+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 50 of 53

Thread: The Electric Brewery

  1. #1

    The Electric Brewery

    I am part of a beer brewing social club. We have been brewing beer every single weekend since the beginning of the year. We started with mini mash but quickly switched to all grain. We have a $#@!ty mash tun that gets the job done but is incredibly inefficient. We've made some bad beers and some damned delicious beers. We've started making our own recipes. We are having way too damn much fun. I have 80 gallons of beer sitting in my dining room. But we want to do it better. We want to go bigger. We want consistency. We have high aspirations. We have decided we are going to make The Electric Brewery.

    http://theelectricbrewery.com/

    This is what is known as a nano brewery. It is very much a scaled down version of a professional brewery set up. Electrical, run by a control panel, includes every part of the brew process. It even has a counterflow chiller setup. This thing is beautiful. This thing will cost us between $5200 and $6000. It will allow us to brew up ~13-16 gallons at a time.

    The fun part is that we don't really have the money to buy this thing. Also, we will be buying all the parts separately and building it ourselves. Most of us have not built something like this before. It will be a grand learning experience. And, once it is all together, we are going to be up to our elbows in booze.

    I'm putting this up because A. this seems like something the Shag would be interested in, and B. we are going to do some fundraising activities in the future to help raise some of the capital needed to purchase all the parts. I will update this thread if there is any interest in the development of this guy or if there is interest in when and where the fundraising activities will take place.






  2. #2
    asshat Swanson is a rep whore. Swanson is a rep whore. Swanson is a rep whore. Swanson is a rep whore. Swanson is a rep whore. Swanson is a rep whore. Swanson is a rep whore. Swanson is a rep whore. Swanson is a rep whore. Swanson is a rep whore. Swanson is a rep whore. Swanson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Sand Aggy
    Posts
    3,474
    I'm sure you are already aware, but homebrewtalk has some awesome threads on this sort of thing. Everything from small setups to building your own control panel. This is a badass project man. I'm jealous. Are you guys in Austin? Keep us updated!

  3. #3
    bunghole mw13 slams and goes hard. mw13 slams and goes hard. mw13 slams and goes hard. mw13 slams and goes hard. mw13 slams and goes hard. mw13 slams and goes hard. mw13 slams and goes hard. mw13 slams and goes hard. mw13 slams and goes hard. mw13 slams and goes hard. mw13 slams and goes hard. mw13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    561
    Subscribed. Posrep.

  4. #4
    asshat Bottlecap Shaggy Gold Club Bottlecap Shaggy Gold Club Bottlecap Shaggy Gold Club Bottlecap Shaggy Gold Club Bottlecap Shaggy Gold Club Bottlecap Shaggy Gold Club Bottlecap Shaggy Gold Club Bottlecap Shaggy Gold Club Bottlecap Shaggy Gold Club Bottlecap Shaggy Gold Club Bottlecap Shaggy Gold Club Bottlecap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    The National Front Disco
    Posts
    12,147
    Quote Originally Posted by Swanson View Post
    Are you guys in Austin?
    ....

  5. #5
    We are in Austin. We will be figuring out tomorrow what we need to purchase first. It will probably be the Blichmanns because they are on back order. However, that control panel is going to take some time to build.

  6. #6
    Very $#@!ing cool...would like to see it this summer....

  7. #7
    Here is a big reason why we so badly want to change our current setup:



    That is our mash tun. It's basically just an old cooler with a hole drilled into it, a valve shoved into it, and a copper lattice on the inside that allows the mash to flow out but not the grains. We lose so much hot air through the lid of the cooler. We tell ourselves that the bricks help push down the lid further, but I seriously doubt it. We lose most of our efficiency at this part of the process. So, this tun will be replaced with one of these:



    Our first big purchase. This was on Sunday. We have already purchased the control panel and some other parts as well. We want to get the ball rolling on this sooner rather than later.

