The Brewing System

The system at work behind Crooked Run is a 1 BBL (31.5 US gallon) electric HERMS brewing system called the Storm Machine.  The name is derived from my IPA, Storm, a two-time medal winner at some big comps.  It is powered by four 4500 watt electric coils which heat water and wort to very precise temperatures quickly and efficiently.  It is a Kal clone (built using parts and design from Kal’s site that is called a HERMS–Heat Exchanged Recirculating Mash System.  Hot water and grain are mixed in a mash, and the sugary liquid (wort) that results is recirculated through a stainless steel coil immersed in hot water that is held at a specific temperature, resulting in a constant temperature for the mash.  After one hour, the wort is pumped into the boil kettle.  It is brought to a boil, hops are added, and the wort is boiled for one hour.  Afterwards, the wort is cooled and transferred to a fermentation tank, and yeast is added.

The system is made of used 55 gallon steel drums, previously used by the U.N.  The barrels and frames were welded by a great friend, Michael Clay, a skilled welder, artist, and veritable master of metal.  The system is incredible to use–as of right now I have done two batches and managed to hit my gravities perfectly each time.  Here are some pictures of it in action:

2013-07-09 00.19.11 2013-07-09 00.20.38 2013-07-09 00.17.56 2013-07-09 00.17.47 2013-07-09 00.21.16


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7 Responses to The Brewing System

  1. Chad says:

    What kind of drainage and flooring do you have in your Brewing/Fermenting area? Also, I have some other questions regarding your start up. Please feel free to email me, however I know you are ridiculously busy.

  2. Frank Price says:

    Any chance you have a copy of the designs for the welded stands?
    I’m in the beginning process of building this system from The Electric Brewery plans and haven’t seen much information regarding building stands for the system.
    Anything you would have changed with your design?
    I appreciate your time.

    • Frank, we kind of just measured the barrels and built them from scrap metal. You can really make any design you want, but we made it so that our mash tun stand could tip, so we could dump spent grain. This turned out to be a waste of time, since it is faster to just shovel it all out.

  3. Chris says:

    I know you upgraded from this system, but where did you source the barrels? Thanks!

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