Hoist for lifting malt tube on 50L BM

The Speidel Braumeister (BM) was specially developed for the active home brewer. The entire brewing process takes place in a single container and is controlled by a fully automatic Wi-Fi control. However, in spite of its compact size it does have its drawbacks. Those of you who own a 50 litre BM will know how difficult it is to lift the malt tube after the mash process without some lifting aid. The saturated grain weight, plus the suction effect, means you may have to lift the equivalent weight of perhaps 30 kg or more.

In the past I have used a standard engine hoist to do this. It is very effective, but perhaps a little ungainly, and requires manual pumping of the hydraulic piston. It was also awkward to manoeuvre as the legs were in a ‘V’ shape and were a tight fit around my BM stand.

My old engine hoist

In my own particular brewing circumstances, I have no dedicated brewing room or garage area. All my brewing is done in my ‘Brew-gazebo’, which is erected in my small patio garden every time I do a brewing session. So I have the additional problem of breaking down the engine hoist after use into its 8 components to store it away.

In seeking an alternative that offers a more easy to use method without any manual effort from me, plus a smaller floor profile, I came across another type of engine maintenance equipment called a Gearbox/Engine Stand. The Gearbox/Engine Stand has 4 wheels, 570 kilos capacity, and is suitable to hold most engines and gearboxes so that a mechanic can work on them.

Gearbox/Engine stand

I liked the way that the ‘U-shaped’ legs would conveniently fit either side of my custom made BM stand. All I needed was a way to convert this engine stand into some kind of lifting arrangement. As for the hoisting mechanism itself, some time ago I bought a 500W electric hoist from Lidl’s as it was going cheap, so I could now at last put it to good use. All I needed to do was to work out a way to add some sort of upright jib and a hoist support arm to act as a crane of sorts. So here is a picture of some of the bits ready to assemble.

Electric hoist

The first thing I did was to use a reciprocating saw to remove the engine/gearbox mounting plate.

Mounting plate chopped off

I now reckoned that the hole was just the right size to take a 48mm standard scaffold pole. After working out the required clearance height needed for the raised malt tube, I bought a 2.5M galvanised steel scaffold pole. Sure enough, it was a perfect fit and slotted in nicely.

Jib pole in position

Next I looked at support arms and came up with a vidaXL Hoist Frame 600kg Industrial Garage Lifting/Jacking/Hoist Crane Derrick. I like the way the brackets fitted to a scaffold pole, and it can easily be removed from the pole by simply tapping out the round hinge inserts. Plus, it was a nice bright red to match the gearbox/engine stand!

The hoist arm

Here’s a picture of how the finished hoist now looks.            

New hoist in operation

Really pleased with how this works. Once assembled, it fits into the Brew-gazebo nicely. Effortless lifting of the malt tube at last!

Look out for my brewing session in next month’s Bromley CAMRA e-Newsletter to see it in action, when I will be brewing a Robinson’s ‘Old Tom’ clone.