Where to find parts for the home brewery?
Part of the fun of brewing for me is the brewery itself. I love to make improvements to my brewing system to make the brewing day easier and smoother. Unfortunately, I dont have an unlimited budget for my hobby. This isnt really a problem, it just takes a little bit of hunting around for bargains. But where to look?
This article is an attempt to give a list of places close to Brewmaster (our regular meeting place) that have various parts that could be used in constructing or modifying a small brewery. The emphasis in this article is for 304 and 316 stainless steel because of its rust resistance, ease of cleaning and is the most common metal used in commercial breweries. Please note that I personally do not have affiliations with any of the companies mentioned in the article and your results may vary depending on the weather, mood of the employees and if I got there first. J
Duhig - San Leandro
Duhig is just a few blocks away from Brewmasters. They have a wide selection of stainless steel valves, pipes and fittings and can also make cut custom length stainless pipe. For really advanced design, they even carry Triclover valves and sanitary clamp fittings. If your headed down to Duhig, ask for Rob Davis. Hes had a lot of experience with homebrewers and can help you figure out how to do everything from convert a keg to a boil kettle to custom design a stainless steel brewery from the ground up. It helps that he is a homebrewer himself.
Alco- San Leandro
Alco carries a large supply of salvaged metal. Most of their stainless is kept on the right past the main building. You can find stainless sheets of various sizes, stainless tubing for moving liquids and the occasional rare find. For example, I located a set of 6 12" long thermal wells in good condition the other day and paid scrap weight price for the lot at $1.50 a pound. The also had some sanitary piping with flanges for clamps in various sizes. You never know what theyll have until you check it out.
Local recycling yards
Lakeside Recycling - Oakland
I live very close to a recycler of non-ferrous metals. One day I took a stroll down and asked the gentlemen on the floor if I could take a look around for stainless scrap. After a bit of digging I was able to find enough odd sized sheets of 304 stainless to construct a new grain mill hopper and it only cost $1/ pound. Quite a deal. Look for a recycler in your area and see if theyll let you look around and buy stuff.
And dont forget that a six pack of homebrew is a great bargaining chit.
Duhig and Co. Inc.
14275 Wicks Bl
Alco Iron & Metal Co.
1091 Doolittle Dr.
Lakeside Non-Ferrous Metals