Thursday, May 20, 2010

Brewing has resumed

This past weekend I managed to pull my stuff together and jump back on the horse. I live in a new home, so my homebrew process needed figuring out. At the old brewery on West Linden, I brewed on the front porch, using the change in elevation to help with the process. At my new place, the setup is different. The optimal place to brew doesn't have stairs. What it does have, however, is better lighting, a roof from the elements, and much more space. None of the brewing process will need to take place in the kitchen (except the drinking part), and I am no longer limited to daytime, fair-weather brewing. (Truth be told, I have brewed in the dark and in the rain, but it was enough of a pain that I did try to avoid it.)

So when it came to designing my new brewery, the main question was whether to stick with the gravity method of fluid transfer or step up to using wort pumps and such. When it came down to it, the decision came to what I was willing to spend, and a wort pump was just not yet worth the price of admission. So gravity it is. So then it came to figuring out a structure which would allow versatility and ease of process. There are a few commercially available homebrew targeted brewing structures, but, again, they can be expensive. So I decided to build one.

What I came up with is a table that uses sawhorses as legs, and then another smaller table to provide a third level. So this is my new brewery:

With one batch brewed, I am feeling pretty good about it. The only part that is slightly tough is lifting the hot sparge water to the top level. But for 5-gallon batches, it is never too terribly much water. If I ever moved to larger batches, then I will more likely move to a different system anyway.