Kopacetic Beer Factory
When I started getting into brewing, I immediately decided to brew all-grain. From what I had read and in different homebrews I had tasted, I knew that I wanted the freshness of brewing with fresh cracked barley as well as the control of such a system. I was living in a tiny one bedroom campus apartment with a worthless electric stove. I made a small 2.5gal all-grain system but it never really worked the way I wanted it to. Then I moved into a house with a garage. Thank God! I instantly started gathering the materials I knew I needed for the system I had in mind.
First, I figured if I was going to manufacture a brewery I might as well go with a larger system. I bought 3 empty kegs from a local liquor store and took them to my dad's shop to have them cut open with a plasma cutter and drilled through. After everything I had read and researched, the modified kegs (aka Keggles) were by far the best way to go. These vessels give me a max brew volume of 12gal. Next, I found the burners. I needed to make sure that the burners I chose would be big enough to give me the liquid temps I needed with my new larger system. I bought two King Kooker propane burners with 105,000 btus a piece with a 30lb propane tank. The gas is plumbed with soft tubing for the time being but I am planning on hard plumbing it soon.
With the keggles and the burners, I could finally draft a stand. After looking at various pictures of homebrewers set-ups, I figured a 2-tier system would be best for me. So, I talked and planned with my dad and we developed this stand. My dad and uncle took the plans back to their shop and busted out a solid stand. With them building the stand I started piecing together the guts of each tank. I needed a false bottom for the mash tun, thermometer and sight gauge for each tank, a pump to move wort from the mash tun to the kettle, and all the necessary pluming. Between Northern Brewer and Weldlessfittings.com, everything was pretty easy to find.
Photo on left: Patrick and Mike building the stand. Photo on right: keggle w/ bulkhead and thermo/sight gauge.
Photo below: Inside the mash tun keggle. False bottom with dip tube to bulkhead on left and thermo probe centered.
Everything came together very well and after a few minor tweaks here and there the brewery was operational. So far so good. It runs well and kills fascist beers. Upgrades are without a doubt in the future plan, but until then the Kopacetic brewery does what it was designed to do.