Building a Brewing Stand (AKA Brew Tree) Part 1

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I am almost finished setting up my own all grain home brewing system.  There was a lot of design consideration and construction work involved in this project.  I’d like to walk you through some of the designs available if you would like to build your own.  In later posts I will talk about my design and how I constructed it.

If your into brewing you own beer , and you make the leap to all grain brewing, you will eventually want to build yourself a stand to house all the equipment you use during the process.  There are many options available and they range from the cheap and simple, to the expensive and automated.  Your choices are divided into gravity fed and pump fed.

1. Gravity Fed (AKA Three Tier)

A gravity fed system keeps each part at a level higher than the next and uses gravity to move fluids from one step to the next.  Pretty simple right?  Not so fast.  There are still some important things to consider before using a design like this.  HalfBarrelBrewer has some great ideas on the matter and shows why he did not use this design.  Examples of gravity fed systems can be found here, and here.

2. Pump fed (AKA Single Tier)

A pump fed system keeps everything on the same level and uses pumps to transfer fluids from one container to the next.  The lower level of all the parts makes the whole thing much more user friendly, but comes at the cost of price and simplicity.  This stand will cost much much more than a gravity fed system.  Using pumps requires more demanding plumbing and a multi-step process to prime and pump the fluid.  Excellent examples of a single tier system can be found at alenuts and homebrewacademy.com  The Brutus 10 design is the gold standard for single tier automated home brewing systems.

3.  Other designs

The options for building a stand are limitless.  They can be built from almost any material imaginable including wood, extruded aluminum, bolted steel, and super-strut.  You can also make a hybrid 2 tier system that incorporates just one pump and reduces the height of the stand.

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