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A small commercial made copper still- Nothing to do with Home brew or microbrewery! We will get you one if you want!

John's Shoestring Microbrewery

This homebrew microbrewery was made by John Harvey.

It cost very little and produces wonderful home brew beer.

If you'd like details please mail us and we'll answer any questions and post them up here

Most of it was made from bits that he got for free, you may have to buy some bits!

You don't need to spend a fortune and a five gallon brewery is big enough for most people for home consumption.


The Engine Room!


HLT The Hot Liquor Tank or Boiler.. Does both jobs,

It's a 50 litre beer barrel salvaged from the tip. .


The top has been sawn open. You don't need a lid, it's ok with an open rolling boil.


50 litres is an ideal size for a five gallon brew.

There's two holes cut near the bottom to take the kettle elements, you can see the bits you plug into poking out! Two makes for a faster boil time although one would do the job.

The tap is from  B and Q, it's a central heating fitting and comes with a nut on the back.

The thermometer, the bit with the cows on! It's useful but not essential. John has found one with a screw thread and bolted it in. It gives an easy indication of mashing temp. etc for little money.

The tube up the front is a sight gauge, it was easy to make and I'll try and get more info on how he made it!

I'd point out that taking beer barrels from the back of a pub is theft.

The CFC Set Up


Counter flow chiller! Or CFC. That's the yellow pipe! It was made by laying 8mm copper pipe out in a straight line,then feeding it through the yellow hose pipe, the liquor goes down the 8mm copper pipe and cold water passes round it in the  other direction in the  yellow pipe-- Get it?

A good picture of the mash tun. It's another beer barrel!

The insulating jacket was made with a tin of that expanding polystyrene they use for filling gaps. You can buy it from B and Q. Make a former with cardboard or by dropping the barrel in a bucket and squirt it in.

The beer goes round a 8MM copper tube made into a coil. The cold water runs round the inside of the barrel. The CFC uses the hose pipe from the mains, the used cold water goes into a garden water butt in the garden but it could drop straight into the drain!

This is a really nice piece of kit, chills the beer almost instantly. I've seen it working, it speeds up the whole process.


Internal Workings of The Boiler


This is the whirlpool.

It shows the kettle elements clearly at the bottom of the boiler.

See how the mash tun, with the red tap, drains straight into the boiler. Saves syphoning!

Description of the whirlpool to follow.

It's not essential but a nice simple addition!

John now says that this is probably not needed although a lot of people seem to rate them...

The Trestle.


It's knocked together from wood.

Nice and easy. I made one out of dexion racking I found dumped.

You just need something to hold the various mash tuns etc.

As with all John's ideas it's cheap and simple.