Home brewed beer can not only be "as good" as commercially made beer but sometimes even better.  Many home brewers use extracts to create their beer, but the best beer is frequently made from all grain.  This approach can get complicated with pumps, multiple vessels and gas powered burners.  Electric brewing can change this.  

After years of brewing beer in the cold garage using a gravity fed 3 vessel propane powered brewery, I thought it was time to simplify and start brewing indoors where it was warmer.  While some electric brewers go with complicated recirculating pumps, PID controllers and digital temperature displays, I wanted a simpler (less expensive) way to brew electrically.  The result is a one vessel, manually controlled brewery that uses a beer brewing method referred to as "Brew in a bag" or BIAB for short.  

This brewery is easy to use, fast heating, small sized and a snap to clean up.  It sets up on the washing machine in the laundry room and stores easily on a shelf.   I love this adorable little brewery and will not be returning to the cold days in the garage any day soon.

Want to make one?  Let's get the parts we need.  

Step 1: Shopping list

1) Kettle ($35-$155)

At my local restaurant supply store (like Cash and Carry), I found large inexpensive ($35) ten gallon aluminum kettles and for another $8 at that store, you can get a much needed round streamer rack to keep the grain bag off the heating element.  These aluminum kettles do not have a pre-installed spigot, so I decided to go with
a new 10 gallon stainless steel kettle with a basket and pre-installed stainless steel spigot.  

While this option is significantly more expensive than the aluminum choice, I think it will be very durable and a better quality brewery.  If you plan on brewing 10 gallons at a time, purchase a 15 or 20 gallon pot.  After years of brewing 10 gallon batches, I'm fine with 5 gallon batches.  I suppose a very careful brewer could brew up to about 8 gallons in a 10 gallon pot, but the risk of boil over is significant and one to be avoided.  

Unfortunately, you still need to drill one more hole in the kettle for the heating element and it is a large hole.  For that you really should use a knockout hole punch.  

2)  Knockout hole punch.  ($25-$85)

The hole for the heating element needs to be exactly 1.25 inches in diameter and there isn't much room for a sloppy hole made with a step drill or hole saw.  Unfortunately, the only tool that does this kind of a hole well is a knockout hole punch.  This tool has three parts: the punch, the die and the draw stud.  The punch and die are positioned on either side of the kettle and by screwing the draw stud down, the punch and die are pulled together which knocks out an absolutely perfect hole.  Unfortunately, this tool costs about $85.  There are cheaper versions at stores like Harbor Freight, but the reviews of those tools are so bad that I went ahead and bought the real "Greenlee" version and resold it on eBay for the majority of my investment after using the tool twice.  (you need one more hole of this size later in the construction)

3)  Heating element ($23)

This seems to be the heating element that everyone over at BIABrewer recommends.   I got it.  It works great.

4)  Heating element controller  ($250 or less)

Some folks have a lot more skill with creating their own electronics than I do.  If "pulse width modulation" and "Replace C1 with a 2.2uF capacitor to lower the frequency" makes any sense to you, then you can probably save a bunch of money by making your own controller.  I won't pretend I know how to do that.  

Instead, I purchased this controller which is designed to be plug and play into a standard NEMA10-30 240V electric dryer outlet.  It is the most expensive item in the brewery and could probably be replaced with a simple on/off switch but the dial on this unit allows me to keep the kettle at exactly the right temperature.

5)  Washer, locknut and o ring kit (under $20 for the basics):

You will need this large washer/shim (item number 96853A253)  I couldn't find it at my helpful hardware place so I think you'll need to buy it online.  I had trouble linking to this part directly, so just type the number into the search box.
Also needed is this locknut and o ring kit.  If you want a side pickup or need to add a weldless bulkhead kit or spigot to an aluminum kettle, this is a good place to buy them.  

6)  Electrical box, covers, and cable (all found at local hardware store.. under $30 total)

Single gang weatherproof electrical box
Weather proof cover
Stainless steel electrical cover
NEMA 10-30 Plug and cable for 240V dryer.  

