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.