Brew Shed Set Up?

Many like to post about a first successful ferment (or first all grain mash), or first still built/bought or first good run of the still. Tell us about all of these great times here.
Pics are VERY welcome, we drool over pretty copper

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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

Recently when I did the plumbing for my new still room, I included two very large laundry sinks. I put a set of regular taps on one of them and put independent hot (with a hose for washing and filling fermenters) and cold (dedicated cooling for still) taps on the walls near their respective function.

Never regretted the having a second sink, perfect for drying and cooling water outflow. Pics if interested.
Last edited by Expat on Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

water can be calculated, not just guessed.
Relationship between the Boiler and the Condenser
The boiler must not produce more vapor than the condenser can handle. In a still, all the heat that's
produced must also be removed. Some will be lost if the system isn't insulated well, but lets assume
that we have perfect insulation, and all the heat coming from the boiler has to be removed by the
condenser. This means that we must know how to match the condensers capacity to the power of the
heater element.
Let's start by assuming that we have a 1 kW heater element (1000 watts).
If you look in Appendix 1, or in an engineering handbook, you will find that 1 Watt of Power will
deliver 0.2388 calories per second, 14.3 calories per minute, or 860 calories per hour.
Since 1 calorie raises the temperature of 1 gram of water 1oC, 1 kW of heat will raise one liter of water
14.3oC (25.7oF) per minute. You now we have a good rule of thumb for connecting the power of the
heater to the operating parameters of a perfect condenser:
1 kW of boiler power will raise the temperature of cooling water flowing at 1 liter per minute by
14oC (26oF)
As long as the cooling water is below the boiling point, the temperature doesn't matter. Cooling water
entering at 20oC will come out at 34oC. If it enters at 100oF, it will come out at 126oF.
If you double the power of the heating element, you can double the flow of cooling water to keep the
14oC temperature difference, or accept a temperature rise of 28oC (50oF). The choice is yours, and just
a question of how you want to operate.

The complete distiller
I suspect if you were running your hose wide open you were paying no attention to the temperature of the water coming out, and thus using a lot more water than needed. But you should be able to use the above to get a good idea on either how much city water you would use if conserving as well as the size needed for a recirculating system (and optionally it's cooling) if you go that route.
zapata
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

Expat wrote:Recently when I did the plumbing for my new still room, I included two very large laundry sinks. I put a set of regular taps on one of them and put independent hot (with a hose for washing and filling fermenters) and cold (dedicated cooling for still) taps on the walls near their respective function.

Never regretted the having a second sink, perfect for drying and cooling water outflow. Pics if interested.
I'd love to see pics
Manc
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

Pfshine, good point. Yeah, I didn’t need wide open for the stripping runs. I put a control valve on my water inlet so that I can regulate the inlet flow. I have a 3”CM column from Brewhaus that is new to me, so, I’m a long way from learning how to drive it. It seemed to need full flow when doing the spirit run for both reflux and condensing. That was running well water at around 55 degrees. With reflux flow valve wide open, the vapor inlet (water exit) to the condenser was warm to the touch. That is when I went to wide open flow. I’ll do some measuring on the next run and will have a better idea of what’s required.

GCB3
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

Zapata, thanks for the calcs. Brings back some scary memories of college! I will give it a whirl and see if they lead to a reasonable conclusion. Not exactly sure how to account for the reflux cooling section. Guess I could just hook up the cooling system and measure flows at differing valve settings and get an idea of how that impacts flow to the condenser.

While it was not very scientific, I actually was monitoring the the “feel” of both ends of the condenser during the run. I don’t want steam coming out instead of liquid gold!

GCB3
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

Expat, thanks. After doing all of this in the kitchen, in my wife’s bathroom and on the porch, I can barely imagine the luxury of having everything in a dedicated room. I found a used restaurant fixture store that has boat loads of sinks, tables, shelves, etc. on line. I hope to get by there in the next week or so to see what will work. Two sinks would be awesome! I can’t believe how much dish washing and sanitizing I’ve been doing. “My hands are soooo dry”!
I’ve always thought that if you can swing it, build more than you think you need. It will be not enough in too short a time!
Two sinks for me if I can swing it!

