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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: brewaloon on January 06, 2011, 03:20:00 AM

Title: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: brewaloon on January 06, 2011, 03:20:00 AM
I can't afford most of the brewing stuffs I'd like to have so I build stuffs from scratch.
Instead of a conical fermenter, I built a rack for 4 Carboys or brew-pails that is inclined at 60 degrees.
I used my Brad Nailer, furring strips and gorilla glue, all screwed and glued to the ceiling joist in my man-cave.
This creates a nice convection effect in the carboy during primary fermentation.
I also made a nice furring strip bracket for a bottling bucket gone leaky where the hole was made to 2 1/2''
In the hole, I inserted the unused cup dispenser of my mash tun water cooler as a chute for grain in my corona mill.
the handle was replaced by a piece of threaded rod. My 18V cordless drill gets 10Lbs of grain milled in a few minutes.
A clean kitchen towel with 2 clothe pins guide the grist in the bucket below.
The bike rack in the garage holds my bag of grains when I brew in a bag and the pulleys work like a charm.
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: corkybstewart on January 06, 2011, 03:45:32 AM
I made a sparge ring(for fly sparging) with 1/2" copper pipe, drilled lots of holes in the sides and bottom and soldered 4 lengths of 8 gauge solid copper wire to it.  I can adjust the height of the ring above the grain bed by bending the copper wire over the edge of my keg mash tun. 
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: weazletoe on January 06, 2011, 03:57:08 AM
I made a pre-chiller out of an old a/c evaporator coil.
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: ajk on January 06, 2011, 02:21:37 PM
Can we see some photos of these creations?
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: passlaku on January 06, 2011, 03:18:08 PM
You guys need to submit these neat inventions to Zymurgy's next gadget issue. 
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: brewaloon on January 06, 2011, 04:19:12 PM
Well this is the first time I post anythin on a forum.
I don't know how to insert pictures, but I have plenty of it.(http://)
I just have this img funny symbol without prompt...
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: EHall on January 06, 2011, 04:38:44 PM
My hands... especially my opposable thumbs!
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: denny on January 06, 2011, 04:44:42 PM
Well this is the first time I post anythin on a forum.
I don't know how to insert pictures, but I have plenty of it.(http://)
I just have this img funny symbol without prompt...

You can't post pics directly.  You have to host them somewhere than put a link to the pics in your post.
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: hamiltont on January 06, 2011, 05:12:18 PM
I'm a DIY person. I've convinced myself I can make a better mouse trap. ::)  Here are some of the contraptions I've made for the brewery. Most are the result of other brewers posting ideas & pics of their contraptions.  Cheers!!!

Grain Mill with bucket for added capacity
(http://i1116.photobucket.com/albums/k566/tjhamilton/Grain%20Mill/GrainMill1.jpg)

Mash Tun
(http://i1116.photobucket.com/albums/k566/tjhamilton/Mash%20Tun/MashTun2.jpg)
(http://i1116.photobucket.com/albums/k566/tjhamilton/Mash%20Tun/MashTun4.jpg)
(http://i1116.photobucket.com/albums/k566/tjhamilton/Mash%20Tun/MashTunDrain.jpg)

Immersion Chiller
(http://i1116.photobucket.com/albums/k566/tjhamilton/Immersion%20Chiller/WortChillerClean.jpg)

Conical Fermenter and Fermentation Box
(http://i1116.photobucket.com/albums/k566/tjhamilton/Conical/DSCN1321.jpg)
(http://i1116.photobucket.com/albums/k566/tjhamilton/Fermentation%20Box/DSCN1281.jpg)

Kegerator
(http://i1116.photobucket.com/albums/k566/tjhamilton/Kegerator/Kegerator1.jpg)
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: beersk on January 06, 2011, 07:18:36 PM
That wort chiller sure is elaborate looking.  Nice work.
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: hamiltont on January 06, 2011, 10:21:48 PM
That wort chiller sure is elaborate looking.  Nice work.
Thanks!!  I wanted the capacity for 10 gallons but a low enough profile to effectively do 5 if I did one, which I have with splits from a partigyle.  The templates were a joint compound bucket & a coffee can and then laced with #14 copper wire.  ;D Cheers!!!
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: weazletoe on January 07, 2011, 03:57:34 AM
Drip tray

