It is that time of the year again where the home brewing savings get bigger and better. The competition is fierce out there and many of the major homebrewing stores are posting big sales. Right now Adventures in Homebrewing has an incredible sale going on where you can save a bundle with their 2015 Black Friday Sale that is good from now until Saturday at 3:AM.
With this Adventures in Homebrewing / Homebrewing.org sale, you can save on everything from new kegs (for just $69 each) to a new stainless steel 8 gallon homebrewing kettle for only $30.99! These deals are almost too good to be true and they wont last!
Great news homebrewers, MoreBeer just released a follow up to their popular line of Homebrewing Brew Sculptures and HomeBrew Rigs! They are bringing homebrewing into the future and to a whole new level with a digital touch screen interface for they Low Rider homebrewing stand that lets you control almost every aspect of your brew session.
They are calling this new digital, stainless steel homebrewing system the Low Rider! The Low Rider is their new top of the line Single Tier Brew Sculpture. Since this brew system is low to the ground with all of the brew kettles at the same height, it allows you to access each kettle without the need for a step stool. That is one of the reasons why these stainless steel homebrewing systems are popular pilot systems for breweries like Russian River and Sierra Nevada.
So what makes this new homebrewing rig better than the other brew rigs out there? Quite simply, they are loaded with features and are super reliable! Also, these home brew systems are built in the USA by MoreBeer and include free shipping. Free shipping is a big deal when it comes to a homebrewing setup like this because it can cost several hundred dollars in freight charges to ship a setup like this! Following is a list of features included with this new MoreBeer.com homebrewing rig:
304 Food Grade Stainless Steel Stand
304 stainless steel brew kettles with welded fittings, notched lids included
High temp march pumps, heat resistant food grade silicone tubing and specially designed stainless steel quick disconnects all come standard
Includes a More Beer Ultimate Sparge Arm, which is one of the best sparge systems available in home brewing. The mash tun has a perforated stainless mash screen that is reinforced for use with pump recirculation. Internally etched volume markers on the kettles makes for simple mash water additions.
Top of the line homebrew burners that are fast, efficient, reliable and have precision flame control.
The included boil kettle features an innovative whirlpool maker! This allows the home brewer to leave the hops and trub behind when transferring your wort to your fermentor! The bottom of the boil kettle is tri-clad with a 4mm aluminum core sandwiched between two layers of 304 stainless which helps to eliminate scorching!
Digital Brew Rig
This new digital homebrewing system comes in two different versions. The “low rider” format featured at the top of the article and this tippy dump version that is shown above. The two formats are priced similarly, so depending on which design works best for you, that can drive your choice.
What makes this new MoreBeer homebrewing system so incredible is the innovative new digital touch screen brewing control system. This new digital brew rig control system is built around a 7 inch touch screen that lets you control everything from times and temperature to setting reminders for additions throughout the entire home brewing process. They have really brought home brewing into the future with this new digital brewing system. The touch screen control panel allows the home brewer to choose from 3 preset mash schedules and even design their own schedule with up to 5 steps. Best of all, the digital control module maintains the hot liquor tank temperature for you by automatically turning the burner off and on and monitoring the temp with a digital probe. If you are old school or afraid of Sky Net taking over, there is also a manual mode that allows you to over ride the system.
I just purchased a couple of conical fermenters and now it seems like all that I do is blog about conicals. Well, this will be my last for a while, well at least until next week because I am just finishing up my temperature control unit and plan on posting some photos about that. I had to write this one because right now MoreBeer has a huge sale on Blichmann 7 gallon, 14 gallon and 27 gallon Fermentator conical fermenters currently going on.
Blichmann 7 Gallon Fermenator Conical Fermenter
Right now, you can get this 7 gallon Blichmann stainless steel conical fermenter for only $499
Blichmann is known for their high quality homebrewing products and they have not compromised their standards on their conical fermenters. They are some of the best stainless steel conicals available to home brewers. These Blichmann stainless steel conical fermentors features a weld-free interior, a dump valve for removing yeast and sediment, and a rotating racking arm for clearn beer transferring. Prior to bottling or kegging your home brew, you can dump your yeast and trub out of the bottom valve, making for a very clean transfer and giving you the ability to harvest your yeast. The lid has a removable hatch that is pressure capable, allowing you to easily transfer using CO2 to minimize air exposure and oxidation.
