A homebrewing blog by a novice brewer. I make mistakes so you don't have to.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Nano-Brewery

My brewery setup like most beginner homebrewers is very simple and very, very small. I did not make up the term nano-brewery, though I wish I had. It's just a cool word that makes me think of the microscopic robots flying around brewing beer. I've seen nano-brewery defined a few different ways, and that is definitely not one of them. Essentially, nano-brewing is defined as very small scale brewing - usually associated with homebrewing.

If you are getting into homebrewing, you should know that the IRS allows you to brew up to 100 gallons per year per adult living in your household without being taxed. Fortunately, I lied on this year's Census and said that there are 16 full grown adults living in my household.

My small operation includes the following standard items:

  • 8 gallon stainless steel brew kettle with thermometer and ball valve
  • 4 gallon stockpot
  • Bayou Classic propane burner
  • 3 plastic bucket fermenters 
  • Racking cane and tubing
  • A giant stirring spoon
  • Hydrometer and hydrometer test tube
  • brushes and cleaning solution

All of the items listed above fit inside a 33"L x 20"W x 14"H Rubbermaid bin. Well, everything but the robots.

One thing that I have that most novice homebrewers do not is a dual-tap Haier kegerator and a couple of refurbished ball lock corny kegs. I keg my beer because I loathe bottling. If you are new to homebrewing I suggest bottling. However, if you have brewed a few times and plan on continuing to do so homebrew do yourself a favor and keg your beer. It will save you hours of cleaning and filling. In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, "It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."

I make 5 gallon batches of beer and the above setup is perfect. I am missing a couple key pieces that I plan on picking up along the way such as a copper wort chiller and a Erlenmeyer 2000 mL flask to create yeast starters.

Well now you know what I'm working with. My next post will detail my misadventures with a Belgian Tripel. 

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