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Brewing Stand

May 15, 2011

While I’ve been brewing 5-gallon batches for a while now, I think this upgrade officially makes my blog URL (and other foundational posts) outdated.  Below you’ll see my “new” brewing setup.  Consisting of a 1/4 bbl HLT, my regular old 5-gallon cooler MLT (which is suddenly next in line for an upgrade), a 1/2 bbl keggle, an old metal shelving system from the neighbors, and an erector-set-style addition to elevate the HLT above the MLT.

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I got both the HLT and keggle from a guy supposedly in the brew club (MHTG).  I hadn’t seen the guy before and now I keep finding out ways that I overpaid.  First off, they’re more than gently used and a little beat up.  Second, they didn’t come with the fittings (just welded stubs in the side) so I had to shell out a good chunk of change for stainless nipples, ball valves, and hose barbs.  Third, the guy said the Brewmometer was the weld-type and not threaded, but – while I haven’t tried to remove it yet myself – I can certainly see threads and no sign of welds keeping it in (this “upgrade” supposedly makes it worth closer to $40 than the $30 I calculated for the threaded type).  Fourth, the Brewmometer is placed above the point where 5 gallons of liquid sits, making it useless for monitoring wort chilling (the only thing I’d use a thermometer in my kettle for).  There are more if I think hard, and I’m sure I’ll continue to see more, but when it comes down to it, I can’t really say I got ripped off.  I’m just kind of pissed that this guy is supposedly trying to make a good deal to a club member, but it sure feels like he was trying to squeeze as much out of me as he could and hiding any features that might make it less valuable.  In any case, if I was to acquire 2 kegs (1/4 & 1/2 bbl), and then had someone weld stubs I think I’d end up spending more.  Even considering the fact that I would have gone with weld-less fittings, I think what I paid is in the ballpark and maybe cheaper than what I could have done on my own, if I’d even been able to find the kegs in a legal transaction.

Anyway, getting away from my ranting, I am pretty happy with the setup as a whole.  I want to add a cheap propane burner for the HLT similar to this, while I’ll keep the nice banjo burner for even heating of the keggle.  Other than that, I think I’m good for a little while until something else feels inadequate (like my 5-gallon MLT).

 

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