  8. #8
    Banned Greenspointexas can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Greenspointexas can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Greenspointexas can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Greenspointexas can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Greenspointexas can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Greenspointexas can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Greenspointexas can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Greenspointexas can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Greenspointexas can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Greenspointexas can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Greenspointexas can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night.
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    From the city where our stadiums drop their tops
    Posts
    8,118
    love this thread... good luck and godspeed

  9. #9
    asshat Anastasis Shaggy Gold Club Anastasis Shaggy Gold Club Anastasis Shaggy Gold Club Anastasis Shaggy Gold Club Anastasis Shaggy Gold Club Anastasis Shaggy Gold Club Anastasis Shaggy Gold Club Anastasis Shaggy Gold Club Anastasis Shaggy Gold Club Anastasis Shaggy Gold Club Anastasis Shaggy Gold Club Anastasis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    in the gutter
    Posts
    12,793
    240V, water, lots of metal and drinking. sounds like a great idea. seriously, keep us updated and don't miss any life insurance premiums just in case.

  10. #10
    a Rocker and a Roller AnotherUTFan Shaggy Gold Club AnotherUTFan Shaggy Gold Club AnotherUTFan Shaggy Gold Club AnotherUTFan Shaggy Gold Club AnotherUTFan Shaggy Gold Club AnotherUTFan Shaggy Gold Club AnotherUTFan Shaggy Gold Club AnotherUTFan Shaggy Gold Club AnotherUTFan Shaggy Gold Club AnotherUTFan Shaggy Gold Club AnotherUTFan Shaggy Gold Club AnotherUTFan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    4,320
    Great thread. Please keep it updated. Good luck.

  11. #11
    asshat Anastasis Shaggy Gold Club Anastasis Shaggy Gold Club Anastasis Shaggy Gold Club Anastasis Shaggy Gold Club Anastasis Shaggy Gold Club Anastasis Shaggy Gold Club Anastasis Shaggy Gold Club Anastasis Shaggy Gold Club Anastasis Shaggy Gold Club Anastasis Shaggy Gold Club Anastasis Shaggy Gold Club Anastasis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    in the gutter
    Posts
    12,793
    if you wanted to trim expenses, first place I would start is to dump the blinchmann mashtun and replace with with a 10g cylinder cooler. Can shave half a grand off the price with that replacement and can still upgrade the mash tun to stainless at a later point if you desire. Would reduce your capacity to 5 gallon all-grain batches though.
    Last edited by Anastasis; 04-18-2012 at 12:45 PM.

  12. #12
    asshat UTinBigD grows his own roses UTinBigD grows his own roses UTinBigD grows his own roses UTinBigD grows his own roses UTinBigD grows his own roses UTinBigD grows his own roses UTinBigD grows his own roses UTinBigD grows his own roses UTinBigD grows his own roses UTinBigD grows his own roses UTinBigD grows his own roses UTinBigD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Dallas
    Posts
    3,852
    good luck. I love reading these threads on hbt forums.

    If i ever get some spare change in my pocket, I want a single tier system w/ keggles to do 10gal batches.

  13. #13
    Subscribed.

    A buddy of mine and I are working on something very similar - allthough on a larger scale. We're building it ourselves as well. I'll post some pics when I get home.

    I'm currently brewing 10 gallon batches on a two-tier keggle system. Mashtun uses a T-splitter and two Bazooka screens.


  14. #14
    asshat achooloco grows his own roses achooloco grows his own roses achooloco grows his own roses achooloco grows his own roses achooloco grows his own roses achooloco grows his own roses achooloco grows his own roses achooloco grows his own roses achooloco grows his own roses achooloco grows his own roses achooloco grows his own roses
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    prospect park, brooklyn
    Posts
    1,678
    good luck

  15. #15
    asshat AustinBeerworks can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. AustinBeerworks can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. AustinBeerworks can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. AustinBeerworks can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. AustinBeerworks can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. AustinBeerworks can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. AustinBeerworks can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. AustinBeerworks can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. AustinBeerworks can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. AustinBeerworks can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. AustinBeerworks can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. AustinBeerworks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    facebook.com/austinbeerworks
    Posts
    1,446
    Quote Originally Posted by boknowstecmo View Post
    It will allow us to brew up ~13-16 gallons at a time.



    Just messin'. Collaboration beer?

  16. #16
    asshat Napoleon grows his own roses Napoleon grows his own roses Napoleon grows his own roses Napoleon grows his own roses Napoleon grows his own roses Napoleon grows his own roses Napoleon grows his own roses Napoleon grows his own roses Napoleon grows his own roses Napoleon grows his own roses Napoleon grows his own roses Napoleon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Posts
    2,483
    I subscribed as well.