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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

Yeah, I hear you with that. I was shutdown for a year or so after I moved house, but I was determined to make things better when I restarted. Took a fair bit of doing and a lot of patience on the part of the significant other.

While not the final setup, here are some early pics. More reorganization afterwards.

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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

Thanks expat that's an awesome set up love you have to take out the ceiling tiles out to fit it in I bet that has made you popular.
And thanks ECB3 nice thread I'm hoping to build a stilling shed this summer, I have an old garage with to many places for the bugs to hide so I'm following your thread with interest hope you keep us posted
Manc
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

Glad it’s helpful, Manc. This is a good area to kick around with folks who have already been there and done that. I will try to let folks know how I progress. It is always fun to start a new project. After seeing Expat’s set up, need to give some serious consideration to work flow and where water and power need to be.

GCB3
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

Lol yeah, workflow was a major consideration when putting my new room together. I actually used painters tape and marked out the floor and walls to figure out where things should be.

Re the ceiling panels, yeah, I only need one removed but I was still making changes when I took that photo. I use a basement space so I'm limited on the total height of my column. I switched to a crossflow condenser, for that very reason, more cooling, less height. The significant other, has no worries about what I do in my brew room as it's not a space she would use anyways. Tucked away in the corner of the basement and private. I had to tap the plumbing stack to provide a drain, and put in hot and cold water service for the sinks. Plus the dedicated 240v of course.

On power, it's worth noting that I ended up moving the panel and GFCI further to the right, to provide more clearance for my still. I.e. further over the stainless table and away from the sinks.

The other corner of the room is for fermenters; brutes with the wheel bases, so the can roll over to the hot tap on the wall for mashing (left) and to the boiler for filling.

I really wish I had more depth of room to work with, but there are some things I really can't change. Its been working well.
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

I'm currently working on a layout in my basement for my still in room. It's 11x9 so should be plenty of room. I plan on having 2 fermenters, the boiler/thumper, a nice 8ft long workbench and a stainless laundry type sink for cleaning. Storage shelf for jugs/jars/carboys/barrels. It's got hot/cold water with drain already there, and it's a clean slate so easy to run the electrical stuff.

Also want to make a nice leather chair and end table out of a whiskey barrel to sit and relax and drink some stuff in while I run. I pretty much got the floor plan settled, just matter of finding the time to get it started.
Swedish Pride wrote:
get a brix reading on said ball bearings and then you can find out how much fermentables are in there
Antler24
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

Sounds awesome! Can you post a sketch of your layout?
Thanks

GCB3
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

GCB3 wrote:It takes me about 2 hrs to do a 13-14 gal stripping run and about 4-5 hrs for a 7.5 gal spirit run. Guesstimate of gallons used?

Everybodys still is different, 15 GPH is what's needed for my 16gallon pot heated with 5500w

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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

raketemensch wrote:While I do have a pretty sweet setup, we always want more, right?

When I put the slop sink in my space I thought it would be awesome to be able to just attach a hose to the faucet. It is nice to have, but I wish I’d put in a second set of hot/cold taps for hoses instead, as attaching/removing the hose all the time is a PITA, so I end up leaving the hose attached all the time. This often results in the hose flopping out of the sink and soaking the floor while I try to figure out where to put whatever hot/heavy thing I have in my hands to grab it. Even without water running that sucker can spew a lot.

I also wish I had the amps for a second, or ideally 3rd, 220 outlet. I run a single 5500w element in my keg boiler, but I’d love to upgrade to one of those 26 gallon boilers. It would take forever to heat up without a second element.

I also put a 5500w element in a 16-gallon pot so I can quickly boil up a specific amount of water — but I can’t do it while the still is running with only one 220 outlet. Being able to mash during a run would be awesome.

None of those are necessities, just wishes, so I feel pretty lucky. I also desperately need to build some shelves, but time is not my friend these days.

I been thinking ahead for those things as well. Second set of taps for a hose and plan on a second 30a power supply for mashing while running the still.