(http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd235/Weazletoe/S5001636.jpg)

Grain mill

(http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd235/Weazletoe/S5001283.jpg)

Pre-chiller

(http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd235/Weazletoe/S5001268.jpg)

keg0rator

(http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd235/Weazletoe/S5001138.jpg)


Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: jaybeerman on January 07, 2011, 06:54:30 AM
I like the grain mill into the cabinet idea, nice.  

I've wanted to try a hopback at home for a while.  I'm not sure why, hops added to a 10 min whirl have always worked just fine.  Anyway, tried it out today and was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked.  Instantaneous hop aroma, hope that comes through in the final product (American Barleywine).  Basically I used a stainless storage canister, a coffee gold filter, quick connects so it can plug directly into my kettle and that's about it.  It held 3 ounces of hops.  I had to throttle back the pump so I could keep the hops completely submerged during the entire transfer (no flow problems).  

(http://i1177.photobucket.com/albums/x346/jaybeerman/hopback1.jpg)

(http://i1177.photobucket.com/albums/x346/jaybeerman/hopback2.jpg)
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: hamiltont on January 07, 2011, 05:11:02 PM

I've wanted to try a hopback at home for a while.  I'm not sure why, hops added to a 10 min whirl have always worked just fine.  Anyway, tried it out today and was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked.  Instantaneous hop aroma, hope that comes through in the final product (American Barleywine).  Basically I used a stainless storage canister, a coffee gold filter, quick connects so it can plug directly into my kettle and that's about it.  It held 3 ounces of hops.  I had to throttle back the pump so I could keep the hops completely submerged during the entire transfer (no flow problems).  

That's a heck of an idea!!!  Cheers!!!
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: richardt on January 07, 2011, 10:09:10 PM
Just curious:  Why is your hopback configured that way?   Which is the input and which is the output?  Where are the hops relative to the filter (above/below)?
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: jaybeerman on January 07, 2011, 10:43:11 PM
Just curious:  Why is your hopback configured that way?   Which is the input and which is the output?  Where are the hops relative to the filter (above/below)?

Yeah I knew more explanation would be necessary, just wanted to get back to a book I was reading (the tender bar). The lid is on top and doesn't actually seal (or need to). It's a vertical setup, the quick connect on the side of the canister plugs directly into the outlet of my kettle.  This way the beer flow contacts all the hops as gravity pulls it down through the filter and out the bottom.  So the filter sits in the bottom of the canister just like it would in a coffee maker.  Yesterday (the only time it's been used), I ran the flow rate so that beer level in the canister stayed just below the lid thus all the hops were completely submerged.  If the homebrew hopbacks on the market were sold for $100-ish (still maintaining large profit) I wouldn't have bothered making my hopback or posting the instructions.  Funny, in general I'm anti most DIY homebrew equipment as sometimes it creates more problems than the builder thinks it solves.  Anyway the thing is simple, I bought all the parts in about two minutes and it did work well. I did machine the pipe thread nuts (from a stainless coupler) that you see in the pictures only because I didn't have stainless nuts  ::) sitting around.  Let me know if you have any further questions or thoughts.  Cheers, j
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: rbclay on January 08, 2011, 08:57:13 PM
I'm making it right now. I am building my own stir plate. Just trying to get the magnet in the right spot to balance. Easier said than done...
How do I search threads on here without scrolling through dozens of pages? I'm sure there has to be a discussion on DIY stir plates somewhere.
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: Hokerer on January 09, 2011, 01:20:04 AM
I'm making it right now. I am building my own stir plate. Just trying to get the magnet in the right spot to balance. Easier said than done...
How do I search threads on here without scrolling through dozens of pages? I'm sure there has to be a discussion on DIY stir plates somewhere.