    I can waste hours reading unfocused gobbledygook on the ineternets about homebrewing. This will help me focus.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Anastasis View Post
    if you wanted to trim expenses, first place I would start is to dump the blinchmann mashtun and replace with with a 10g cylinder cooler. Can shave half a grand off the price with that replacement and can still upgrade the mash tun to stainless at a later point if you desire. Would reduce your capacity to 5 gallon all-grain batches though.
    We definitely thought about starting smaller and then building up from there. We realized that we would just want to upgrade up to 20gal sooner than later anyway, so why not go all out and avoid the time and money necessary to upgrade?

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by AustinBeerworks View Post



    Just messin'. Collaboration beer?
    Uh, yes? Of course?

  19. #19
    asshat Napoleon grows his own roses Napoleon grows his own roses Napoleon grows his own roses Napoleon grows his own roses Napoleon grows his own roses Napoleon grows his own roses Napoleon grows his own roses Napoleon grows his own roses Napoleon grows his own roses Napoleon grows his own roses Napoleon grows his own roses Napoleon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Posts
    2,483
    How many guys make up your "we"?

  20. #20
    Damn, bo just had his day made.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Napoleon View Post
    How many guys make up your "we"?
    The royal we

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Napoleon View Post
    How many guys make up your "we"?
    Right now I count nine who are interested in the business side of things and probably another ten or so that are more interested in the brewing and drinking.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by boknowstecmo View Post
    Right now I count nine who are interested in the business side of things and probably another ten or so that are more interested in the brewing and drinking.
    Oh $#@!, ok. I figured it was like...4. lol. Gonna have to break down and just get a homebrew kit this summer. This board is driving me to make drink. Right after I buy a KMG grinder for knifemaking...
    Last edited by Haggis; 04-18-2012 at 05:30 PM.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Haggis View Post
    Oh $#@!, ok. I figured it was like...4. lol. Gonna have to break down and just get a homebrew kit this summer. This board is driving me to make drink. Right after I buy a KMG grinder for knifemaking...
    I'll buy one of your knives....

  25. #25
    asshat Grippe can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Grippe can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Grippe can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Grippe can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Grippe can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Grippe can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Grippe can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Grippe can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Grippe can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Grippe can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Grippe can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. Grippe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    NSAA, duh.
    Posts
    1,869
    I'm using a cooler converted MLT as well and although my variances are high the results lately have been spleen numbingly glorious.

    Chocolate Raspberry Stout:



    Hefeweissen:



    And those are my Sterling bines shooting up in the planter back there.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by shoeless joe jackson View Post
    I'll buy one of your knives....
    You can have one. I plan on making several for cutting meat anyways if that interests you. Maybe I can do something cool with the handle, JMueller design into it or something.

    If you're serious, Ill try to get you one in the summer when I have the disposable cash.

  27. #27
    Pics as promised. My brew-buddy found the parts at Brewers Hardware.





    Brewkettle will be punched, 1.5" bulkhead fitting welded, heating element connects to the bulkhead via Tri-clamp.

  28. #28
    Where are you located?

  29. #29
    Insufferable Beer Nerd mdleast grows his own roses mdleast grows his own roses mdleast grows his own roses mdleast grows his own roses mdleast grows his own roses mdleast grows his own roses mdleast grows his own roses mdleast grows his own roses mdleast grows his own roses mdleast grows his own roses mdleast grows his own roses mdleast's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Poppin' and lockin' while battling Electro Rock at Radiotron
    Posts
    1,559
    Needless to say, I would like to subscribe to your newsletter as well as receive promotional advertising to sample your wonderous product...

    Extremely cool.

  30. #30
    Careful when punching those holes, brewin', it would be a very expensive screwup. Also, we thought about that current set up you showed, but we don't trust ourselves to stay sober enough to fill up that top kettle.

    Quote Originally Posted by FCHorn View Post
    Where are you located?
    I am in Austin.

    Quote Originally Posted by mdleast
    Needless to say, I would like to subscribe to your newsletter as well as receive promotional advertising to sample your wonderous product...