GCB3 wrote:Sounds awesome! Can you post a sketch of your layout?
Thanks

Im on the road now but when I get back I'll post a pic of it!
Swedish Pride wrote:
get a brix reading on said ball bearings and then you can find out how much fermentables are in there
Antler24
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

GCB3 - another area not yet discussed... Storage for finished product; jars, bottles, barrels, carboys, jugs etc etc etc

Personally, As I've been rebuilding my stockpile, and as I expand out the types of spirit I'm producing, I find I need to customize some shelving. I've been using shelving that already exists, but it doesn't really fit the bill. I'm open for ideas on what others have done. I have at 2 five gallon carboys which are starting a long term rest with oak staves and it would be great to have them out of the way but easy to check.
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

I’ve given storage a passing thought but I’m not really sure what my long term plan is. I’ve only had a year or so experience with an oak barreI. They are expensive and evaporation is a factor. Is it short sighted to plan on glass storage with wood added? I do like being able to see the color develop. if using glass, whatever shelving I decide on will definitely be secured to the wall! On the other hand, barrels do stack nicely and would seem to be less of a breakage risk.
How do folks approach long term storage?

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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

For bulk storage/aging I much prefer stainless over glass. Be it kegs, corny kegs, stock pots etc. I do have and use some carboys and jugs, but the thought of losing 5 gallons of finished product scares me as much the losing a finger or two if I shattered one in hand.
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

zapata wrote:For bulk storage/aging I much prefer stainless over glass. Be it kegs, corny kegs, stock pots etc. I do have and use some carboys and jugs, but the thought of losing 5 gallons of finished product scares me as much the losing a finger or two if I shattered one in hand.

As much....haha
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

I don't have any spare kegs to use for storage, so I'm using glass. 750ml bottles for proofed finished, 1 gallon jugs for uncut, 3/5 gallon carboys for aging with oak.

I have some large built in shelving nearby, but it's got some issues like height for the carboys. Hence my general question on what other people are doing.

Re breakage, glass is definitely fragile, but it shouldn't be dangerous if treated properly. Carboy handles aren't expensive, and they make moving a lot easier.
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

Glass shouldn't be dangerous if you're careful. But assuming glass will be safe is kinda like assuming cars are safe if you're a safe driver. Accidents happen.

check out a google photo search for "carboy injury".
warning, graphic
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

I age everything in 1.75L bottles, mostly empty Camarenas bottles because a) it’s good, and b) I have to buy tequila because making it is a nightmare.

I have to split my oak pretty thin, but it works fine for me.

The stuff that I really want to oak/age goes into the cabinet above the oven. That’s the spot in the house that gets the most heat cycles.

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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

I age everything I gallon jugs, perfect for my batch size and I can see what's going on in there. I do plan on a barrel at some point, but I only do 7-8 runs a year, not sure I wanna commit 5 runs to filling a barrel a year.
Swedish Pride wrote:
get a brix reading on said ball bearings and then you can find out how much fermentables are in there
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

Hopefully I’ve managed to post a photo of the floor plan showing the available space I have to work with. The windows and power panel are pretty low on the wall. I won’t be able to put anything in front of the panel. I can put work tables in front of the windows. There will be a small chest freezer (5’ max width) and a medium size fridge somewhere. Water and sewer are in the upper right corner. There is a stairway/ladder that goes up to the attic space. I’ve shown the distance from the right wall to the point on the stairway where there is at least 7’ clearance to the floor. Anything to the left of that (towards the single door) has rapidly diminishing clearance.
The area to the right of the double door has very limited visual exposure to the outside. I’m thinking that will be the position of the column. There is a hose bib on the exterior wall just outside the door. With a fan, I can keep fumes and explosive vapor moving out the door! Certainly one or maybe two sinks along the back wall and wrapping the upper right corner back towards the panel.

This is sort of a blank slate. So, I’m holding a design contest for the best concept. The winner will get two tickets to the UVA National Men’s Basketball Championship celebration party! Before any UVA fans get upset, my team, NCState left in the first round too!

