Meet my porta-brewery. Other original/creative features will be added.
Here you can see my dumper system for the MLT. No more need to hoist the heavy grains or scoop them out. Cost of this feature was $0. I just took the wheels off my cooler/MLT, removed the axle, drilled holes in the uprights, then reinserted the axle through the wood and the MLT.
And, of course, it's on wheels. If I'd been thinking ahead, I could have used the wheels directly off the cooler/MLT but I didn't think that far ahead and I'm not that clever. Besides, I wanted something more heavy duty. The wheels were on sale for $5 each at harbor freight. Also, if you look under the horizontal supports, you can see a black utility grate. It's made of plastic, is basically a 3/4" square patterned grate. It's intended for animals to step on to keep their feet off the ground. I got it at Farm & Fleet for $20. It's nice because water won't pool up in my brew sculpture. Also, the nice straight lines sort of make it easy to building the rest of the sculpture square and level. Kind of like drawing on graph paper. Oh, and it cuts really easily with a hack saw or coping saw.
All water needs will be run through this manifold. Turn the knob to use the sprayer. Perfect for controlling boil-overs or rinsing the MLT. Turn the other knob to send water running through the wort chiller. Turn the other knob to just dump water into, say, a bucket. There's a fourth valve there. I don't know what it will be for. If I had a hot water tank, I could use it to add hot water. There's just something about hot water over my head that doesn't sound like a good idea. I may run a hose to it and use it to auto-fill a small drip tray for sanitizing stuff. The cost of the manifold was $10, the coil-hose was $15, and the sprayer nozzle was $8.
This project total cost so far (excluding the MLT itself, which I already had) is:
Water manifold and sprayer and hose: $33
Grate with holes for floor: $20
Wood (it's all 2x4 stud and one 1x6 to support the wheels): $12
Hardware- 1pk 1/4"x3.5" carriage bolts, 1pk 3" lag screws, 2 pks washers: $12