    Extremely cool.
    Subscribe to this thread instead and I'll keep it updated when there are updates to be had.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by boknowstecmo View Post
    Careful when punching those holes, brewin', it would be a very expensive screwup. Also, we thought about that current set up you showed, but we don't trust ourselves to stay sober enough to fill up that top kettle. .
    Haha, I mostly do "farm welds", so the welding on the new kettle will not be done by me. I did make the brew stand though, it's 1.5" angle iron on the shelves and 2" square tube for the legs.

    Re the brewstand:
    (The bottom one is the HLT. top is the mash/lauter, side is the boil.)
    We pump from the HLT up to the mash tun, so there's no lifting hot water.

    Also we try to not drink till we have the boil going - makes for 90% fewer mistakes.

  32. #32


    We put the one Blichmann we have to the test yesterday while making an Old Rasputin clone that calls for a 7 gallon boil. We all agreed if the Blichmann did not survive this test, we would all just shoot ourselves in the head. It survived, and worked beautifully. Downside is we need to get a bigger spoon to stir with.

    We've bought over half the parts necessary for the electric brewery. The parts should start arriving mid week.

  33. #33

    possible cretin

    hitbyatrain Shaggy Gold Club hitbyatrain Shaggy Gold Club hitbyatrain Shaggy Gold Club hitbyatrain Shaggy Gold Club hitbyatrain Shaggy Gold Club hitbyatrain Shaggy Gold Club hitbyatrain Shaggy Gold Club hitbyatrain Shaggy Gold Club hitbyatrain Shaggy Gold Club hitbyatrain Shaggy Gold Club hitbyatrain Shaggy Gold Club hitbyatrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    actively judging you
    Posts
    18,555
    this is awesome.

    i dream of one day building my own brewhouse. this one was recently on gizmodo, and is badass.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by hitbyatrain View Post
    this is awesome.

    i dream of one day building my own brewhouse. this one was recently on gizmodo, and is badass.
    I would build that in a heartbeat if I thought I could do it for $3,500. I think that estimate is missing another zero.

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by garyford View Post
    I would build that in a heartbeat if I thought I could do it for $3,500. I think that estimate is missing another zero.
    Yeah, that setup is beautiful, but I cannot imagine making that happen for $3500.

  36. #36
    We still need to finish wiring the control panel and install the elements, but it's coming together.

    $250 for the stainless tank on craigslist. + Another $50 for the triclover bulkhead fittings. + $200 to have the local welding shop punch the tank & weld them on.

    = 250 gallons of electric HLT / boil kettle goodness.


    Propane tank for scale.

  37. #37
    See, you're doing it the smart way. We're just going to punch all the holes ourselves.

  38. #38
    Another Sunday, another brew day. We are still waiting for the components of the electric brewery to arrive at our doorsteps.

    Here is what we have made that is currently in various stages of aging and conditioning:




    This is a pale ale that we made:




    More photos to come when we get the parts and finally start making the brewery happen.

  39. #39
    asshat ghow is a rep whore. ghow is a rep whore. ghow is a rep whore. ghow is a rep whore. ghow is a rep whore. ghow is a rep whore. ghow is a rep whore. ghow is a rep whore. ghow is a rep whore. ghow is a rep whore. ghow is a rep whore. ghow's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    South Texas.. somewhere.
    Posts
    6,016
    Since you seem to be serious, and are putting in a serious investment, I would definitely get some sort of temperature controlled fermentation chamber. A fridge will do, but im sure you have seen those made out of a mini fridge and foam boards. I did the whole bucket of water and t shirt thing, and was never happy with the results.

  40. #40
    Update:

    Got the bulkhead fittings punched and welded. The bevel seat to triclover adapter is installed as well.



    Test fit the elements - there's going to be six total.





    Made some leg extensions.



    Planning to do a minimum volume test this weekend.

  41. #41
    asshat CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    planes, trains and automobiles
    Posts
    5,781
    how in hell did i miss this the first time around? please keep us updated. i have plans to do a build like this and a conical fermenter when a buddy of mine gets back from afghanistan at the end of the year.

  42. #42
    I haven't updated in a long time. We have a lot of pictures though. I'll do a proper post later.

  43. #43
    asshat CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    planes, trains and automobiles
    Posts
    5,781
    gracias, sir.

  44. #44
    Anxiously awaiting an update.

