Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Paul Wicksteed's brewery for sale.

Paul Wicksteed's eHERMS 50L brewery for sale.

This is a once in lifetime opportunity for a keen brewer to purchase the late Paul Wicksteed's personal brewery system.

The brewery is very well known within the brewing community throughout the world one only needs watch a few of Paul's You Tube videos to see far more detailed descriptions and the intricacies of its operation.

Its design and construction are a real tribute to a very talented man - one of the more advanced systems around very flexible and absolutely loaded with unique ideas and features.

It was an honour to work with Paul during the design and then go on and do the welding and some fabrication of this system.

All funds raised by the sale will go directly to a trust account for Paul's son.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Big Year (or thereabouts).

Well rather than beginning by stating the obvious (its been a quite a while since I knocked out a post) lets just say late 2013 up till now a lot has changed at BBH a shift in property's , a workshop has been built , we have an Ltd on the end of our business name etc.

As word of what we do has gotten around the flow of work has become more steady and it is good to constantly have 3 - 4 months worth of bigger projects ahead at most times - trying to space the bigger projects apart a little to allow time for smaller jobs in between is something of an art and an art I have yet to fully master but I try my best :-) many thanks to those whom have been so so patient.

As time has gone on the work we do has evolved with more and more imported hardware arriving every day the demand for custom made home brewing bits and pieces has dropped away at the same time the requests for full "nano/pilot " systems and site work at micro and bigger brewery’s has increased so we have been quite lucky really.

We have learnt quite a bit so far (but really hardly scratched the surface) about running a small business and being self employed most of all its hard work (I have fond memory’s of those privileged words "sick leave" annual leave" public holiday" haha) but you get to meet some coolest people along the way.
At the end of the day I couldn’t do what I am doing without the support of my customers so in recognition of that as I get time to update my work on the Blog I am going to trial the idea of naming the full builds we have been commissioned to do after their new owners.

Another big thing I have come to very much believe in is keeping as much money as possible within NZ by supporting other local business's as much as possible especially the little ones.

I have updated my links page to include more local business's we have been involved with or enjoy please support them if you can.

In the most part this post was embarrassingly inspired by a couple of emails asking if BBH was still operational so I thought I best do something of an update to the Blogsite to show we definitely are still running - I will endeavour to do more as time allows.

Happy Brewing!


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Kereru Brewing 100L Pilot brewery

Leading up to Christmas last year I was lucky enough to do some more work for Chris Mills of Kereru Brewing -

At the time the setup was intended to bring Kereru's batch size up to an easy 100L and incorporate a few ideas to make life a bit easier for Chris from a temporary setup we had come up with which was part Farra part BBH which worked fine but had everything pushed to the limit volume wise to achieve the 100L batch size.
Earlier this year Chris and Natasha proudly announced they were taking the step into a full sized brewery in a full sized premises which is absolutely awesome -
As a result the setup I am describing here has now become the Kereru pilot brewery!

This setup represented a lot of firsts for BBH and took a little longer than I estimated but I very proud of the finished product , the way it works and the way it looks.
It was great working in with Chris on the design details as he had a very clear idea of what he wanted.
  •  130L LPG powered HLT with full graduated Triclamp mounted sight glass.
  •  130L Insulated bottom draining MLT.
  •  170L LPG Powered Kettle on separate floor mounted burner stand.
  •  20l split outlet Grant (one filtered one unfiltered) .
  •  Twin March pumps with stainless steel heads (converted to Triclamp connections) pumping from the Grant and the HLT respectively
  •  99% Stainless hard plumbing/valving throughout the setup including 90% Triclamp connections and a handful of Camlock fittings (meaning no pipe thread connections yay! (my pet hatred) ) The plumbing and valving was designed to allow the pumps to be as versatile as possible allowing recirculation , transfer , underletting , sparging etc etc
  • TIG welded stainless steel box section frame with mounts for vessels , pumps , burner , LPG manifold etc.
Heres a few pictures of the partial system prior to delivery.

