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Old 04-12-2011, 04:50 PM   #1
mcaple1
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Default All-Grain DIY Equipment on the Cheap!

Hello fellow homebrewers,

I have decided to make the switch to all-grain brewing, and as a result, spent much of the last couple of weeks scouring through homebrew forums and youtube videos (yes, unfortunately even came across the infamous "take some advise" AKA "TSA".

Much of what I am presenting to you will be nearly direct copies of other individuals projects, however, they are not "exactly" the same, or in some cases, are being readdressed to show the steps in a little more detail.

With that said, I will be showing you how to make a cooler MLT, modify the 30qt backyard classic turkey fryer, build a rib-cage immersion chiller, and an aquarium fermentation chamber.

Here's the whole setup, minus the fermentation chamber.

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#1) Cooler MLT.

Basically, I had a spare 36qt Coleman Xtreme Cooler lying around my garage, so that was an easy/cheap part. I started by removing the plastic plug and nozzle that is threaded onto the water drain (make sure to leave the rubber washer on the inside of the cooler). I then acquired 20" of SS braided hose and cut one end of the hose near the the connector, and then cut the hose again except this time about 3-4" away from the other connector. Next take the silicone hose out of the larger length of braided hose and discard of the silicone hose. After that, reattach the braided potion back over the section that has 3-4" of SS length and the connector still in tact. Once that is done, use a zip tie to seal off the end without the connector, and a SS hose clamp to seal the other end. Now take a 2" brass 1/2" nipple, WATTS A-837 (Lowes) and insert into the hold where the rubber washer is. Once that is done, take a 1/2" steel conduit lock washer and thread it onto the nipple, seating up against the rubber washer. Once that is done, take the connection on the SS braided hose and connect it to the nipple (use threaded seal tape when connecting).

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Now for the outside, I used two large steel 5/8" (I think) washer and put it over the nipple to provide some load bearing support. Then I used another conduit lock washer to lock the washers in place. Once that was done, I put a normal 1/2" ball lock valve with hose threading onto it. To finish it off, I got a couple feet of 1/2" ID vinyl tubing and attached it to a 1/2" barb to hose fitting, and then attached that to the ball lock. All done!

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Old 04-12-2011, 04:58 PM   #2
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#2) Turkey Fryer Timer/Interlock Modification

So I was able to pick up a 30qt turkey fryer from Wal-Mart on sale for $35. Not too shabby! Anyways, the fryer comes with a 20-minute timer and an automatic shutoff safety/interlock that has given fellow HBT members issues when usiing larger brewpots. This will tell you how to disable the timer and interlock.

First off, remove the dial on the timer (should just pull right off). Then, unscrew the black cover for the timer and remove the faceplate (you will have to unscrew the gas line hose to accomplish this). Once that is done, remove the aluminum cap opposite of the brass button. Inside you will find a white/clear cartridge. Simply remove the black rubber washer, and the spring and metal washer will also fall out. Put the white canister back into the brass piece and screw the aluminum cap back on. Next screw the gas line back in but this time, directly into the burner, bypassing the timer.

All done!!!

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Old 04-12-2011, 05:02 PM   #3
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Isn't your conduit lock washer going to rust?

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Old 04-12-2011, 05:08 PM   #4
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more details on hacking the timer please. Right now mine is Duct tape hacked.

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Old 04-12-2011, 05:11 PM   #5
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#3) Rib-cage Immersion Chiller

*Note, this design was directly copied from MBT member RedIrocZ-28

This immersion chiller has been getting stellar reviews for cool down times from boil to mid 70 deg F in the low teens minutes.....IMPRESSIVE.

Start by acquiring 50ft of 3/8" OD soft copper refrigerant pipe (coiled). You can un-slinky it (yes I know, very scientific terminology here) and find the location of the center point of the length of pipe. Once that is determined, start on one end of the pipe and coil it around a paint can (I was able to get enough coils from 25ft of the pipe to cover the entire surface area of the paint can. Once I got to the middle, I went to the other side, using either another paint can or the same one, start by coiling the pipe up again, except this time, go in the opposite direction as the first side (if you spun CCW on one side, go CW on the other, making sure the two ends of the pipe will both be on the top or bottom of the two coils when they are side by side. A good picture of this can be found on this youtube video posted by immolateus here.


Once that is done, take the two sections and mash them together, interlocking the coils. the straighten out enough length on both sides to create you input and output points (preferably outside of the brewpot). To make you life easier when doing this, you can use pipe benders (picture below)

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To finish it off, I used 5/16" ID vinyl tubing (Lowes didn't have any 3/8" or else I would have used that) and then and connected two separate lengths of tubing to the two ends of the coil. On on tube, I affixed a nylon hose barb adapter WATTS A-300 and a hose adapter WATTS A-672.

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All done!!!
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hasheronon View Post
Isn't your conduit lock washer going to rust?
I have seen multiple people use this style washer, and as long as you maintain the MLT well, it shouldn't be an issue, jut make sure to clean and dry the tun every brewday immediately after you are done. If you start to notice rust, just replace it...for a pack of two off them it's .38 cents.
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hlumbard View Post
more details on hacking the timer please. Right now mine is Duct tape hacked.
Honestly, it's less of a hack, and more of a bypass/straight up removal of the timer. the yellow wire coming out of the timer box goes into the aluminum cap, and when you remove the threaded screw going into the cap, you are instantly bypassing the timer. Make sure to remove the rubber washer, spring, and metal washer from the canister after unscrewing the aluminum cap.
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:44 PM   #8
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#4) Fermentation Chamber

Basically I found an old deep freezer on craigslist and used some silicone sealant to plug up any drain lines that could leak. I then filled the freezer with 10 gallons of water and used a single 50W aquarium heater set at 69 deg. Works like a charm, keeps the beer at 69 +/- 1 deg all the time. Much better than my ceramic heater in the closet that almost started my house on fire when it went on the fritz.

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Old 04-12-2011, 05:50 PM   #9
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Finally got my signature working!

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Old 04-12-2011, 08:01 PM   #10
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I've never seen that solution to a fermentation chamber before. I'm guessing the freezer is not turned on? Or is it?

Usually my fermentation problems are from the beer getting too warm, not too cold.

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