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Brewstand Options

I’m finally ready to brew with some actual sophistication–instead of using an old nightstand and a patio table–with an actual brew stand/sculpture of some kind. Problem is, I don’t know all the various options that exist.

I’m aware of the Blichmann Top Tier, the Sabco Brewmagic, and the Brewtus build-your-own stands. I like the Blichmann because of the price, but it’s tall, and my wife is really going to be cheesed off if it doesn’t store well in the garage. I like the Sabco system, but I don’t have $7k to spend. I love the Brewtus system, since it’s a single-tier system like the Sabco but theoretically much cheaper, but I don’t really want to sink a ton of time into sourcing parts and building it.

Are there any other options? Is there anyone in the Mpls area that builds Brewtus stands for a price?

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Have you thought about a bolt together stand?

I use a bolt-together stand. Everyone says it looks like a huge erector set :slight_smile:

That being said, its the next best thing to a welded frame and gives me the option to disassemble and tweak the frame as needed. I’m about to do that as my new garage has far more vertical storage space than horizontal. I just picked up the steel and bolts at my local Lowes along with a blade for my saw to cut the steel. I do recommend diagonal supports for outside 90 degree joints if you go bolt together. The frame will flex without them (bolts act like hinges after all).

I definitely say a single tier setup with a pump. I’ve been brewing on a blichmann top tier at a friends, it’s such a huge PITA, you better have a ladder handy (it’s pretty tall), as well as a level (if you are going to be setting it up on sloped surfaces.)

I have been using a three tier, gravity fed, 5 gallon system from Morebeer for 14(?) years and it is the single best purchase I have ever made. I think it was about $1400 when I bought it, everything included, which seemed/seems expensive… But, that makes it only $100 per year at this point. The top of the highest pot (spage water) is exactly eye level for me (and I am only 5’-8".)

I used aluminum Bosch framing, which was very easy to build and very strong. I used a chop saw with a metal cutting disc and a 1/2" wrench. The rest was just angle brackets and bolts.

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The stuff is very versitile and light. Same material used to build workstations and clean rooms, also machine frames.

Thanks, Jayoun. I was kinda curious about this practical aspect of the Top Tier.

For everyone else, does anyone have any experience with Sabco’s stand-only item they sell? Does it accommodate smaller kettles (e.g., a 10-gal blichmann) or not? I’d be purchasing it WITHOUT the electronics components…

Depending on how you set it up the Top Tier doesn’t have to be that high. I do need to use a single step stool when pouring 5 gallon jugs of RO water in my HLT but I’ve got no issue holding in a hose up there to fill it without any step up. Other brew stands are really cool and I can see their benefits but I like how compact the Top Tier is and the simplicity of only using gravity to move liquid. Gravity always works and never needs cleaning. :smiley:

"Gravity always works and never needs cleaning. :smiley: "

I have been kicking around the idea of going to a more automated system (either flat or like morebeer’s tippydump) for a year now… but I just cannot get away from this important point. There is a lot to be said about the simplicity of gravity. Although, I am sure there is also a lot to be said about the accuracy of recirculation.

There is no doubt that there are plenty of advantages to systems that use pumps to move liquid and recirculate but I put a higher priority on simplicity and ease of use which pushed me toward a gravity setup. I thought I might end up with a pump when I picked up a therminator but turns out it works great just using gravity. :cheers:

Single tier w/ pump. Built mine a few weeks ago and love it. Took half the time and all the lifting out of my brew day.

I recently had my second stand built and went single tier with a pump (I already had the pump to whirlpool). I absolutely love it. I just drew a picture with measurements after considering what I needed (and might someday want), took it to the welder, and had it back in 5 days. Painted it with gloss stove paint and it is rock solid. Even with having someone else do the welding, this is by far the least expensive way to go short of building it yourself. Probably the fastest turnaround, too.

I would say go for the Brewtus Build. I’ve been happy with mine, but I was also able to get a neighbor to weld it and another to wire it. I do have a name of a top notch sanitary welder if you are looking to weld stainless for anything. He works at a dairy and does great work. The guy who welded my stand was really impressed with his skill.

Overall, I don’t think any option is going to be cheap. I would think long and hard about gas vs. electric before you go down a path. With MN winters there are a number of times that I wish I was brewing inside on an electric system.

If anyone goes single tier and is using a keg-tun, rig it for a tippy dump. It’s the bomb and costs about $10 to do! Waaaaaaaay better than lugging around 100# of wet grain at 150 degrees and if you do it right, it’s a one-man operation.

I “made” my single tier system out of 3 turkey fryer burner stands. They are easy to move and stack behind the garage door.

Any info on the easy tippy dump?

If positioned correctly (I can help with that but will require me to pull the tape off) you get a nifty CG effect where it is easily tipped and dumped with one hand. I have one of those Home Depot blue plastic yard buckets that I put a garbage bag into it and dump into the bag.

The threaded rod runs through the skirt. I imagine there’s no reason why you couldn’t do it with any stand material but the stand itself must have an “H” on the tun end so it can pivot. Believe it or not, the fancy brackets and stuff was just some junk that came with the corner brackets when I scored the Bosch framing, but I’m sure you can use something else because my last rig I just used a piece of slotted steel. Lemme know if I’m unclear or need more pics, be happy to.

Here it is:

[quote=“Silentknyght”] I like the Blichmann because of the price, but it’s tall, and my wife is really going to be cheesed off if it doesn’t store well in the garage.

Is there anyone in the Mpls area that builds Brewtus stands for a price?[/quote]

:oops: The wife was really cheesed off because it didn’t fit in the garage, and so I no longer have a Top Tier. I’ll ask again, does anyone know anyone in the Mpls area that builds Brewtus stands? Or, how does one go about sourcing parts? Is that necessary, or do you just hand the “directions” to a local welder, and they do their thing?

[quote=“moose”]I used aluminum Bosch framing, which was very easy to build and very strong. I used a chop saw with a metal cutting disc and a 1/2" wrench. The rest was just angle brackets and bolts.

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The stuff is very versitile and light. Same material used to build workstations and clean rooms, also machine frames.[/quote]

Where did you source the T-bolt Aluminum frame? I was looking into this, but there is no local source for the frame, making it cost almost as much as a brewtus…

I built my stand out of old bed frames that were scrounged from the re-use/recycle shed at the town transfer station, but metal frame stock can be purchased from a variety of locations including big boxes. I drew a plan of what I wanted and how all the components related, the dimensions of all the components. From that, I started cutting and bolting pieces together. More info here: http://hbd.org/discus/messages/366/3362 … 1339813504

If you can draw up what you want, with dimensions and all details included, you could hand that to a metal fabricator and they could build what you want.

I use a brutus10…if you know a welder a couple of cases of beer got my stand welded up

A buddy of mine is now coaching for the Packers and has a older Sabco system he is looking to unload…its been used once. Sorry I already got his kegs and stainless fermentor. If your willing to drive he may still have it…his price was about what he bought it for.

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