 3 pronged connector, that way I only have to have 1 propane tank. And of course those tables come with wheels that can carry the kind of weight we are dealing with.
    All in good time I suppose, I have every piece of brewing equipment I need. I’ll take my time with this one, and get the Table I want.

    Lauren
    Phoenix AZ

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