Home Beer Brewing Setups, Home Breweries, Homebrew Stands and Beer Brewing Rigs!
Home Brewing Stands, Beer Brewing Rigs and Home Brewer Racks
I am starting up a page to view your Home Beer Brewing Stands, Home Brew Rigs, Beer Brewing Racks and Brew Sculpture of West Coast Brewer viewers! So if you have a photo or image of your home brewing setup, extract or all grain, big or small, please email them to me at email@example.com and I will get them posted! It is always great to see the different home brewing setups to people have made to inspire others to build their own!
If you are looking to purchase a home brewing stand, I have compiled a list of available units here.
For a limited time, save 15% on home brewing stainless steel quick connects and quick disconnects!
Home Brewing Quick Disconnects
Looking for an excellent way to upgrade your home brewery and save some money? From now until 6/5/2015 you can save 15% are MoreBeer.com on their home brewing quick connects and quick disconnects. I use them on my home brewing rig and it is a nice time saver when it comes to cleaning and moving pump hoses from kettle to kettle.
To take advantage of this limited time coupon code, just enter promo code SSQD15 during checkout to save 15% off our stainless steel quick disconnects!
Lately, with the trend of craft breweries moving towards ultra hoppy, high IBU IPA’s; home brewers need to be on their game if they want their home brewed beer to stand up to what the breweries are releasing. One of the greatest advantages that a home brewer has over a craft brewery is freshness. As beer ages the potency of hop bitterness and aroma diminishes and that is accelerated by heat and oxidation. Since a home brewer does not need to contend with their beer sitting in a hot warehouse during distribution or having the sun beat down on their bottles in a stores showcase, you should do your best to take advantage of your beers freshness. Always do your best to store your beer in a cool dark place if possible.
Whole Citra Hops
Another way to make the most of your IPA’s freshness is to dry hop. The reason a brewer dry hops their beer is to impart the beer with fragrant and fresh hop aroma. Since the beer is cool when the hops are added, the oils from the hops will not be infused with the beer and they will pass on little to no bitterness. Dry hopping is typically conducted once primary fermentation has completed and the hops are typically left in contact with the beer for between 7 and 14 days. The hops are usually added after primary fermentation has completed so that less CO2 is being produced and the hop aroma can stay in contact with the beer as opposed to being carried out of the fermentor with the escaping CO2. I personally like to use whole hops for dry hopping, but pellet hops can be used as well. When the beer is ready to be transferred to a keg or bottle, the beer is siphoned as normal and the hops are left behind in the fermentor to be discarded. I typically add about 2 ounces of hops for every 5 gallons of beer, but more can be added if desired.
I brewed a batch of Karamel Citra Session IPA over the weekend to test out the new RIMS system that I had built for my home brewery. Sometimes you can test as much as you want, but until you go live with an actually batch of beer, you just never know what is going to happen. Thankfully everything with this batch seemed to work just about perfectly.
There are a couple of things that I would like to make note of for anyone else who is planning on building their own RIMS setup using a similar configuration as mine. Initially the march pump did not seem to want to pass the wort through the RIMS heating chamber. To correct the issue I bypassed the heating chamber and recirculated directly back into the mash tun for a couple of minutes until the work began to clear a bit. After that it passed through the heating chamber with out any issues. Also, as a safety measure I wired my Ranco temperature controller so that the only way that it can be on is if the mash tun pump is active. I would recommend that you do the same in order to help reduce the chances that the heating element engages with out any fluid in the heating chamber. You will also want to check on your flow rate periodically to make sure that the march pump is transferring fluid at the expected rate.
I do not blog about home brewing coupon codes and promo codes to often, but if I come across a great one or a really fantastic sale that might save you some money then I will. Currently MoreBeer.com is having one of those sales. Right now you can save more than 25% off of some of their best home brewing equipment including stainless steel conical fermenters, stainless steel home beer brewing stands, home brewing ingredient kits and home brewing starter kits! Here are a few of the items they currently have discounted.
