Monday, March 24, 2008

Award Winning, B#$CH!

Finally, after several attempts, the RCBC has won an award. 2nd place at the 2008 Shamrock Open! Santa's Bootstrap is good!

Maiden Voyage

As is my standard procedure for new breweries, I brewed a stout today as a test run for the new RCBC. Let me just say that so long as this beer doesn't taste like warmed up arse that was the best brewing experience I've ever had. 77% efficiency, steady mash temp, and ease of use, where has this brewery been all my life!

Oh yeah...anyway, brewing went well, all told I now have 13gal of stout in process...which now that I think of it is probably more than I had calculated for and therefore efficencies were even better! Next brew will include an accurate sight tube for proper volumes (installed today).

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Looking closer - A visual tour

The base design for Goliath was taken from Lonnie's Brutus Ten, for which plans were printed in BYO magazine. Beyond that, I customized the kettles for my brewing style and pumps. Please remain seated while the tour is in motion:

The Hot Liquor Tank (HLT) is simply a reservior with a valve, homemade thermowell, and temperator controlled with a Love controller and solenoid valve to fire the burner as necessary.

The Mash Tun is a little more complex, with a valve, false bottom, and thermowell, as well as an adjustible recirculation manifold and optional sparging ring (for fly sparging).

The Pumps are hand-me-down carbonator pumps. They work great, but are hard to regulate when it comes to flow control.

The Boil Kettle has a valve and a recirculation tube which helps to generate a whirlpool effect to speed wort chilling.

Finally, the Control Board manages liquid temps and pump cycles.

Monday, March 17, 2008

We've come a long way, baby!

So it's been almost 2.5 years since I started brewing on the stove. As with all my hobbies, I've dumped a lot of time and cash into the initative, and it's great because I can consume the byproduct of my work...BEER!

About two years ago I went into all-grain, and from there quickly into 10gal+ batches. I believe 10gal is a good size for frequent brewers who like to consume their product and share it with friends.

Now I've moved into what is likely the last major phase, although I do intend to eventually run a RIMS system in line with my new direct fire brewery. I'm excited to present the new RCBC, named Goliath in honor of my Chevelle I sold in January, of which some of the proceeds funded the brewery project.

It features three independent burners, two of which are automated via digital temperature controls and STC solenoid valves. There are two carbonator-style pumps, assorted fittings, and other such nonsenical things that I will detail later. But for now, I will just stand in awe!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More brewery updates

Couldn't help but snap a picture of the control panel, as it is friggin cool! Aluminum tread plate really ices the cake!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

More Updates

Samiclaus continues to churn away, Bo-Pils is lagering, and a young Double Bock is on tap and will be good once it has aged (if it makes it that long!)...

Brewery construction is moving along nicely, frame is painted, motors and motor guard installed. Pilot lights tested and solenoid control valves tested great. Wiring is the last daunting task, good thing I worked a summer as a car stereo installation guy! Here's a few pics showing the burner test firing...