So you may or may not have noticed that I have not had a recent post (other than a few days ago) in a while. The reason is that I recently retook my tasting exam and did quite well, and was able to move up in rank. The issue I had is that I didn’t have enough points, so I hit the judging circuit pretty hard. I was sure I had enough points, but I was short by a few. When I figured it out, I realized that several competitions I judged Best of Show in, I didn’t get points for. The reason (at least for one annual competition) is that they only have enough points for so many BOS judges and they ask if anyone doesn’t need the points so they can give them to the BOS judges who need them. At the time, I had no reason to think I was going to retake the exam any time soon, and opted out of getting my 1/2 point extra. Something not a big deal at the time, became something I realized is fairly important. Now that I have a goal of moving up to master, I’ll be more mindful of my points in the future. Anyway, a lot of my free time was devoted to judging and teaching a BICEP class for the Manty Malters, my local homebrew club.
Today I have a pot I purchased a few months ago but have yet to review it. I purchased the Bayou Classic 16 gallon pot for 1 reason and 1 reason alone…..OK, maybe 2 reasons. The first was the value. This pot came drilled, with a stainless spigot and weldless fittings, a vented lid which comes in handy for steeping/mashing/bringing wort to a boil (never boil with the lid on though), and it’s 16 gallons for under $175. The Bayou Classic 16 gallon pot was a winner for me and my pocket book. The second reason was because I was so happy with the construction of my Bayou Classic SQ14 Burner ($48), and how fast it brought my water and wort to a boil, I was fairly confident in the pots construction. I solidly recommend this pot to anyone in need of a 10 gallon pot or larger, and cannot afford one of the specialized stainless brew pots that can run you over $250. While it lacks the thermowell with thermometer that you may want for mashing or watching water temps, those can easily be added later for about $25 by using a thermometer with a weldless fitting. But if you are a one stop shopper and want all the bells and whistles right off the rack, they do offer a 8 gallon brew pot with false bottom, Bazooka Screen, spigot with weldless fitting, and thermometer for $195. They also have a 16 gallon version with all the mentioned parts for $250.
OK, so let’s take a quick look at this standard pot.
That’s about it. For about $160 and several batches later, I am still not regretting this purchase in any way. I like the pot, and while I would probably love a Blichamann pot…or a brew pot made specifically for brewing, this one fits the bill nicely.
Links to items mentioned in this post
- Bayou Classic 16 gallon Stock Pot with Weldless fittings and Ball Valve
- Bayou Classic 8 Gallon Brew Pot with False Bottom, Bazooka Screen, Weldless Thermometer and Ball Valve
- Bayou Classic 16 Gallon Brew Pot with False Bottom, Bazooka Screeen, Weldless Thermometer and Ball Valve
- Bayou Classic SQ14 Propane Burner and Stand
- Bazooka Screen
In the year of the upgrades (If you have not read earlier, just about every piece of my equipment in the brewery this winter has been upgraded), I figured I needed a brewstand to utilize my pump….and well…..because I sort of always wanted one but didn’t have the height in the brewhouse that I would need for a gravity system. So now with my new chugger pump in tow, I went ahead and started to build a brewstand, and I wanted to share my design with you.
What I used to build the frame was simple. For lumber I got six 2″x 3″ boards, two 2″ x 6″ boards and six 1″ x 4″ boards, all in 8 foot lengths. For Hardware I got 50 lag screws that are 2 3/4″ long, washers to fit the heads of the lag bolts, two 100lb capacity casters, two 100lb capacity locking casters. For plumbing I got 10′ of 3/8″ OD soft copper tubing, 10′ of high temperature silicone tubing, and a bag of the large cable clips that you use to nail cable to studs…….and that’s it. All in all the stand itself cost me roughly $100 in parts. You are going to need a drill with drill bits and a 1/2″ spade bit, a miter saw is very handy, a socket set that will fit the heads of the lag screws, and a hammer. I’m not the best at woodworking and so forth, but I think it will be very evident of what I did once you see the pictures.
The Dimensions of the brew stand are basic. Each tier is 21″ square. The height of the two lower tiers from the ground is 27″ each, the center tier is 35″ off the ground. I did that just to try to keep the top of the tun even with the kettles. The overall length is 63″ long.
Below is the overall view of the brewstand. From left to right you will have the HLT, Mash/Lauter Tun/Boil Kettle. You can see the plumbing I have installed for the pump. The pipes on the left will go to the inflow of the pump and I will have to swap out connections based on if I am connecting from the HLT, Mash Tun, or Boil Kettle. The right side is for output and can connect to either the mash tun or the boil kettle only.
Below is a better picture of the direction of flow of the plumbing. The silicone tubing can be removed from the tun or the kettle depending on how I want the wort to flow. Also note how I attached the soft copper pipe to the brew stand. That is what the cable clips were for.
For construction I used lag screws, not lag bolts. No real reason why. I drilled pilot holes for the lag screws then using a spade bit drilled a hole so I could recess the head of the bold. See below. I think the screws will have plenty of holding power, and the final product is very solid. For testing I stood on it, and I had my two young boys to climb on it and jump off. It didn’t give or rock any way.
You may or may not have noticed this little guy below. This will be my backup pump. It’s a small $30 pump that does not have a lot of output but it can, in theory, pump 108 gallons an hour. So I should be able to pump just under 2 gallons a minute with this little pump and possible move 10 gallons of wort in 5 minutes. The reason I got this is since I am going to rely on a pump now, I wanted to have a contingency plan in case my chugger pump dies. I didn’t want to buy two $150 pumps.
Below I will just show two ways I will be able to connect the mash tun and boil kettle to the pump. These will just be for clarification so you know what I mean when I say that I will just be able to change what hose is connected to where to move the wort between vessels.
Finally you can see this bad boy will be mobile. I have 2 locking casters installed to keep it in place, and 2 free casters. This will also give me the option to brew outside the brewhouse on those hot muggy days. It gets pretty brutal in there with the burner going and the sun beating in.
The final touch was to add an outlet to the brewstand. What I did was a simple basic single switch and outlet setup. I used a 14 gauge outdoor extension cord and cut the end off. Then wired the switch and outlet with the wires, and attached it to the far end. The outlet is a weather resistant outlet and the extension cord plugs into a CGFI outlet I have in the brewhouse. From here I can run my pump or my electric water heater right from the brew stand. I can also run the motor on my mill if I wish.
Most of my Equipment on this stand can be purchased online.
Bayou Classic 16 gallon Stainless Brew Pot
Chugger Pump (Stainless Version)
High Temperature Sous Vide Pump
10 Gallon Cooler
Stainless Steel Hose Barbs
Stainless Steel Spigot with Stainless Steel Weldless Bulk Head