I have good news for my fellow home brewers. If you have always wanted a stainless steel fermentor for your home brewing setup but have been scared away from making the purchase by either the cost or the size than this might be the fermentor for you.
Last month MoreBeer.com released these new 7 gallon stainless steel conical fermentors and I picked up 2 of them. They currently retail for $225. There are several things that I like about these stainless steel fermentation buckets. First off is that they are small enough where the still fit in the chest freezer that I use as a fermentation chamber. Secondly, they have strong handles on the side that permit you to carry and move them around when they are full. Something that would be far more tricky with a larger 14 gallon conical stainless steel fermentor. Another thing that is great is that they have volume markers engraved into the side of the fermentor which is awesome!
Stainless Steel Fermenter
Perhaps the best thing about this stainless steel fermentor is that it wont crack, chip, break or possibly shatter if you drop it and embed large shards of glass into your leg! In most cases this will also make the need for a racking cane obsolete. It is also larger than standard carboys! With its plus sized 6.95 gallon capacity you wont have to worry much about head space during high krausen on a 5 gallon batch. Lastly what I like about it is that it is far easier to scrub than a carboy since the large lid comes off so that you have full access to the inside of the fermentor. Honestly about the only thing about a carboy that I miss is being able to watch the fermentation take place. It would also have been nice to have another valve on the very bottom so that you could remove trub or harvest yeast from the fermentor. Those two points aside, if you are looking to purchase a reasonably priced, high quality stainless steel fermentor or stainless steel brew bucket as they call this, than this is a great choice.
You can purchase this stainless steel fermentor here:
How to build a Home Brewery \ Beer Brewing Stand \ Brewing Rack \ Single Tier Brewing Sculpture
I can not speak for everyone, but for me, once I had made the change from extract to all grain home brewing I began having visions of what I wanted my home brewery to look like. In a way, a big part of the allure of home beer brewing for me was making the best beer possible. For me that included building my own home brewing rack, doing my best to perfect the process and being as efficient as possible. I am not going to lie, there were a few times along the way that I questioned what the hell I was thinking and why I did not just buy a home brewing stand, but now that all is said and done I am a bit proud of what I was able to accomplish with my own hands. In hopes of helping some of my fellow home brewers out I am going to supply some general information on how I put mine together. If you need any specifics on something I do not list here, please feel free to drop me a line with what details you are looking for.
Home Beer Brewery
The dimensions of my brewery are 61″ Wide, 20.5″ Deep and 20.5″ tall excluding the wheels. The following is a list of parts that I used to create my home brewing sculpture, but many of the items such as the kettles, sparge arm and pumps can be traded out for other items of your preference. I am assuming that you have some basic welding experience (it is not that hard) and the required tools including a welder, cut saw, drill and grinder.
