DIY Brewery

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Mjr6313, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. Mjr6313

    Mjr6313 New Member

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    Location:
    County Durham, north York's border, England
    Who has built from scratch, what did you use, how much did it cost.
    I started with a couple of kits for £50 total but didn't get the taste I wanted and added extras to round them out but still not satisfied also I like to learn. So I read and watched hours and hours of YouTube videos ( I became obsessed ) and decided to go full blown all grain. Now the hard part finding the money and equipment (I'm poor not ashamed of it its just a fact of life) it would take a miracle to buy some of this stuff for me anyway so I set myself a challenge how would it actually cost for the bare minimum to produce 5 gallons of drinkable all grain beer.
    £70 is the cheapest I could do
    30 liter HDPE barrel
    2 kettle elements
    1 1/2 ball valve
    1 6" bazooka
    And a BIAB corded bag
    Total £50
    Then it's just the grains and hops on top
    Every thing else I already owned.
    From this I have made beers that a local brewery have started to produce this week as samples to market test
    WHAT DO YOU HAVE.
     
  2. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I put together a pretty nice 220-volt electric 2-vessel HERMS system from used 15 gallon pots, buying a lot of peripherals and building a relatively simple electric controller box. I didn't bother keeping close track of the cost, but I estimate that I'm in for around $400 or so. Already had fermenters and pump. For a relatively "automated" PID-controlled electric brewery, I figure I'm off very easy.
    I have brewed a lot of batches with a pot and bag and burner, though and it's possible to make good beer with a very simple, inexpensive set-up.
     
  3. Texas Ale Works

    Texas Ale Works Active Member

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    I went the opposite direction...my first true build was a 3 vessel eHERMS, and the custom pots cost me 1K........
    Now I am selling that off at a huge loss, and going with a single vessel eBIAB.

    it cost me $250 just to have the power installed in the brew space......
     
  4. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    BIAB is by far the cheapest AG set up.
    1-Bag
    1- 10 gallon pot
    Burner or stove top.
    Immersion chiller
    All can be put together for under $200 and significantly cheaper if you pick up some used stuff.
    Cheers,
    Brian
     
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  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'm a pot, cooler and burner guy. No automation at all. The fanciest thing in my brewery is the induction burner I use for heating. I mash in a cooler, schlep water and wort. I do keep a close eye on fermentation temperature - a refrigerator with an Inkbird two-stage temperature controller, temperature probes in the beer. And I'd go just a bit farther than JA: You can make excellent beer without automation.
     
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  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I feel like I have. :D It's really just a lot nicer brew day when there's a little bit less schlepping sweating. And having 10 gallons of beer to show for the same time that gave me a 5 gallon batch before makes it even better. :)
    And trust me. my version of a fancy system is 2 or 3 states over from state of the art. ;) I'm still tweaking by hand all through the process.
     
  7. Texas Ale Works

    Texas Ale Works Active Member

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    I love a little bit of control, not automation,but control. PIDs give me control for my electric set-up....and somehow I dont feel that a pump is automation, lol

    I still remember fondly the days of cooler mashing, and if i knew then some of the things I know now.....I would still be doing it.
    TBH...having a 2 PID controlled - 3 vessel - 15 gallon electric HERMs did not make brewing any more fun, or the beer any better.....

    that is why I have added a new mantra to my brewing philosophy
    1. The ART of making beer is the ACT of making beer
    2. I want BEER not GEAR

    to put this back on topic; a simple, well thought out, purpose built brewery, no matter what the cost, is better than lights, bells, and whistles...IMHO
     
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  8. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    Attaboy Mjr! I like your approach! What's that quote of necessity being the mother of invention? Yeah...I think most of us here would cite beer as a necessity!

    I am about 6 months into this new found love and also took the "do more with less" approach by repurposing many of the Wife's kitchen tools and other house hold things I already had like the igloo cooler that's now a mash tun and the 4 gallon soup pot that I started out using for small batches to see how this all grain process works. Carboys and bottling buckets were my biggest challenge because food grade stuff on Amazon was so expensive but that's when I took advantage of Craig's List....do they have that in England? Bottles? All used and easily the best part of the DIY approach...yeah, I single handedly drained each and every one of them myself...one sip at a time. I was tough work but somebody had to do it! All this and some dumb luck ( see my windfall post) got me stood up and able to brew what I think is some pretty good stuff...I've even done a cider and wine batch.

    All in all, I would say my first few batches were done with about $30 in gear costs.

    W
     
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  9. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Most my single vessal BIAB brewery is home made right down to the swiss voile brew bag;). Ive added to it piece by piece as i saw the necessity. Ive got a repurposed 50lt keg for kettle some old clothes line square bar for kettle stand used timber and concrete slab for brew stand. Its a little rough and ready but it gets the job done. I am looking at going electric down the track as i think its cheeper and it dosnt need topping up like gas bottles.
    Ive not kept an eye on $'s but easy under 150 im a cheep bastard!
    20180617_082901.jpg
     
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  10. Mjr6313

    Mjr6313 New Member

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    We use Facebook market and some other selling sites all we get in the uk about Craig's list is horror stories but ebay is great you just have to wait for China to post stuff
     
  11. Mjr6313

    Mjr6313 New Member

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    There's nothing wrong with rough and ready as long asits clean where needed anyway I think the term for that is rat rod style
     
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  12. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    You have gumtree over there too dont you? Ive bought a few brew items on there including keg and ferm freezer.
     
  13. SwampWater

    SwampWater Member

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    I bought two sanke kegs from the US and smuggled them back to Canada as usual. Back in the day nothing was available in Canada. I did find a 58 L electric brew pot out west and bought it. Converted my other two kegs to electric and am still using them. This was back in 2003.
     
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  14. Vallka

    Vallka Well-Known Member

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    I have built my system from scratch as well, the only thing that cost a lot was the "turkey fryer" 35L pot (I added a ball valve) and stove which I use as a boil kettle. I got a 55L keg from our local scrapyard, cut the top added a ball valve. This one I use to boil sparge water, I built the propane burner for it, takes 15min to boil 45-50L of water. I found you don't need a themometer on ether kettle, quick digital temp check works fine. A camping cooler with a copper manifold that drains through the bottom(not side) as a mash tun, this results in BHE of around 90-92%.
    It is amazing what you can build with a little bit of Google/YouTube searching. Yes eBay China has lots if you are willing to wait (I do).
    And like you said keep it all clean, so far I have found the main key to good beer........sanitation, sanitation and sanitation. (I can post some pic's if you want)
     
  15. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    As seen in one of my nearby brew pubs "Brewing is what you do when you are not cleaning"
     
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  16. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    I’m still working with a ghetto system. But made a couple mods, one to a SSbrewtech infusion mash tun and the other is a small Mark II pump to sub for Vorlaufing. It would be nice to ditch the propane, but refilling tanks gives me an excuse to stop in at the pub. :D
     
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  17. KC

    KC Active Member

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    My original BIAB 'upgrade' from the Mr. Beer kit was a 5-gal plastic bucket from the hardware store ($5) and a 15-qt ceramic pot from amazon ($30). Paint strainer bags were $1 each. I think I splurged on a large funnel.
     

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