I was fortunate enough to be allowed to tag along on the first brew of Velvet Boot on the system with Chris

I have to say it all went very smoothly for a first brew (whats a few overflows and a boil over between friends!)

Here's some pictures of brew day.

Mash In

HLT Recirculation

Initial filling of Grant

After a little recirculation (it was really hard to photograph but look at that color!!!!!)

Boil begins.
The complete brewery.

First post in a long while... - Two tier single pump brewery.

Late last year I finished several complete start to finish home and nano/pilot brewery setups which took a lot of time and work - but the challenge of building a full system to a customers needs is something I really enjoy!
Maintaining a balance of ergonomics , functionality , aesthetics and of course total cost has been a juggling act at times but I think I did alright ;-) - customer feedback has been positive also.

The first setup was for Gary Henwood director of Auckland's -
Obviously keen to get some home brewing under his belt Gary enlisted his mate Matt Littlejohn a very accomplished well known home brewer to act on his behalf outlining what was required of the setup and liaising with me on the finer details.

Matt is now also part of the new Isthmus Brewing - please check them out I am very excited to see how they progress!

The setup evolved to be a two tier single pump brewery with
  • 91L LPG powered  Hot Liquor Tun with full graduated sight glass.
  • 65L Double walled insulated MLT 
  • 91L LPG powered Kettle with trub filter and full graduated sight glass.
  • Food grade silicone hose plumbing with stainless steel quick disconnect connections to all vessels , pump etc
  • Adjustable/removable electronic control box with digital temperature monitoring for all three vessels and the inlet/outlet of the plate chiller , control switch for the pump and a digital timer with alarm.
  • The Plate chiller and Pump were mounted in a separate removable frame.
  • The TIG welded stainless steel box section frame is mounted on braked castors and has mounts for the LPG bottle , burners , LPG plumbing and even a free draining wire mesh shelf under the MLT for hose storage.
  • Stainless Mash paddle and removable mount.
From my emails with Matt and Gary it seems a half dozen or so rather hoppy brews have since passed through the setup without to many dramas.
My favorite feedback comment made by Gary was - "I am now obsessed with everything brewing and having an amazing brewery makes the learning process a shit load easier.  Especially in terms of consistency."

Anyway enough of my rambling here's a couple of pics - revisiting these photos reminded me of watching the setup disappear on the back of a large truck it was a bit like (I imagine) watching a child leave home for the first time...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Gorge Road Brewers

Not long completed my first 100% complete brew sculpture for a large group of brewers in Ohariu Valley Wellington called Gorge Road Brewers.
These guys have ambitions and could be ones to watch!

After some discussion we settled on a 3 tier gravity system all in stainless steel with 65HLT,65MLT,91Kettle volumes complete with four x 50L keg based fermenters from myself and two Another1 temperature controllers -

This was another system I was sad to see go I have to admit it was looking pretty smart! Even Justina said as I was taking some photos - how come it looks better than yours????

Powered with 2x4ring LPG burners and gravity feed between vessels it is powercut proof and ready to go 24/7.

I was fortunate enough to be asked along to the inaugural brew which included ingredients from Joe at Liberty Brewing - , a mill from Jim at -
and various parts for the fermenters from Phil at Great Expectations -
all went well but of course included the natural first brewday issues which anyone who has brewed has experienced .

Benefits of having a large group of people involved became obvious on brewday when various people disappeared home to get this or that then a trailer of freezers arrived to be pressed into service as fermentation chambers under the control of Pauls temp controllers and a heated towel rail - brilliant!

At the end of a long day we ended up with an Ohariu pale Ale in the fermenter
slight under volume and nearly hit the target gravity of nice clear wort which by now should be well under way to becoming the beer we all know and love.

From reports the second brew a Lager should be in the second fermenter done and dusted or due tommorrow.

Immersion Chiller in Kettle.

