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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > $5.00 False Bottom Plan

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Old 08-22-2012, 12:18 AM   #21
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Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all the interest in my "ghetto" false bottom (that made me laugh). I've brewed with it 4 times since making this thread and it has performed flawlessly every time. I did a 45 minute sparge with it on my last brew (a honey wheat beer) and I didn't have a hint of a slow or stuck sparge.

Some of you mentioned using perforated pizza pans and pizza screens. I looked into those options first, but when I went to a restaurant supply store to pick up the pan I used here, I looked at them and found that the holes were a bit too big; I worried about them letting too much grain through to be useful. The only ones I found with 1/8" holes were of the flexible silicone variety which wouldn't work for obvious reasons.

A stainless steel pan is a great option too and I looked into that as well. Given that this was a bit experimental to begin with and I'd never done an all-grain brew up to that point, I decided to go with the cheap aluminum one, but when I decide to make another I will likely go the SS route since the design works so well in the one I have now. I will also probably try it with a copper dip tube using compression fittings, but I haven't had any issues with the 1/2" rubber hose, o-rings and PEX fittings in this one. Probably the nicest thing with it is how easy it has been to clean: just spray it with the garden hose, wash with soapy water, sanitize and away it goes.

I used a 1/8" cobalt bit and a hand drill to make the holes since aluminum is a forgiving material, but would likely use a hobby drill press on a stainless steel pan to avoid the bit "walking" as would likely happen.

Thanks again for all the interest in my subversion of the professional false bottom industry and I look forward to everyone's improvements!

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Old 08-22-2012, 03:16 AM   #22
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I found a perforated pizza pan at a local kitchen store, they only had the teflon coated 15.75" ones. It is labeled "perforated cookware", but appears identical to the airbake pans I linked to earlier. The holes are 1/8". I would rather avoid the teflon, just personal preference, I don't see a need for it in this application.

I've been looking to set up my last keg as a mash tun with a false bottom. Thinking about going with the bottom drain setup with a tri-clover connection.

I just need to decide whether to try the aluminum Airbake perforated pizza pan, which won't require any drilling, or the stainless one, which will. So many decisions...

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Old 08-25-2012, 12:49 AM   #23
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Default Alternative for Square Cooler Mash Tuns

I found an alternative for square cooler users utilizing perforated hotel pan inserts from restaurant supply stores here: http://www.wasserstrom.com/restauran...Product_115467

It would be easy enough to modify it with a dip tube and they come in various sizes (known as full, half, quarter, etc.). Most are made from aluminum, but for those wanting SS, they have these available that would make a good start for drilling your own holes: http://www.wasserstrom.com/restauran...Product_100134

A bit more expensive than the pizza pan version, but still a lot cheaper than most pro-made ones.

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Old 08-27-2012, 06:50 PM   #24
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Good find.
You may want to cut some short lengths of copper pipe to "chair" up the span of that rectangle pan if you use it as a FB. It is not self supporting like a domed structure would be. The weight of the grain may push it down in the center and hinder your flow. It would only take 5 short pieces arranged like dots on the 5 side of a dice.

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Old 08-29-2012, 08:08 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huaco View Post
Good find.
You may want to cut some short lengths of copper pipe to "chair" up the span of that rectangle pan if you use it as a FB. It is not self supporting like a domed structure would be. The weight of the grain may push it down in the center and hinder your flow. It would only take 5 short pieces arranged like dots on the 5 side of a dice.
Great suggestion. You could also use some plastic plumbing spacers and small S/S or brass plastic screws in the same formation to support the bottom. If using the thinner aluminum pizza pans for a large mash tun (12"+ diameter), it would probably be a good idea to add these supports t it as well. Maybe 4 in a square around the inlet?
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:46 AM   #26
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I had a similar idea. I found this microwave screen at an ACE Hardware for $3 and it worked great!

2012-03-29-12.56.47.jpg   2012-03-29-13.44.50.jpg   2012-03-29-13.45.05.jpg   2012-03-29-18.47.08.jpg   2012-03-29-18.47.26.jpg  

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Old 08-30-2012, 08:13 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BethelLight View Post
I had a similar idea. I found this microwave screen at an ACE Hardware for $3 and it worked great!
I Like. Off to the hardware store this weekend. Thanks.
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:29 PM   #28
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Thanks for the tips. Looks like I am off to Ace tonight.

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Old 08-31-2012, 04:11 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BethelLight View Post
I had a similar idea. I found this microwave screen at an ACE Hardware for $3 and it worked great!
Nice find! I love it when people can see odd stuff like a microwave splatter screen and say, "I bet I could make great beer with this!"
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:55 PM   #30
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Struck out on the splatter screen at ACE. Went to two stores and searched online.

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