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XL_Jockey 07-14-2009 03:33 PM

Common household appliances used for DIY projects
I realize that every now and then it's time to replace something in the house. A washing machine here, an air-conditioner there. Does anyone have a good list of some common household appliances and other items that could be converted to homebrew use?

For instance, I have a washing machine, and air conditioner and an old sump pump I was going to throw away. I'm thinking I could probably remove the motor from the washing machine to power a grain mill and maybe remove the pump to use with a prechiller. The window AC unit still works, so I could probably use it to build a fermentation chamber or something useful.

Any other things I should think about before tossing? I'm building an all-electric all-grain system. I have 2 sankeys and a cooler with all the valves, but that's about it. I'm coming from an extract setup.

GilaMinumBeer 07-14-2009 03:38 PM

I used a DC trolling motor for my grain mill. Wife wasn't too receptive of the idea of me killing the clothes washer. tried to use a motor from a dead dishwasher but it had too many RPM's and likely too little torque.

But, there is another place to look. Dead dishwashers have several pumps and a few fans. All line voltage too. I also scavanged a electric water valve but, finally decided it's supply size was too small to be useful.

Have a need, fill a need.

Revvy 07-14-2009 03:41 PM

Here's some info I dug up and have posted a few times about the "Maytag" cider press, and the garbage disposal apple grinder......If you wanna make tons of your own apfelweins and ciders, and even fruit wines, then this is the stuff for you.


camiller 07-14-2009 06:10 PM

sump pump ==> keg washer Like this guy (and others)

BrewBeemer 07-15-2009 01:18 AM

Those 1875 watt cube GFI protection plugs from hair dryers can be had for $5 at Salvation Army stores, I ran across 7 of them last week alone in one store. Think about it for those that use 120 volt 1,500 watt elements or for your pumps and other controls for your protection.

freddyb 07-15-2009 01:57 AM


Originally Posted by BrewBeemer (Post 1433697)
Those 1875 watt cube GFI protection plugs from hair dryers can be had for $5 at Salvation Army stores, I ran across 7 of them last week alone in one store. Think about it for those that use 120 volt 1,500 watt elements or for your pumps and other controls for your protection.

Now that is a fantastic idea! My eHLT (1440 Watt element) is due for this upgrade now. I have been using the GFI plug in the kitchen but this opens up lots of possibilities. Thanks for the tip.

beerthirty 07-15-2009 02:46 AM

Ice cream makers I hear make great HLT(HERMS) or mash stirrers.
A/C could be either forced into a box as a fermentation cab or turned into a cooling unit for gycol cooling coils on the fermentors. Use you imagination and break down the appalinace in your mind to determine what you could make from it.

XL_Jockey 07-15-2009 01:07 PM

I might be getting my hands on a TDD-3 Kegerator that looks like it'll need some work. This means I'll have to get rid of the big old appliances hanging around my basement asap. I'll probably just run through them with a screwdriver and wrench and take out anything with wires attached.

Gotta check to see how well that old sump pump work since a bottle washer could be useful for when I brew for others.

BrewBeemer 07-16-2009 04:35 AM

Today a neighbor placed at curbside a Keys (Made in the USA) treadmill.
It has a 90 VDC motor with touch speed control that feeds a 1 1/2 HP motor from zero to 4,460 rpm's at 100 VDC on the motor it draws 12.7 amps with a 8" diameter cast iron and finned flywheel that must weigh 6 pounds. Complete with speed control a 100% original machine. The rollers are 22" wide x 1 7/8" diameter on 5/8" axles sealed ball bearings at the ends. The PO drilled into one leg for a water bottle and cut thru a bunch of control wires to the top panel. I joyfully murdered it for the motor and speed control that has a slotted LED for constant speed under different load control plus a 400# rated jack screw motor for the elevation ramp lift. Once running I tried to force it to stall at the roller with the belt tread removed and must of reached 80 ft/ lbs torque and it still maintained the set speed by the slotted LED speed load controller. I was not a cheap unit the way it was built heck I turned it into a generator and it did some 18 gauge wire burning with it. A future grain mill motor with a govened speed control no matter the load? Free plus fun
disassembling what i wanted out of it.

I also disassembled a tennis ball pitcher or shooter that has a 6 to 85 rpm's parallel gear reduction 90 VDC gearmotor with speed control of app 1/15 hp for a HLT stir motor to turn a 9" bronze outboad racing prop of a 11 1/4" pitch. At 20 rpm's it would not stall at 25 ft / lbs torque strong enough for app 30 rpm prop stir for the HERMS coil. When about look for items that "may work" on your brewery system like garage sales, keep an open mind your wallet will be better off for other needed items.

XL_Jockey 07-16-2009 07:27 PM

Turns out I won the bid for an old True TDD-3. It's a little beat up but seems like it'll work okay (yet to plug it in). Has some rust inside, a lot of dents on the top and needs a really good Clorox bath. Will have to replace all the lines I assume. It'll be an interesting project.

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