Creating A Weldless BIAB Brew Stand For Cheap
I started homebrewing last year, and as the amount of equipment I used grew, I found the amount of time that I spent hauling stuff up and down from my basement was rivaling the amount of time I spent brewing (not to mention the number it was doing on my back). Additionally, due to my particular setup, I found myself with the desire to move my brew pot during brew day (my faucet for chilling is in a common area and my equipment basically blocks traffic) which proves to be a difficult task with 10 gallons of hot wort in your pot. For all these reasons, having a brew stand on casters would be very helpful. The idea was that this would serve both as a cart for moving equipment as well as a stand for my brew pot.
Before starting, I had strict orders from my wife that this could not cost more than a "few" bucks. So my build is based on a limited budget and the fact that I have no welding ability or knowledge. My build also assumes that you have access to a decent drill and angle grinder. If you do not have an angle grinder there are decent units at Home Depot for around $40.
What you will need:
- Queen sized collapsible bed frame (I had a spare on hand but they can easily be found on Craigslist for less than $30)
- Scrap wood or sheet metal for your shelving
- 1/4" Cobalt drill bit - $7 (click here)
- 3/8" Cobalt drill bit - $7 (click here)
- 1/4" Hex bolts - $7 (click here)
- 1/4" Nuts - $6 (click here)
- Cutting disk for angle grinder - $2 (click here)
- Caster four pack - $20 (click here)
- 3/4" flat bar - $4 (click here)
- Rustoleum Primer - $4 (click here)
- Rustoleum color of your choice - $4 (click here)
Total Cost: $60 (I had the cutting disk and drill bits so my total cost was $45 and I had a $10 gift card from my recycle bank program, so $35)
1) Deconstruct the bed frame. For my frame this meant grinding off the welded hinges (#1 in image) thus removing the hinged crossbars from the main rails. Then grinding off the attachment pegs (#2 in image).
2) Plan your cuts. The two main rails on my bed frame were 69" long, the center support rail was 60" and the four hinged support rails were 33" long each.
I wanted to be able to fit my keggle between the top and bottom shelf so that I could store it neatly. I needed 4 x 28" vertical bars and 8 x 20" horizontal bars. I used the four hinged support rails as the vertical bars which allows me to use the notches indicated to mount pumps and filters as I get them. I then used the center support and the two main rails for my eight 20" pieces.
3) Create top and bottom shelves. Since I am not a welder I constructed this rig with bolts (welders may depart from the build at this point). I drilled a hole in each end of 2 of the 20" horizontal bars and then, using clamps, used two more 20" horizontal pieces to make a square. I then drilled through the holes I had just made into the piece below it. This made sure that the holes would line up properly. After all holes were drilled I bolted the square together and repeated the process for the second square.
NOTE: If you have not drilled through metal before make sure you don't over heat the bit. Use cutting oil and go SLOW. I think your drill should be turning at no more than 600 RPM which on my drill is about 1/4 of full speed.
4) Attach uprights. After I had my square top and bottom shelves I clamped on the uprights drilled holes through the upright and the square shelf below it, bolting the whole mess together as I went (NOTE: make sure that the shelves are oriented with the angle irons making an upright L so that you can drop in your shelving and have it sit neatly inside the square you have bolted together, refer to the completed pictures if this does not make sense). This step took some time as the process was a little cumbersome at this point.
5) Cut angle supports. After getting the entire cube constructed and all the bolts adequately tightened it was VERY solid and while adding angle supports may not be necessary I felt that it would increase the stability of the rig. I cut 6" lengths and cut the ends at a 45 degree angle. The final pieces looked like the image below.
6) Attach angle supports. Using the same method to make sure the holes you are drilling are aligned, attach each angle support between the upright and the bottom shelf.
7) Drill 3/8" holes in the bottom shelf for casters.
8 ) Prime and paint.
9) Create shelves. While your paint is drying take the opportunity to create the shelves that will sit inside the frame. I had an old filing cabinet that I used to cut two 20"x20" pieces out of. These are supported by a few pieces of 1x2 lumber I had around. If you don't have scrap metal around I would imagine 2x4 cut in lengths or some plywood would work as well or better.
10) Install casters and shelves. After your paint has dried you can throw your shelves in and install the casters.
Congrats your done!
Here is my completed unit in "storage mode."
On brew day I remove the top shelf and this how my set up looks.
This set up is ideal for the apartment brewer. I can fit a good deal of my equipment inside my keggle and roll the entire rig into a coat closet and stack the remainder of my equipment on the top shelf. This is of great use to me as my wife hates it when my brewing equipment is splayed all over the house.
In the future I plan to have a removable winch/pulley arm assembly that I can use to pull the >40lb grain bag out. However, I used this for the first time a few weeks ago and it was a life saver. I saved a bunch of time moving things around and out of the basement and it was a breeze to move the brew pot around to my spigot for cooling.
I hope many of you find this useful and BREW ON!
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