Equipment

Brewing Table

I built my brew table from scratch.  I had to come up with a way to be able to use the brew pots on the induction cooker without breaking the induction burners.  I figured a brew pot full of wort or water would crack a normal 1800 watt induction cooker, they just have glass tops. So I looked around the web for some way to either build a base around the induction cooker or put the induction cooker in a custom made area inside the table that dips down.

I couldn’t find anything at all on the subject.  I’ve heard of custom metal frames to support weight for induction cookers, but I was unable to find them.

I used an article from the art of manliness as a base for my new brew table.  I just modified the plans from a kitchen table to a brew table.

Art of Manliness build a table

I wanted to build a table that could withstand weights over 300 pounds, and give me multiple shelves.

I made up a crude drawing of how I wanted to frame the table top similar to the table top on art of manliness.  Instead of building a table, I’m building a brew table with multiple levels for storage of all my homebrew items.

20150525_131941

 

I only built the table top with a 72 inch 2X4 down the center.  I thought this would help out with the added support of the lower areas for the induction cookers. The corners I used two 2×4 to make an L shape.  I originally wanted to use a 4×4 but I’m unable to cut a 4×4.  Using the two 2×4  as an L shape came out to be a cheaper solution.

The lower shelves are do not have the 2×4 in the center, but have the 2×4 on both ends to work with.  I did put a width wide 2×4 about 16 inches apart.

The induction shelves are 2.5 inches down.  This makes it slightly tricky because a 2×4 is 1.5 inches thick, then adding the extra inch I had to get a board that was exactly 1 inch thick.  I found one in the extra boards at the big box store luckily.

I picked 14 inches wide because the induction cookers are 12 inches wide and the instructions on the induction cookers say to put a minimum of 1 inch space around the induction cooker for air flow.  If I could build the table over again, I might include more space. Induction cookers produce a lot of heat.

You can see here how my finished table top came out.

table top

I do plan on painting or applying a wood finish to the table eventually.  I was just wanted to try out the whole system first.

The shelves for the induction cookers is are pocket hole screwed together.  I planned on pocket hole screwing the table top together, but my basement flooded and I need the shelves for storage as I cleaned up the basement.

I built 2 selves, the total space for each self came out to be 3 foot by close to 6 foot.  I keep my empty kegs, keg wrenches, yeast and other supplies all in one area.  My thought process is, if I’m in one area brewing I’m not running all over the basement for supplies.  I was able to custom build the height so I can easily brew on the table without having to get on a ladder to look into the brew kettles.

 

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Equipment

Equipment Changes

This year (2015), My homebrew setup went from

IMG_0067  to this    20150524_165023

 

I decided to build a new system from scratch. I have a few requirements.  I brew in my basement, so no propane.  Cooling also becomes an issue brewing inside. So I need a way to cool down quickly.

 

I look at several homebrew setups before deciding what to pick.  I have the Brew Your Own issue with Brutus 10.  I heavily based my system on Brutus 10, but I had to bring it indoors.

 

If you haven’t seen Brutus 10, it’s a metal frame with 3 14 gallon buckets run off of 2 pumps and custom made propane burners.  Brutus 10 is very cool, the designer also built Brutus 10 on wheels to brew anywhere.

My system runs off of 3 8 gallon brew kettles,  3 induction burners and 2 pumps, an all electric system.  I use a power strip with individual switches to control my electronics like pumps or aerators.   I had to build a wood frame mostly because I don’t know how to weld and it kept cost down for materials and labor of a welder.

My new brewing system cost about half what Brutus 10 does.  I only brew 5 or 6 gallon batches, not 10 gallon batches.  My old home brew system only got about 60% to 65% efficiency, I’ve heard other homebrewers say they never get less than 70%.  It took me 5 months of nights and weekends working on my new brew setup.  I have a full time job and sometimes a busy schedule with a wife and kids.

 

I’m going to take a few post to pick out the aspects of building a brew system like mine if you are interested.  I hope to influence someone to build a new home brewing system, even if they only use my setup as inspiration.

 

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Equipment

Water Filter

Having fresh clean water will help make great beer.  I had to filter the local water because it seemed so chlorinated.  The bad water ruined a good light lager I made a few years ago.

Brew your own Magazine had a great article on making your own water filter:

BYO Water Filter

The only trouble I had is finding the water filter.  I spent a long time walking around a big box store and couldn’t find it.  Let me save you some time.   Amazon.com is a life saver.  They have the water filter you are looking for

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