Building The Brew Stand
The best material is 1 1/2 inch x 1/8 inch thick angle iron as it will function as the support and what will hold the kegs up. The angle iron will be bolted together with lock washers.
IMPORTANT NOTE – My schematics on the prior page, ‘Brew Stand Design Considerations‘, showed the 3-Tier comparisons as a ‘tree’. This was done for simplification. The actual 3 tier stand I use is not a tree for three reasons:
1 – A tree will need welded due to the much higher stresses on the frame supporting each kettle. Most people don’t have the means to weld. This stand only needs bolts.
2 – Angle iron has a unique geometry where the frame will actually be the support for the kegs or kettles – besides providing lateral rigidity.
3 – Using a 3-d rectangular skeleton of angle iron will allow you to drill more holes and add pretty much anything, anywhere you want, securely, to the stand (burners, pumps, etc)
1 1/2 x 1/8 inch angle iron
5/8 inch thick x 1 inch long bolts, nuts and washers.
5/8 inch metal drill blade (smaller pilot drill helps too, around 1/8 inch)
Metal cutting blade with saw
File or abrasive wheel to debur the cuts
The first step is to make a ‘good’ drawing.
The second step is to actually make a mockup out of cardboard. I would NOT skip this step.
Depending on your design, you need to make sure how exactly all the angle iron will interconnect.
A saw with a metal blade will make quick work of the cuts. You will need ear protection and eye protection.
Start cutting the pieces, referring to your drawing and diagram.
Use mini C-clamps to fasten pieces together to drill holes for the bolts. You will find C-clamps invaluable in putting together and drilling holes in the stand.
Cutting oil will help your drill bit last a lot longer. Metal drilling requires a SLOW setting on your drill.
Closeup of the joints. Note that this joint holds the kettle. It has 2 bolts securing the steel support per each corner.
Your stand will start taking shape.
Notice the 2 diagonal bars – these are important for lateral rigidity…so it doesn’t twist under weight.
* I ended up lowering the bottom left keg supports and raising the right-side mash tun in practice.
Why not weld it all together instead of bolting?
After brewing a few times, I ended up modifying some things and needed to move a few of the kettles up or down a few inches, bolting lets you adjust as you add things.
However, It does look nice…
Any more mods done?
No, I started a brewery! What mods would I do though given that fact? Hmmmm….
I dunno. There are a million good ways to skin a cat. This design was a good way. I guess the most important thing that came out of it was that I can recirculate the direct fire MT via a pump to get it from MT to strikeout (170) without stuck beds all the way up to OG’s of 1.140 and for a 3.5bbl brewery, also use the pump to transfer from MT to BK when gravity doesn’t work without fear of bed compaction…you just need a pump with variable speed.