For the frame of my single tier home brewing stand I used 2″ x 2″ steel fence post that I cut into the appropriate sizes. I made two large 61″ x 20.5″ rectangles for the top and the bottom, with a supporting vertical bar on each corner of the brewing stand. In between each of the 3 burners, I placed 2 bars for spacing and support. Even with all 3 kettles full of liquid, the beer rack is incredibly stable. Here is a link to the fence post available at home depot:
The burners are really an item of personal preference. I started with 54,000 BTU burners, but then later upgraded to a 210,000 BTU Bayou Cooker Burners. The smaller burners were more efficient as far as propane usage goes, but the larger bayou cooker burners certainly get the job done much quicker. I welded brackets onto the bottom of the top level of my home brewing stand to hold the burners in place. Initially I had a flexible line with a regulator running from each burner to a master regulator that was hooked up to the propane tank, but then later ran pipe with separate valves for each burner. The bayou cooker banjo burners are available here:
For the home brewing kettles I opted for the Blichmann 20 gallon kettles. They include a site gauge so you can easily see the volume in your kettle, a 3 piece stainless steel ball valve and adjustable thermometer. These stainless steel brewing kettles are one of the best buys that I have ever made and have no regrets about them. They have a variety of options including a false bottom for your mash tun, hop blocker for your boil kettle, and sparge arm. I opted for the false bottom and hop blocker and have been very happy with them. I do mostly 10 gallon batches, but could go as high as 15 gallons with these 20 gallon kettles. You will want to buy kettles that are appropriate for the batch size that you intend to brew. Blichmann currently offers 10 gallon, 15 gallon, 20 gallon, 30 gallon and 55 gallon kettles. You can find the kettles and optional items available here:
You will need to get 2 high temperature food grade pumps for your single tier home brewing rack. I placed my pumps in between the hot liquor tank \ mash tun and the other between the mash tun and boil kettle. With two pumps you will be able to conduct your sparge while also transferring wort from your mash tun to your boil kettle. I use high temperature rated march pumps with stainless steel quick disconnects. The pumps and disconnects can be found here:
As far as sparge arms go I have tried several. The best one that I have ever come across is the morebeer ultimate sparge arm. It is made of stainless steel, has a ball valve built into it to easily control the flow rate and can be used to recirculate or lauter your wort in addition to sparging. The ultimate sparge arm can be purchased here:
Lastly for my wort chiller I use a convoluted counter flow chiller. Much like the sparge arm, I have tried just about every chiller from immersion chillers to plate chillers and I have found the convoluted counter flow chiller to be the best. What I like most about it is that it is just about impossible to clog, it is compact, it cools wort incredibly quickly and it is easy to clean and sanitize. These convoluted counter flow chillers are also sometimes referred to as chillzillas. They can be found here:
Those are the basics on my home brewing stand \ single tier brewing sculpture. If you have any specific questions or comments, please leave a comment or shoot me an email and I will do my best to assist you. Best of luck to you on building your own all grain home beer brewing stand. If it seems like a little more work then you are up for, there are also some really fantastic pre-manufactured stainless steel home brewing racks and brewing sculptures available here:
Pre-built beer stands, turnkey home breweries, pre-made brew sculptures, single tier brewing stands, multi tier home breweries… call them what you will. Before your only option was to build your own brewing stand, but now, if you have the money; there are several pre-built home brewery options available. So which is the best option for your money?
If I had not already gone through the blood, sweat, tears and frankly burns of welding and constructing my own single level home brewing stand; I would opt for one of MoreBeers brewing sculptures. Over the last 5 years they seem to have perfected the pre-manufactured beer rack. They have 3 styles of brewing sculptures available for you to choose from; a stainless steel single tier brewing rack, a 3 tier tippy-dump brewing sculpture and a 3 level gravity based home brewery. I would personally go with their single tier home brewing stand, but if you have space limitations or can not afford the hefty price tag of the single level brewing stand, the stainless steel multi tier brewing stands are a great option as well.
Multi-level home brewing stand – MoreBeer Tippy-Dump Stainless Steel Brewing Stand
What I like most about MoreBeer’s stainless steel brewing stands, over the other pre-constructed brewing stands on the market is that they seem to have thought of everything in their design and did not skimp on any of the features. Their brewing racks are all made out of stainless steel and many of their versions include the following features:
Stainless Steel Maximizers and Diverter
High Temperature March Pumps
The MoreBeer Stainless Steel Ultimate Sparge Arm
Digital Temperature Controls
Convoluted Heat Exchanger for RIMS and HERMS support
Boil Kettle Whirlpool Arm
Fantastic Customer Support
Hard propane lines
The only downside that I can see is the price. One of these stainless steel home brewing stands will run you anywhere from $1099 to over $6000 depending on the style, capacity and features that you want in your brewing sculpture. In all reality that is not too bad of a deal when you consider that it comes with the kettles and almost all of the items that you will need to have an out of the box, ready to go, top of the line all grain home brewery constructed from stainless steel.
If you are interested in purchasing one of these all grain home brewing stands, you can view their full lineup here:
Tis the season, and for those of you trying to find the perfect gift for the home brewer in your life, I have ranked the top 5 ultimate Christmas gift ideas for a home brewer. Since we all have different budgets, I tried to make the list as diverse as possible.