    Sorry 'bout the bump/thread jack. (sort of)

  45. #45
    Ok, I'm grabbing pictures from the other guys and will organize a coherent post on Monday. Why Monday? Because Sundays are for brewing, drinking, and football. No room for organization or coherence.

  46. #46
    Ok did a volume test this weekend:

    15 gal fills the bottom dish and barely touches the bottom edge of the bulkhead openings. The element is still high and dry.

    30 gal. All bulkhead openings are covered. The element is covered, but just barely, like maybe 1-2 inches of liquid.

    So I'm gonna say our minimum boil volume is 1.5 - 2 barrels.


    Also I forwarded my brew-partner the pic of the electric control panel the OP posted from the ElectricBrewer site, and told him it looked pretty similar to ours. He laughed and said "Well that would make sense. I've probably read through that whole site half a dozen times"

    He's got it set up for testing on his system right now.
    Last edited by Brewin'1up; 10-01-2012 at 10:26 AM.

  47. #47
    Alright, update time. So much has happened and has changed since my last update in April. Sorry for the long delay. I'm only going to post the pics I have right now, still waiting for the others to send more to me.

    We purchased the third Blichmann in May and finally started drilling all the holes into them in June. There were metal shavings everywhere, and we actually busted one of the Greenlees in half.



    We tried to bend the stainless steel tubing ourselves, but failed. In the end we had to purchase an already restructured tube from the electric brewery site.



    We then started on the electric control panel, the part I was the least useful for.



    We had to work on some of the screws to get them to fit. This took a couple weekends more than we had hoped.



    That's all I've got for construction photos at this time. As of right now, we're about 90-95% finished with the nanobrewery. The problem we have run into right now is finding a house that we can actually plug this thing into. It takes a setup that just cannot be found in house that is older than ten to fifteen years. Once we find a home for it, we can finish it and start using it. In the meantime, however, we've continued to brew. We even tried to make a super mutant IPA. It failed:



    I think the next thing I will do is start a new thread that is more focused on our future brewery, and then this thread can be for everyone else to show what systems they have made or are coming up with, a la Brewin'1up.

  48. #48
    asshat CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    planes, trains and automobiles
    Posts
    5,781
    any updates here? 2013 is when i plan on building some equipment...

  49. #49
    asshat CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd grows his own roses CaptainEd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    planes, trains and automobiles
    Posts
    5,781
    guess i'll bump again since i'm really looking to move to all-grain and build some equipment that will make batches pretty repeatable and less error-prone. a buddy and i have a goal to primarily brew ~10 gallon batches since that magic number will allow us to split into two kegs for home use and dry-hop/age how we see fit individually. again, this is all talk with no work done on it yet, so advice is appreciated. ideally we'll probably build two ~15 gal conical fermenters and see if we can get a fridge/freezer that would accommodate both for temp control (these would be based on the homebrewtalk thread about food-grade plastic conical builds). the brewing setup is where i need the most input seeing as we both have only ventured as far as min-mash and the related equipment.

    talking out of my ass time: we would like something that functions like a portable/wheeled mini kitchen or multi-burner setup. if anyone has experience on ways to best accomplish this using gravity to transfer from one vessel to the next, or pumps if necessary, i would love to have details. how many burners? we're trying to construct it as "budget" as possible but that's a sliding scale based on our desire to have a nice/effective rig. i know blichmann pots are the creme de la creme, but are keggles good for this too? anyone build their own? for heating elements and temp consistency, does anyone have suggestions on submersible/internal heating elements or do most people still just use propane and fire?

    i know this post is about as general as it gets, but i'm looking for starting points. thanks.

  50. #50
    Unfortunately my only experience is with the most basic equipment (our mash tun is a modified cooler) and with this electric brewery. I haven't updated this yet because we still don't have a permanent home for the pilot system. We are now either going to rent out a garage or build a shed behind one of our houses.

+ Reply to Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Home .. Advertise .. ShaggyShop .. PanchoChat
Football .. Basketball .. Baseball .. Other Sports .. RC Didn't Offer .. Gamboool
Varsity .. Hole in the Wall .. PCL .. Einstein's .. Nasty's .. GM Steakhouse .. NSAA
Bada Bing .. Can you help me with this? .. Shagslist .. Cloak Room .. Classics .. Bellmont