15 Gallon Conical Fermenter and Chamber

This is (for now, but who can really tell) the last of the big builds for our brewery.  We started looking at the FastFerment conical fermenters, but at less than 8 gallons, it was pointless.  This sent me on a search for something we could use for our 10 gallon batches.  After looking in to many choices, we decided that stainless was just too damn expensive.  Plastic seemed to be out of reach, too, until I found Continue reading “15 Gallon Conical Fermenter and Chamber”

National Homebrew Day 2015

Saturday (May 2) was National Homebrew Day and a local brewery hosted an in-house brew day for homebrewers.  It was co-sponsored by our LHBS.  For anyone local to me, the name of the Brewery is Draft Line and they have the best Scotch Ale I have ever tasted.  Their head brewer, Jamie, was with us all day and really has a passion for brewing and sharing his knowledge about brewing.  We had a great time talking with him all day, asking questions, and just having normal conversations.
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70 Quart High Gravity Mash Tun

We found out pretty quickly that our 10 Gallon Mash Tun would not work for High Gravity or Large Grain Bill brews.  I told my brew partners that we would probably need a Coleman Xtreme 70 Quart rectangular cooler for our next Russian Imperial Stout.  Immediately, my brother-in-law pulled up a picture on his phone and with amazement declared, “I have that cooler in my garage!  I’m not even using it”.
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Label List 2

It’s that time again!  It’s been a few brews since I have shown the labels that have been created to identify them.  I never detailed our labeling process in the last label entry.  I print the labels six to a page on a color laser printer, using regular paper.  They’re easy enough to cut out using scissors, but there is Continue reading “Label List 2”

Dual Stir Plate

I had a double brew day coming up and needed a way to do two yeast starters at the same time.  I didn’t want to build another single stir plate, I knew we would be doing high gravity beers and if we wanted to get a partigyle batch off it, then we would need 2 starters going.

I also wanted to make this one look a bit better, too.  Here is the equipment list I put together:
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20 Gallon Boil Kettle

Throughout the upgrade process, the one thing I took for granted was the HLT.  I figured we would just use the pot from our 5 Gallon extract brews, no worries.  Then we checked the capacity of the pot.  Somehow, 22 quarts was a surprise.  Yes, we boiled 3 Gallons of wort and added water in the fermentor to reach our targeted volume. but this was never really thought about until about 10 days prior to out first 10 Gallon All Grain brew day.
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Brew Cart

To bring it all together, we needed a Brew Cart.  After looking at different designs (wood vs. metal, single tier vs. 3-tier gravity) and gas manifolds, I knew that I wanted a jet burner for the Brew Kettle.  Then I saw a jet burner in action.  That was it.   I knew I needed one.  In looking for a jet burner, I found the solution to the Brew Stand need:
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Building a Stir Plate

Since we are graduating to 10 Gallon All Grain batches, we need to create yeast starters.  Otherwise the cost of yeast is crazy.  By creating a starter, we only need to purchase one package of yeast for most brews, instead of 2 or more.  To create a starter most efficiently, you need a stir plate.  This will stir the yeast, oxygenating it and propagating yeast growth.  A constant stir also knocks the carbon dioxide out of suspension.  Carbon dioxide is a by-product of yeast growth and also inhibits yeast growth.
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