Crap, I’ll never figure out how to post pictures! From the preview, it appears the image is all blurred. If it helps any, it’s 19’ wide by 11’8”deep. I’ll try a few more things and see if I can get it to work. Sorry.
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Brew Shed Floor Plan
2F7F1CCF-563A-4188-A409-F1E096A26159.jpeg (5.45 KiB) Viewed 654 times

GCB3
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

Let’s ty this.

GCB3
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

I completely forgot to upload a pic of my floor plan. Sorry dude. I should be home in a few days and will try to not forget lol
Swedish Pride wrote:
get a brix reading on said ball bearings and then you can find out how much fermentables are in there
Antler24
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

Solar hot water system on the roof warming your mash/ pre-warming the contents of the still via a coil of copper tube and a little pump?
And/or of course simply providing hot water FOR the mash, also for washing up.
Especially handy if the shed is not close to the domestic hot water system; or if that domestic system's output is all needed for the house.

Geoff
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

That's a damn good idea Geoff. I'd like to tinker around with solar water heating and perhaps an insulated reservoir.
hellbilly007
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

Here's my distilling room plans. There'll be a very small fridge under the workbench for yeast storage. An extra set of hot/cold taps on the wall above the sink with a garden hose that'll reach anywhere in the room. The fermenters/boiler/ thumper will be raised on a platform 16" tall so I can drain into buckets. The 2 small boxes marked R will be 2 240v/30a receptacles. One for the boiler. I'll have all the coolant and return lines plumbed as close as possible to the still, drained into the sink.

Future plans include a flute. At that point the thumper will become a dedicated steam boiler (2nd receptacle) and sit between the fermenters. The boiler will be moved 18-24" closer to the work bench. Bottom left corn I want to have a nice comfy chair and table built from old barrels. So I'll be able to sit and relax a bit, while mashing and running at the same time. Hope you like, any comments or concerns feel free.
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Swedish Pride wrote:
get a brix reading on said ball bearings and then you can find out how much fermentables are in there
Antler24
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

I use my copper buddy in my shed. Its covered from sun has ele if i need light and no one can see what i am doing. I use gas for my heat and it doea get warm. Installed a ceiling fan and a ltl window unit. Works great for me.as far as ol lady getting a ltl upset well i feel ya. My daughter moved out so i let ol lady turn her room into HER hobby shop. Well 2 weeks later theres 2 55 gal plastic pickle barrels in her room lol. 1 smelling like a corn factory and the other well almost banana. The 1st 4 days she couldnt go in her room so i hear a few opinions about my new found enjoyment lol.. The pyrithium will kill everything and it leaves a residue behind the bugs dont like i use it myself and if you find where the ants are entering and dose it good they wont be back. Then boric acid around the corners and you should be good for 6 months. As far as cooling goes i reuse 2 l bottles. I cut a 55 metal drum down to about 45 installed worm and it stays cool during a 10 run but it gets warm as hell with a 20 gal run. I prop a couple of frozen 2 liters on top to absorb the heat and it has worked great for me. I did 2 15 gal runs 1 day and it got so warm i hard to siphon off the top 6 inches and refill but i sure the hell aint running my water for 8 hours a day i am on a well so ol lady would hit the roof when the ele bill would arrive lol. I do keep my water hose inside with me as well as 2 fire ex just in case but after about 8 runs i havent had any problem excepts those damn carpenter bees and wasp to which is use a badmiton racket to take them out the air then introduce them to the soul of my shoes lol. So far this year up to just over 20 car bees and 12 wasp.
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Re: Brew Shed Set Up?

Bushman wrote:
There is no heat or air, but I can open it up in hot weather without any prying eyes. Winters are mild around here but it will be uncomfortable to create the needed ventilation and will make getting a rum ferment up to temp difficult.

Consider building a heat controlled area for fermenting. I insulated a cart and use an aquarium controller and switched to a lightbulb for heat.
image.jpeg

Very nice, great idea especially on roller castors.
If it’s not made of copper it simply ain’t proper......

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