Digital Temp gauge on MLT and Analogue gauge on HLT

Analogue Temp and Volume scale in HLT.

Parrotdog - Flagon Filler

As a follow on from my last post once the Parrotdog brewery had a few fermenters full they turned their attentions towards setting up the off license shop at the brewery which involved setting up the popular fill your own rigger/flagon sales.

Having worked with Allan and Dianne from 24/7 beverage services plenty of times before I didnt hesitate to recommend the services they provide in setting up the equipment/lines etc to get the beer from the coolstore to the front of the building - my task was to fabricate the flagon filler itself for Allan to connect his taps/beer lines to.

After a bit of research the preferred layout with 6 taps became obvious and I ordered a couple of sheets of stainless and set about cutting,bending and welding the flagon filler.

I was very happy with the way it turned out!

The taps which Allan supplied are Perlick foward sealing taps which are a brilliant design (and so simple) I just had to fabricate the diptubes which connect via a small section of flexible hose.

The back side of the taps is plumbed with John Guest fittings (of course) and I fabricated a 1/2" copper loop which coolant is circulated through which keeps the back of the taps and lines cool.

And in the base there is the drain/waste fitting which being in a brewery is naturally a Triclamp style connection!


Parrotdog Brewing - Chilled Water

Been struggling to keep the blog side of things updated lately but with a sore back the last couple of days thought I best update my posts a little since I cant be in the workshop.

I recently did a bit of work for three top guys Matt K,Matt S and Matt W from Wellingtons new Parrotdog Brewing -

Initially I went to meet to discuss plans to build a 100L pilot brewery for recipe development and small batch / special brews.

Not long after the big brewery arrived from China the pilot brewery was put on hold and I spent a fair bit of time at the brewery with my welder.

Most of the work I was doing revolved around the hard plumbing which runs to and from the chilled water tank to the chiller which resides outside the brewery building - and the water manifolding which runs from the chilled water tank behind the fermenters branching out to each of the cooling jackets on the four fermenters and finally out to the plate chiller.

 Most of the stainless tube and fittings required were supplied with the brewery in the form of straight six metre lengths of tube and box upon box of every stainless fitting you could imagine - brewery porn in a welders jigsaw form!

Once a flow diagram had been decided on it was mostly cutting and welding on site to get the chilled water system running - I then took the parts for the manifolds which feed the chilled water under automation to the cooling jackets on each of the fermenters back to the workshop to fabricate the basics.

 Each feed manifold  has valves to allow for isolation of either jacket , solenoid valve to allow the automation to control the water flow, and a dump port to allow the jackets/manifolds to be drained.

Basic layout of feed manifold showing upper and lower jacket isolation valves,solenoid valve, Triclamp dump port and tee to go into chilled water supply.

The return manifold connects the return ports of the jackets through a non return valve back into the plumbing which returns to the chilled water tank.

Basic layout of return manifold showing upper and lower jacket returns,non return valve and tee to go into chilled water return.

After the chilled water lines get past the fermenters there is a series of three valves to allow some back pressure to be put on the cooling jackets and/or isolate the last component in the system the 2 stage plate chiller which chills the wort at the end of the boil.

In the end it all came together very well , looked the part and despite a few issues initially with some very "interesting" Chinese threaded fittings leaking a little it all seems to work well also.

I really enjoyed working along side and with the three Matt's and the other tradies that were there at the same time as me so here's some links to the plumbers and sparkys that did an awesome job and made it so easy for us all to work in the same space.

For all your plumbing,drainlaying and gasfitting needs -
For anything electrical  -

At some stage I will get some pics of the rest of the stainless plumbing I did so the ramblings in this post make more sense... 

Meantime here's some pictures of  some of the partly complete manifold components when I had finished fabricating them at the workshop prior to installing them on site.

Manifold components.

Somehow some 6" RJT to 1/2'' Camlock adaptors snuck in to this picture....