Tested My New Winter Brewing Setup, With New Pics

I’ve been putting together some stuff in the basement garage for winter brewing. Built a table for my HLT/MLT thats tall enough to drin to the kettle next to it. I also put in a 55gal barrel with 50gal of water for my chilling water. Made a new 50ft IC with hose connections and hooked it to a 12V bilge pump for circulating the water. I run this with a battery charger. I put a fan in the window and opened the garage door for plenty of ventilation since I’m boiling with propane.

We brewed 12gal of an oatmeal stout yesterday and things went pretty well. The IC chilled the beer below 100F in less than 15min, that was very nice. I’ll need to add an ice bomb or two to get it any lower, although for 5gal batches it should level out in the 80F range. It was an easy brew since we pumped everything with the March pump. I am going to put in a large sink for cleaning since I won’t be able to use the hose when its cold. I’m also going to build a hood to put over the kettle to assist in capturing combustion gases and venting them outside. and I’m working on a cooling chamber for the conical that will consist of 2" blue foam, a dorm fridge and a Johnson controller.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Mr Sawyer :slight_smile: …your setup sounds awesome!!! Can you post some pictures please? This sounds like something I might graduate to someday. I am especially interested in the conical fermentors.

Sounds awesome man. I would love to see some pics as well.

Its a redneck setup other than the fancy Brewhemoth conical which you can’t see in this pic. You can see the blue foam ferm chamber, the 42" high table for MLT and the HLT sitting on a bucket for gravity feed to the MLT, and to the left is the barrel thta holds my chilling water. I set my crusher right on the MLT and crushed in place, then pumped water to it and then to the HLT. After that it was gravity feed to kettle, boiling, IC with whirlpooling andpumping to the fermentor.

I’m already rearranging things. I originally was going to cool the ferm chamber with a little AC unit in the window, but I decided to go with the dorm fridge idea (not yet purchased) which lets me use the little window for venting the propane exhaust. I’m either going to move the mash table over and put the fermentor to the left, or leave the fermentor in between the table and kettle area. I will probably do that since it’ll mean less hose required to pump from kettle to fermentor. The dorm fridge will stick out in front of the chamber and be useful as a little table. Then I am going to build a redneck exhaust hood for the kettle and put a box fan in the window for ventilation. This is all an improvement over what we were doing before, brewing on my back deck and carrying 6gal carboys of wort to the basement to pour into the fermentor. Once I get the sink in for cleaning and a water source, the only lifting will be moving the spent grain to the compost pile.

I’ll take another photo tonight, and update as I get the other components in place. By the way, this is set up with the 5gal system. The blue cooler under the table is for 10-15gal batch mashes, I move the white cooler to the HLT and I have a 20gal kettle and KAB6 burner stand for the big batches…

PS I’m also storing my propane tanks outside the garage door for safety. And the only other upgrade is going to be a small TV so we can watch the game while we brew.

[attachment=0]chill water supply.jpg[/attachment]
Closeup of the chill water system. 50gal of water in the barrel, 12V bilge pump runs nicely off a battery charger. I even have two speeds, the 2amp and the 10amp setting. The faster setting gives a good flow without too much pressure.

The 60qt MLT, Monster Mill, HLT set up for gravity feed. Mash/sparge water pumped to MLT/HLT.
[attachment=0]60qt MLT.jpg[/attachment]

20gal Bayou Classic kettle for 10-15gal batches. Sittng on the KAB6. Built the PVC frame tonight, its going to be my “fume hood” to catch CO and vent it out the window using a box fan. I have a water heater blanket to throw over the top of the frame. I’m still contemplating what to cover the sides with, I want at least 2ft of overhang to capture the rising heat containing any CO. I’m pretty sure things will be cool enough that I can use sheet plastic on the sides, but I’ll want to watch it close the first time I run the burner. I figure the top will bear the brunt of the heat and the water heater blanket is foil-wrapped fiberglass.
[attachment=0]kettle with hood.jpg[/attachment]

Last stop for the wort, the Brewhemoth. Its in my ferm chamber, the fan will be replaced with a dorm fridge and the front will be sealed up. I need to shorten the chamber about a foot too.

A pic of the overall system, showing the logistics/orientation of components. March pump in the toolbox, hooked to the kettle with camlocks and the other end is a copper pipe shaped for whirlpooling.
[attachment=0]system w pump.jpg[/attachment]

That’s great. Good job man. Wish I had a garage setup like that. Mine is a picnic chair, folding table, propane burner and a lot of running back and forth.


Thanks. This has definitely been a progression from kitchen stove to brewing on the deck with a turkey fryer, to this. I’ve been contemplating this setup for a year or more, finally got the garage cleaned up enough to make the space available.

I also bought a cheap plastic tub sink and will be setting it up next to the washer/dryer. I already have a water source there so once I get the drain tied into the sewer line I’m completely ready to go.

Taped up the edges of the water heater blanket to seal off the insulation, and put it on the exhaust frame. I may drape some plastic down the sides but I really think this will be enough to funnel the exhaust to the fan in the window.

And finally, I installed a tub sink with a 25ft RV hose so I can fill my kettle.Its away from my brewing area but next to the washer/dryer so it’ll have multiple uses.

Overall the system occupies 12ft x 4ft of space, closer to 15ft if you count the sink. Fairly compact setup, all in all.

Last thing to procure is a dorm fridge, I have a line on a good used unit from Craigslist. Once I get that I can set up the ferm chamber, and the whole thing is done.

Time for a nice British bitter.

Managed to snag the 32" dorm fridge for a good price, brought it home and took the doors off. I had to haul it laying over so I’m letting it sit for a day or two before I start it. Its just 1" short of being the perfect width for my box. I’ll put the chamber together tomorrow.

Shortened the chamber and installed the fridge, hooked the controller up and am looking for it to drop the temp from 64F to 60F overnight. The thermocouple is taped to the side of the conical. Theres a small fan in the bottom of the chamber to circulate air. I did check and I could put a 6gal carboy in alongside the Brewhemoth.

A final pic of the finished system and all the components I’ve accumulated.

Way to go Lennie, thanks for sharing the pics. A lot of good ideas there, looks economical too.

That it is, cheap and kind of shabby compared to some people’s rigs. It lets me continue to use my current brewing methods, significantly reduces the effort involved, and gets me out of inclement weather so I can brew at will. Plus using the water barrel for chilling water will save me a little money.