7)  2-1/4 inch hole saw

2-1/4 bimetal hole saw, if you don't already have one.  Drill press is nice when using this saw.  

8)  Whirlpool/ side pickup

This fitting kit is a nice way to drain almost all the wort from the kettle.  Include it with your order for the locknut and O ring.

9)  Nice thermometer

I love this thermometer.  The probe is waterproof, there is a timer and you can set an alarm when you reach a particular temperature.  Top it off with a magnetic back and you have the best brewing thermometer ever.  Optional, of course.

Let's build.  Click "Next".

<p>Thanks for the guide.</p><p>Trying to adapt it to my condition here (240V 50A stove outlet only here)I contacted the box sellers you have, they can adapt the box to 50A.</p><p>Just one thing, I was not able to find iin Canada is the &quot;1&quot; STAINLESS LOCKNUT AND O-RING KIT&quot; as the seller do not ship outside US.</p><p>http://www.bargainfittings.com/index.php?route=product/product&amp;path=46&amp;product_id=95</p>
<p>How do you keep the basket from touching the heating element? Or is it okay for the basket to sit on the heating element? </p>
The basket hangs from the top of the pot and won't touch the element but wouldn't be the end of the world if it did. The grain bag, on the other hand should NEVER touch the element as it is much more fragile and meltable. Thanks for writing!
Hi tim_n. I didn't worry about the difference between the two liquids. I honestly found it easiest to just shut the unit off during mashing and wrap a blanket around it . I achieved good conversion an hour later and never overshot my temperature. If you do the same, you can go without the strainer as the element will be off while the bag is in the wort. If you keep the element on, there is a chance the element could touch and burn the bag if there was no strainer. The strainer was not nearly as useful as I originally thought it would be. Thanks for writing!
I've eventually found a 15 gallon stockpot in the uk for &pound;62. The guy selling it has sorted the holes for me for &pound;11 - I've had a 1/2&quot; hole for the ball valve, 1/4&quot; for the temp gauge, 1 1/4&quot; for the heating element and a 5mm hole (2/10&quot;) for the probe. Not bad. &pound;15 P&amp;P bringing it to &pound;93 <br> <br>I ended up buying two PIDs, one was a &pound;11 jobbie from China which had a 30A SSR inbuilt. Seemed like a good idea, but it was an RTD sensor - not a PT100. Oops. Ended up buying an auber SYL-2352 (&pound;40 imported), 40a SSR (&pound;5) and stainless steel PT100 (&pound;4) <br> <br>Cost of getting a suitable 1&quot; locknut imported from the states was prohibitively expensive so I ended up getting one from China (99p) and sourcing a few o-rings in the UK (75p). Very difficult to source! <br> <br>Got a custom large washer lasercut as it was cheaper than importing as well (&pound;5.50) <br> <br>I've just run a new power cable into my garage so I've got somewhere to plug into. It's a 32a circuit with a RSD breaker on it. I've added a socket which'll run my arc welder and a spare cooker I've been given. I have a friendly electrician help me which cut down the cost (I ran the cable through the loft, he wired it up for me). Wire cost about &pound;80 (bought too much). Consumer unit, switched 32A socket and three plugs &pound;70. <br> <br>So, I get the stockpot at Christmas, SSR and heatsink should arrive in the new year hopefully be brewing before easter! :)
Excellent stuff - how do you find the temperature differential between the contents of the strainer and the outside wort? I've seen it mentioned a few times and am wondering whether it's better to import this exact set or just use a more basic without steamer model. Importing the same one you used is &pound;164, I can buy a similar but with no strainer for &pound;114
How do you clean underneath and between the poles on that heating element? Just boil some water in there? Thanks, and great instructable, this has to be the simplest method I have seen to brew beer.
Boiling some water is a great idea. I have simply used a scrub brush and a sponge with a good rinse. Thank you.

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