Welcome to the Homepage of

Bluedog Brewing - Bundaberg Queensland Australia

 

The Brewery is named for "Chuck"

chuck

He's the constant companion in the brewery and workshop

THE STORY OF BLUEDOG BREWING.............

WHEN A MAN decides to make his own beer it starts out simply enough but soon things get complicated and it helps to have a supportive spouse/drinking buddy as the costs are sure to continue in the pursuit of the perfect beer.

We started with Homebrewing Kits but didn't enjoy the process of bottling so we turned to kegs and gassing beer with Co2. We were content... for a little while... then the lure of All-Grain Beer became too strong and we went over to the dark side.

It was pointless to keep track of the costs, let's just say that a man can never have too many fermenters and kegs and buying grain by the 40 Bag [1 tonne] pallet was so much easier than one bag at a time. Hops in bulk packs from New Zealand and the U.S. also became norm, then of course we we needed Yeast to begin our Yeast farm.

So with the essentials covered then came the bling, like silicone hoses and stainless fittings, the wonders of PID Controllers, and a semi automated HERMS brewery.

We're not finished yet, next learning curve is the new PLC sitting on the desk. In the meantime we're happy to say it's been a labour of love and learning with each new project.

We gladly share our journey through these webpage as we've tried to maintain an honest record of our successes (and failures) and hope that the pictorial diaries help others build the gear they need or take the leap to brew good beer.

 

Follow the links above and you will see how we build equipment; Often recycling scrap steel, into useful tools, vessels and lifting apparatus.
One job seems to lead to another so we developed a "What's New @ Bluedog" page {see the top link above} so if you've been here before you can quickly jump there to see the latest project we're working on.

Ahhh But we don't FISH!

We'd be lying if we said it was cheap and plenty of new items have been purchased which boosted the local economy and some which gave customs an extra workload too. We justify all this by reminding ourselves that buying a boat, registering the trailer and going fishing would have cost a lot more..... and we don't like fish but we do like beer.

That's also how we justified building a new 6 tap Kegerator even though we had a perfectly good 6 tap Refrigerator! And how when we hated that new Kegerator.... we brought a new fridge so we have a matching pair!!

The overhead hoist system didn't need any justifying and is worth it's weight in gold, allowing us to handle heavy objects and move them effortlessly around the brewing area. And that's how the projects continue.... one thing just somehow leads to another...

But we do love food!

Another thing we noticed about brewers... they also seem to be Foodies... and there are endless pages devoted to making the perfect bread, cheese, sausage.... and we're just as bad.

We make our own sausage (specializing in Italian Sausage), bread, Pizza sauce and Pizza base, cheese and our latest venture is to make and smoke our Bacon.

Life's to short to eat inferior food!

Please enjoy the visit and we hope you're inspired to join the ranks - if you check back always take a look at the WHAT's NEW link above... that's where we update our gear and tell you honestly how things work and what doesn't work so well.

This is the current set up where we enjoy the final product..

Here's the latest beer fridge from April 2011

Yes! you're right... we are always changing Our motto seems to be that you can always have a better beer fridge.

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This one has 6 Perlick Taps & individual pressure adjustment.

The night shot shows the subtle LED track lighting

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The major improvements in this design were:

6 pressure regulators - So each beer can be served at the right pressure

LED strip lighting - there is white light over taps and subtle blue highlighting beer the labels

Stainless back & drip trays - Built to order although we drilled all the holes

Perlick Creamer taps - we discovered that we didn't like the Creamer style and changed them

Timber tap handles, made in the workshop and stained to match the other timber work

 

For a full pictorial diary of the build of this new fridge and all the specifications check out the 2011 Fridge link

 

The was the previous "Kegerator"...

kegerator1

Before we built the new fridge we constructed a Kegerator from a new chest freezer.

 

This was going to be the best thing on wheels but personally we didn't like it.
Follow this link if you'd like to see how the Kegerator was built.

