Introduction: Building an Automated Micro Brewery - Jack Daniels Independence Project
Like many other home brewers, we started brewing beer on the kitchen stove. We quickly outgrew the kitchen and moved into the garage. We remodeled a two-car garage and built a 10-gallon brewing system from scratch. We welded, soldered, drilled, tapped, wired, and assembled a variety of liquid, gas, electronic, and stainless steel components. By building our own equipment, we have an excellent understanding of how the brewing process works, which allows us to better control the outcome of each batch.
With $25,000, we would have the startup capital needed to move out of home brewing in the garage and start a legitimate microbrewery. The money will provide us the independence to build a new brewing system - capable of producing over 100 gallons of beer per batch with full control over the brewing process. This will free us from costly pre-built brewing systems and maintenance as well as prevent us from taking out a large loan to cover our startup costs. Since we live in New York State, we can self distribute the beer that we produce, which provides us independence from distributors. Thus, allowing us to deliver our beer directly to bars and restaurants serving our beer and ensuring the freshest product possible.
As designers, builders, and makers, we enjoy sharing our knowledge with others. We have published a number of instructables and how-to style videos that cover both beer and electronics. As we move from home brewing to a larger commercial brewing system, we will document, open source our process, and release updates regularly to help inspire other home brewers to produce better beer and build advanced brewing systems. Below are a few links to our most popular instructables and videos.
RFID access to our brewery
Building an electronics enclosure
Home brewing 101
Home brewing 102
How to make a yeast starter
Build log of our current brewing system HERMeS 2.0