Shout-out to Chris Van

In early 2019 a brewer, and reader of this blog by the name of Chris Van reached out to me for some more details on the plumbing of my brewery. We’ve chatted off and on since, while he built his own interpretation of my brewery design. He now has a handful of brews under his belt using this system, and has provided some pictures.

Chris’ iteration includes a removable drain pan near the pump and system drain in his brew stand, and shelves for his counterflow chiller (Northern Brewer) and brewery controller (auber instruments). He went for a 3-way valve on the pump outlet (to route wort through his RIMS tube into his mash tun during mash recirculation, or towards his boil kettle), and another 3 way valve near the boil kettle (to select between boil kettle recirculation or to route wort through his CFC). The 3 way valves allow the system to be more compact (and look great). Like me, he opted for custom kettles with tri clamp fittings from Spike Brewing.

Well done Chris!

7 responses for Shout-out to Chris Van

  1. Norm Ryder says:

    Nice to see so much bling! My keggles look like blacksmith equipment in comparison.

  2. Chris says:

    Thanks for the shout-out and for helping me on the build Justin! Looking forward to seeing how you incorporate a CFC, so I can update mine accordingly ;)

  3. Antoine Cantin says:

    Awesome setup! I have a request for Chris, hopefully you’re following this post :

    Do you have pictures taken from the back side ? Or a process diagram ? I can’t see the whole setup with the pump and the rims. It would really help me design my own setup!


    • Chris Van says:

      Hi Antoine,

      I definitely check back from time to time! Happy to send more photos, but there’s no way to leave photos in this comment section so out of luck on that front.

      I will share though, my setup is basically identical to Justin’s earlier post in 2018. I just changed to a 3-way valve above the pump, and that was only due to the width of my stand. I prefer to separate butterfly valves like Justin ended up doing in his update. also on that same post, if you scroll down the comments you’ll see a breakdown of the flow direction based on valve position. It was super helpful for me! I pretty much copied Justin exactly, and probably will continue to do so :)

      Here’s the post I’m referring to

  4. Alex says:

    Hi Guys!

    Interested in pump performance in this setup – Justin’s 3ph VFD vs what appears to be a standard chugger.

    Any comments on would do again, wouldn’t , etc.?

  5. Paul says:

    Awesome! Nice and clean Setup

  6. Darrell Gray says:

    Hi Justin,

    I’ve enjoyed reading the different chapters of your brewery build. Nice stuff and thanks for sharing. I’m considering changing my 3V eHERMS to something like you and Chris have done. I also intend to build a valve tree manifold if I can keep it simple enough. One thing isn’t clear about your description and the pictures here. You state the 3way valve near the BK allows routing either kettle recirculation or through the CFC. Maybe I’m too dense, but looking at the pictures, the valve comes after the CFC. So the selection is eather BK recirculation or out to fermenter (I assume). My question is, do you know why the CFC is plumbed this way? When filling the BK from the MLT is the amount of lost wort insignificant?


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