At the top of every page, there's a line "HOME HELP SEARCH.....".  Just click on search and away you go
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: rbclay on January 09, 2011, 01:22:15 AM
i see, says the blind man...
thanks.
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: euge on September 09, 2011, 08:40:44 AM
Man this thread should be bumped. I like everything here. Especially the walk-in cooler. I've been fomenting some ideas about a cooler in the garage- can you lager in there hamiltont?

jaybeerman that elegantly simple hopback might make an excellent Randall. Have you considered this?
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: Slowbrew on September 09, 2011, 02:06:17 PM
Sorry about the first 2 misfires.  I was figuring out how to post a picture and failing.   >:(

Here is my latest attempt at upgrading my grain mill table.  I designed it around scraps I had in the shop.

(http://i1102.photobucket.com/albums/g449/pjdegen/P9090111.jpg)

Paul
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: narvin on September 09, 2011, 02:39:49 PM
Didn't come up with the ideas for these, but I built them!

Grain mill motor

(http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5184/5609647067_624124444f_z.jpg)

Toolbox pump

(http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5253/5492120336_448cfb1feb_z.jpg)

Hop stopper

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/33648_435199631019_531731019_5772592_1806050_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: diverpat on September 09, 2011, 02:55:21 PM
I re-purposed a scuba diving pure oxygen bottle as my wort oxygenator.  It's a low pressure inflator hose hooked up to a 2 micron diffuser on a wand.  You could the same with air and nitrox bottles also.

(http://i.imgur.com/ZTVNL.jpg)

Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: weithman5 on September 09, 2011, 03:15:39 PM
several in the works. will post pics when complete.(rebuilding outside wall of my house from water damage)
1.  i have made small kegs out of 1 gallon apple juice bottles
2.  planning to make inverted conicals out of the same bottles
3. i have liquid nitrogen in office for freezing warts, thinking of procuring it as a nitrogen source for stouts. will use as cooling source to crash after ferment.  not sure how to do this one yet

Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: dak0415 on September 09, 2011, 04:04:26 PM
3. i have liquid nitrogen in office for freezing warts, thinking of procuring it as a nitrogen source for stouts. will use as cooling source to crash after ferment.  not sure how to do this one yet


Cool - the "Boiling to pitching temps in 30 seconds" immersion chiller ;D
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: jaybeerman on September 09, 2011, 06:00:02 PM
Man this thread should be bumped. I like everything here. Especially the walk-in cooler. I've been fomenting some ideas about a cooler in the garage- can you lager in there hamiltont?

jaybeerman that elegantly simple hopback might make an excellent Randall. Have you considered this?

I agree that this was is a great thread.

This thing would totally fail as a randall, unfortunately.  I like the idea of the DIY filter randall though I've never tried building one.

http://www.maltosefalcons.com/clubgear/hash-back-aka-moormanator (http://www.maltosefalcons.com/clubgear/hash-back-aka-moormanator)
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: tschmidlin on September 09, 2011, 06:18:52 PM
I built one, it was easy and it's fun to use.  I'd recommend mounting it upside down though, it seems to foam less (since the foam rises and stays in the filter housing.
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: passlaku on September 10, 2011, 02:55:36 AM
What is that hopStopper made of, that is pretty sleek.
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: narvin on September 10, 2011, 04:26:54 AM
What is that hopStopper made of, that is pretty sleek.

12" x 24" stainless steel mesh from McMaster (part # 9230T625).  Folded in half with the edges criped twice and flattened... no stitching or anything else to keep the sides together.

(http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5136/5491528839_6152770384_z.jpg)
Title: Re: Your coolest brewing contraption
Post by: jill on September 13, 2011, 03:56:29 PM
Hi all,

Please consider submitting your "contraptions" for the Jan/Feb 2012 Gadgets issue! If you're interested in seeing them in the magazine, email zymurgy@brewersassociation.org. The deadline is Thursday September 15.

Thanks!

Jill Redding
Editor-in-Chief, Zymurgy