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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, 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.