The Retribution Brewery

We appear to be light years behind the USA when it comes to off the shelf home brewing equipment. If you want a new brewing vessel you have to make it yourself or get it fabricated to your own design. My ability with a TIG torch is limited to sticking things together and is miles away from  sanitary grade welding.

So, I went to Elite Stainless Fabrications in Swindon with some drawings and a couple of months later I had all the vessel for the brewery. It was just then a case of knocking up a control panel and getting some brews on.

So what do I have –  a 4 vessel system – HLT, Mashtun, Boiler and Whirlpool with a PID controlled RIMS to enable stepped mashes and tightly controlled single infusions mashes. The use of a Whirlpool enables the use of pellets for whirlpool additions like many commercial craft breweries.

HLT – 200L with 2x3kw elements bottom draining, controlled with a PID

Mashtun – 120L false bottom

Mashtun

Rims – 6kw element controlled by a PID

Rims1

Boiler – 150L bottom draining with 2 x 3kw elements, controlled with a PID

Whirlpool – 150L, tangential inlet

Whirlpool

Hop Rocket

I had a Blitchnmann Hop Rocket on my first 25L system which i had good results with, so for the bigger system i had the Hop Rocket upgraded, the large one can hold about 700g of hole hops. Both the Hop Rockets can also be used for Dry hopping Serria Nevada Torpedo style.

HopRockets

Control Panel

The panel controls up to 5 elements (2x3kw in HLT, 1x8kw Rims and 2x3kw in the Boiler), obviously not all at the same time, the elements are then all controlled by contactors which are energised from switches on the front panel. The power going to each of the elements is then controlled by PID’s. This setup enables tight temp control throughout the brewing process.

Control Panel

Fermentation

Currently in use are a mixture of vessels from a 50L Morebeer conical to a 170L custom built conical, all vessel are directly cooled using Maxi coolers and heated via soil heating cables.

Fermenter1Fermenterconicalconical_10

Serving the Beer

All the effort gone into brewing the beer can be totally wasted if its not served right, with this in mind here is the kegerator.

beer_fridge beer_fridge1

11 thoughts on “The Retribution Brewery

  1. I’m very impressed with all the kit, was it not possible to have the copper whirlpool-able so save on a vessel? Then have an in-line Hopback post copper?

    • Yes you could have the whirlpool on the copper, but my thought were that the elements would adversely affect it so went for a separate vessel, it works a treat, i get a cracking hop cone after a 30min whirlpool/rest and nice clear wort. What i really wanted to do is design a system that closely mimics a US craft beer brewery.

      With regards to the Hopback i have 2 options a i have a small mashtun – 40L which i can use as a traditional hopback or to try and emulate a hopnik or i have a giant Hop rocket which i can use in line before the plate chiller or i can use both!. In effect i have a pile of equipment that i now need to test in different combinations as to what achieves the best results.

      Lots of brewing ahead, the plan is to brew the same hoppy pale ale using the different combinations of equipment.

      Cheers

      Rich

  2. Hi there we have a similar set up from Elite (great piece of kit) but also are struggling with the Hop Rocket. Can you tell me where you got the upgrade from?
    Thanks.
    Charlie.

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