Someone was asking that I start a new thread on home breweries.
I mentioned that I use an old thin client in my pole barn/shop to access things like PDF/CD versions of tech manuals, the internet and to control a brewery.
I will see what I can dig up for pics as I know a thread without pics is worthless.
For right now there isn't a ton to see in the brewery. I have been building an electric brewery. Basically I got three old half barrels that were retired from a local craft brewery. Cut the tops off with a plasma cutter to convert them to kettles. It is a HERMS brewery which, to a home brewer would indicate how the system works. I won't get into the details of that process but you can do a search on it if you are interested. For a heat source it is all electric. It uses a 50A 240V connection to a main control panel. Inside the control panel is a device called a BCS460. This is the brains of the operation. There is a web interface which is used to monitor the brew process and control a pair of solid state relays which then drives a pair of 5500W electric water heater elements as well as the pumps and monitor temps at for different points in the process. This can be run in a semi-automatic mode where alarms go off and I have to manually control the valves to route the wort (name for beer before yeast is added) to the proper process or completely manually through the website. Also in the panel are a series of breakers and contactors. While I didn't design the panel, I did build it and modified it from plans I found on the internet. Since we are dealing with lots of electricity and liquids, never a good combination. The system power is fed from a 60A Spa panel. They have a GFCI breaker in a small subpanel.
From there it goes into fermentation. I have an old wine fridge that I converted to a fermentation chamber. This is needed to tightly control the temps at which the beer is fermenting. It has the ability to heat or cool as needed to hold the temp within 1-2 F of my target. It also allows me to brew Lagers. Most people brew Ales because they are easier to ferment. To do a Lager right you have to be able to control the temps as the temp needs to change at different stages of the brew process. Once primary fermentation is complete, I normally go into secondary. This is where various things can be added to the beer. I like IPAs so a lot of times I am tossing in lots of hops at this point.
At this point it is ready to be bottled which is what most people do. I have never bottled my beer as I have had a kegerator since before I started homebrewing. For this I use old soda kegs. There are two types pin or ball lock. One was favored by Coke and the other Pepsi. Both types are typically 5 gallons which the normal batch size is 5 or 10 gallons so it works out well. All my kegs are 5 gallon ball locks. There is a kegerator in the house. Well actually in the porch and one in the shop. They were both bought at a local auction site and repaired as they are commercial Beverage Air units. The one in the house is the small one. It would hold one 16 gallon half barrel or since I use it for homebrewing it will hold 4 ball lock kegs. It has a three tap tower on it and the 4th is usually a keg that is carbonating or if I am serving it I will use a picnic tap which is one of those taps most people use at parties that you open with your thumb. The difference is everything is pushed with CO2 tanks like in a bar so no hand pump. The CO2 tank is also used for carbonating the beer. The kegerator in the shop is a huge unit also built by Beverage Air. If I put in the 16 gallon half barrels it will hold something like 4 or 5. I have seen where some people can fit something like 24 of the home brew kegs in there. I only have 8 kegs some of which are used for aging beer. In addition to this I have two Firkins that I can use for parties if we want a cask conditioned beer. The problem with the Firkins are that once opened you need to drink it in a couple days. 10 gallons is a lot to drink in a couple days by myself as my wife doesn't drink beer. So it is really best used for larger gatherings. Or it works really well for aging beer and not locking up a couple of my kegs for a year or so. As for aging, under the pole barn is my "secret room". There is a root cellar that is about 10x15 with 7' ceiling. It is a nice cool spot for aging beer and storing my motorcycle tires.
Here are some pics that I found so far.
The control panel from the outside. I don't see any inside shots.
This is the kegerator that is in the house when I picked it up from the auction house.
I didn't see any good pictures since cleaning it up but here is one of the taps that are on it.
Inside of it has this for CO2 distribution and a secondary pressure regulator so I can run multiple pressures.
Here is the one in the shop when I brought it home from the auction house.
Fixing a refrigerant leak. The capillary tube was rubbing against the compressor and wore a hole through it. Easy fix.
Built some wheels for it so I can move it around the shop as needed.
Rebuilt the steps going down into the root cellar.
It is hard to get a shot of the root cellar but as you see block walls down there and a cement floor.
People ask if I save money by brewing my own beer. No way. It is a huge loss. There is thousands of dollars tied up in equipment. Granted if you just do basic brewing you can get by pretty cheap. However I do computer work on the side of a local beer distributor. A lot of times I get beer from them.
Do I look like a kid in a candy store??? Actually that was my son with when I stopped there for a couple minutes once.
Oh and since this is a John Deere Forum. Bringing home the bacon... Er Beer.... These dang kegs are heavy when full.