Kettles & Pumps
I began brewing my own beer in 1995. Saturday afternoons were spent in the kitchen - boiling and straining and bottling. And drinking some of the previous month's batch. The beer was pretty good, and my first batch of India Pale Ale got me hooked on the style. There were two problems. Cleaning, rinsing, and sanitizing 48 bottles of beer was a real pain. But the biggie was that it cost me about the same to brew good beer as it did to just buy it at the store. Eventually my interest waned.
Interest revived in 2005, and I started designing a new brewery plan that would fix these problems. First, I'd use old 5 gallon Pepsi soda fountain kegs to keg my beer, and avoid all the bottle washing. Second, I'd go the all-grain route and purchase malted barley in 50-lb sacks rather than buy the expensive malted barley "extract". This would cut the cost in half. And I'd make 10 gallons at a time, cutting the labor in half. But then I met this girl, and my interest got diverted. Then we moved from Maryland to Virginia.
In 2010, I started building my new brewery. One requirement was to use electric hot water heater elements instead of propane burners, since my brewery has to share garage space with my antique motorcycles. Flames and gasoline just don't mix. After a couple of false starts, I happened upon The Electric Brewery This was exactly what I was after. But I couldn't just follow the directions - I had to do it my way. Finally, in 2012, the beer started flowing.