 

We were never entirely happy with it. It was a nightmare to clean the inside & remove the build up of water, the timber would weep brown stains down the outside and it was so high that lifting the kegs in and out was a pain... even with the little jib crane system.

kegerator36

Inside the Kegerator: CO2 bottle fits neatly inside the 275L Chest freezer along with 6 19L Corny Kegs

 

 

 

 

kegerator7

 

This Kegerator was taken out of the Bar in 2011 and sent to the brewery. He lives on happily chilling, gassing and conditioning kegs.

 

 

Back in time...

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These photos are the previous fridges and you can see that we're just like everyone else...

We thought TWO taps was a joy... then FOUR... then SIX... oh and now 12 beer taps is barely enough.

Who knew it could be so addictive!

 

There's still work to be done; the old 6 tap with green light above it will go to the workshop for a make-over.

It will come back being identical to the latest one with LED Lighting.... yes we purchased TWO sets of everything during that build... smart thinking huh?

 

The inside shot shows the 6 'corny kegs' - 2 rows of 3 call clearly labelled.

We weren't happy with the aluminium drip tray, too wide to clean in the sink. That's why the newer fridge has two separate stainless trays for easy cleaning.

 

 

 

And this is ancient history as we went from a lowly 2 taps to the magic 4 taps.... and never thought we could want for more.oldfridge

fridge1

 

 


 

 

bar

Custom built sink unit with an end cabinet to house the CO2 bottle.

Fridge on the right holds 5 kegs [just extra storage for what's on tap - it's lovingly called the DOG Fridge - it's Chucks!

The bar

bar

Seats 6 comfortably, a few steps from the beer fridges.

Made from scrap steel from the dump and a timber slab.

 

We sit outside every evening and share our bar with friends & family {in a screened room}
The patio heater wards of the Queensland winter

Mini brewstand & CYSTRAP

henno2cystrap

On the left is the mini brewstand we built for a brewer who had a height restriction in his shed.

It works from Left to right and has a hand-winch which raises up out of harms way when not in use

The platform for the HLT goes to ground level for filling and is then winched to the required height.

It even has a hinged step so he could see in the mash tun!

It can sit unobtrusively against a shed wall until needed then the important bits come out into play

The CYSTRAP [at right]

This item has nothing to do with beer making...

If you're in the building trade and need to use "cyclone straps" it might be of interest...

I designed and built this unit for a local builder.

It uniformly bends 300 straps in about 20 minutes

Adjusts to fit several sizes/style of strap and requires very little effort to press the straps into a perfect shape every time.

He says it's so easy to operate the apprentice or wife can do it!

Building the mobile brewstand

breweryWe kept a photo journal of the building process as there were no plans or prints to work from and it was quite a bit of that old rule about measure twice - cut once!

This is what we achieved.

This is the link to  the BlueDog Brew Stand

 

NO, we're not taking orders.

It was a labour of love.... we love our beer.

smiley13

 

Since this was built it's been changed and changed again to suit our needs but this may give new brewers a starting point.

 

 

Building an overhead hoist system

hoist32About a year into all-grain brewing we realised that we weren't getting any younger and the loads weren't getting any lighter....

This called for some serious consideration of our health and well being so we designed and built an overhead gantry system which covers a 3m x 6.5m area.

As we use chest freezers as fermenting and crash chill cabinets this hoist allows easy lift and manoeuvre of kegs and double fermenters anywhere in the brewing area.

Once again there were no plans or prints to work from - just a man on a mission to ensure he can keep brewing as old age creeps inevitably nearer.

This is a link to the HOIST Construction and installation page

We hope you enjoy reading about these brewery project. We don't hold ourselves to be experts by any means but we enjoy the end product so we're always trying to improve the brewing process for ourselves.

If you've learned anything here, we're delighted.

We're also glad to receive any feedback or if we can help, just ask. Cheers !

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