May 12th, 2005

  • thaen

Our Equipment

Until recently, our set of equipment was pretty small. A couple carboys, a few 5-gallon plastic buckets, a 20 quart (maximum volume) brewkettle... yeah that was pretty much it. Reasonable for making extract brews, but for all-grains we had a fair distance to go.

The barrier, for the most part, was money. Most of our brewing group were working at a self-established game startup (their website is still up...), which meant they were essentially making Zero Money. Combine with the fact that Adam (who was actually working) wasn't around, and you had essentially zero money for financing the beer making.

Fortunately, Tam knew a guy who knew a guy who was selling all his old brewing equipment (you've heard this part before). We bought it for an incredibly good price -- lke $250 for 10 carboys, 6 kegs, a 15 gallons "brewkettle" (really just a converted keg), and a host of smaller equipment (including that lauter tun that we will never use again). Probably a 90% discount, depending on where you shop.

In any case, all this equipment put us on the fast track to brewing all grains. You can see our equipment in the thumbnail to the right. On the far left is a simple water filter from your local hardware store. It filters into the big cooler, which has a spout to extract the water easily. The fridge in the background is a simple kegerator, which we have hooked up to a temperature monitor so that we can keep the fridge at whatever temp we want (or need, to ferment lager for example). You can see a few of the kegs and carboys in the picture as well. The brewkettle is apparent in the lower right corner.

If you look at the larger picture (click the thumbnail), you can see a rod coming out of the brewkettle with some wires headed over to the computer. The rod is a temperature probe, and the computer is monitoring the temperature of the water in the brewkettle. When we move to an electric heating system (using steam or hot water and copper pipes), the computer will be responsible for the temperature profile of the beer, saving us a lot of sitting around and staring at the thermometer. More about temperature monitoring at a later date.

Anyway, so there's a brief snapshot of the rest of our equipment (Adam covered the mash tun, lauter tun, and sparging system in a previous post).