Thursday, February 6, 2014

My Electric Brewery

As usual, I got brewing in New Plymouth. I was motivated to try to set myself up with a cheap but revolutionary electrically powered brewery. I successfully construed my brewery for a total of $5. I used spare plastic 20L buckets from around the house and a big drum from work and purchased an old kettle from a second hand shop. I mounted the element from the kettle into one of the buckets as well as a ball lock valve that I already had and that became my brew kettle! I used the big drum as my mash tun for steeping the grains and made a false bottom to filter out the grains with a plastic tab at the bottom. It was great to be able to brew outside, except when it would start to rain half way through a brew. I had a few problems with the electrics relating to the element switching itself off. This was sorted out by removing the switch. I electrocuted myself once, and I was more careful after that. I made one bad beer, some o.k beer and some fantastic beers. My favorite being my award winning 'Sweet As - Rye Pale Ale', a beautiful Pale Ale and a wicked Stout. I was also very excited to finally use my plate heat exchanger which I purchased in the US. A flow of cool tap water passed through one side of the exchanger and the 90+ degree wort (unfermented beer) passing though the other. The result being, within minutes, a bucket full of cool wort ready for the yeast to be added and for fermentation to begin. For bottling my beer, I would grab swap-a-creates from the dump when we went with work to dispose of our green waste.
Got a solid boil going on while brewing my Stout.


  1. Sounds very technical until you look at the pictures! You did an amazing job with very little expense Thomas. I'm not quite sure I like the sound of you electrocuting yourself but you seem to have lived to tell the tale!

    1. Yes I wasn't very impressed about being electrocuted either! I was very proud that I did make it work, even with the occasional technical hiccup.