Building Your Own Home Brewery: Is it worth the cost?

Build your Own home Brewing System

Build Custom Home / March 28, 2019

This is a three-tier brewing system, a simple—but elegant—gravity-fed rig.

This is a two-tier system, in which two of the vessels exchange liquid with a pump. Each steel pot on this three-vessel, 15-gallon rig has its own natural gas burner and thermometer.

One step up from the two-tier system is the recirculating-infusion mash system (RIMS). This is an automated system which uses a pump in combination with a heat source to recirculate and heat the mash, a grain and water slurry. After the wort (a fermentable liquid left in the aftermath of strained and heated starchy water) flows out of the mash bucket, through a false bottom and through a pump, it travels into the heating chamber. The machine reads the recirculating wort's temperature before it enters the heating chamber. The wort then flows into the heating-element chamber which adjusts its temperature accordingly.

The heat-exchanged recirculating mash system (HERMS) is a complex rig that takes the RIMS system one step further. The HERMS allows the brewer to recirculate the wort from the mash tun through a heat exchanger and back into the mash tun. The temperature of the recirculated wort is controlled by the heat exchanger which, as a result, controls the temperature of the mash precisely. The added benefit is that the action of recirculation clarifies the wort by using the grain bed as a filter. The creator of this HERMS rig admits that "having a HERMS brewery doesn't necessarily mean I can brew better beer than the more traditional homebrew method." But that didn't stop him from setting up this rig, complete with engine-turned stainless-steel vessels.

This is another HERMS rig, built onto a cartable grill-like platform.

Here is a HERMS setup that makes smart use of two giant high-school-football-style coolers.

This computerized RIM system comes complete with a flow meter, two 2000-watt heating elements and a "smart" pump recirculation line.

This is a sleek, stainless-steel HERMS rig that makes good use of spent kegs.

"Brewing beer is neither complicated nor expensive, " writes the builder of this handsome Texas-themed HERMS system. "It's the responsibility of the brewer to make it as complicated and expensive as their wifes [sic] will allow."