Earlier this month I brewed a citra IPA and realized how inefficient some of my processes are. I found that I spent a large chunk of time setting up my saw horses and hulling up my equipment to the garage so I could brew a batch of beer. I also realize how much of a pain it was to hand crank a corona mill just to crush the grain. So in order to fixes those things I decided I would do two things – start looking at building a brew stand and look into motorizing my grain crushing.
My first project seems like it would be the most daunting. I regretted for a while not buying the brew stand Eric Goodyear was selling not too long ago. And then thought maybe I could build something similar for around $300.
I have always known that there are two possible materials to use for building a brew stand angle iron and steel pipes. With the angle iron I wouldn’t need to weld anything, but my understanding is that there is always a possibility that the pieces would start loosening up and would constantly have to readjust the connections. I talked to Adam Ross about that and found out that he’s never really had that issue. With the steel piping it looks nice, is durable but you need to be able to weld (for both cutting and connecting the pieces together). I really liked the idea of having something that looks more professional like a welded stand.
I also set my eyes on creating a stand that was gravity fed, so I looked online and started realizing that gravity fed stands require a lot more material and space. I also realized that all stands require a lot of planning. I then started thinking more about the whole brew stand and started thinking that I should work towards a stand that is everything I want from a brew stand (able to recirculate and do more with step mashing). I quickly started watching as my price tag started increasing. I started to decide to make that a multi-year process of putting the stand together.
I ultimately decided that at this point I wanted a brew stand that would hold my bulky equipment while I didn’t use them and be able to use a gravity fed system. So I did more research online and found one instance where someone was using a metal shelving system they bought at the Home Depot. I immediately thought that is what I was looking for. So I looked online and quickly found a heavy duty shelving system online at Amazon for about $75. The shelf has casters that can hold up to 300 pounds which is enough for my 5 gallon batches.
Since I saved all that money on the brew stand I decided I would buy a new burner that didn’t sound like a jet engine, so I bought a banjo burner. I have not had a chance to use all the new equipment but I plan on brewing a Brett English Mild with Whitbread yeast next weekend.
What is everyone else experience with building or dreaming of building a brew stand?