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I've been brewing on and off since the late 1980's, first with malt extract kits (with mixed results) and then later with Festa Brew 100% wort kits that required no boiling at all. I stuck with the Festa kits for some time as they produced excellent beer (as long as you ignored the instructions). Bored with the limited styles available in Festa kit form, in the Fall of 2008 I decided to spread my wings and graduate to an all-grain setup where I could be 100% in control of the final product.
My all-grain brewery had to meet the following criteria:
- 100% electric for indoor brewing
- Safe, easy, and enjoyable to use
- Not limit the brewer in any way
- Provide for extremely repeatable and consistent results
- Use industrial quality parts that last (all stainless steel, limit the use of plastics)
After failing to find a commercially available setup that met these criteria, I decided to design and build my own from the ground up over a 12 month period between 2008 and 2009. Pictures were taken throughout so that I could eventually document the whole process.
Like many first time all-grain brewers the inaugural batch was a hoppy American IPA, brewed on August 21, 2009. It turned out perfectly.
Brewing for me is not about saving money, it's about the art or craft of making beer and being able to call it my own. This is one of the few things in life where I can point to something and proudly say "I made that".
I hold a degree in Electrical Engineering and spent 7 years designing plant floor process control systems used by operators at a manufacturing assembly plant. One of the systems was featured on the cover of the March/April 1999 issue of 'Manufacturing Automation' magazine.
As a kid growing up, I remember sticking bare wires and other things into electrical sockets when my parents weren't looking.
Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:32 am
@ Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:06 am
Great photo of pride, well done Kal!
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