DIY – Projects and Gadgets for Beer Geeks
DIY Homebrew Projects are part of the allure of homebrewing. Homebrewers share a lot of traits in common. One is their love of beer. Another is the “do it yourself” attitude. It’s not that homebrewers are cheap necessarily, it’s just that those who homebrew also enjoy building their own equipment and gadgets and get a lot of satisfaction in brewing award winning beer with equipment they fabricated themselves.
DIY-RIMS Brew Stand
The Ultimate DIY Project: I purchased a stainless steel brew stand from a guy in Florida not long ago. He put it on ebay but didn’t want to have to ship it anywhere. I basically let the auction end, then got ahold of him to see if he’d sell it offline. He agreed and my wife and I drove from Louisiana to Pensacola, Florida to pick it up.
As you will see from the pictures, it was an amazing find. I believe I purchased it for less than the cost of the materials, let alone all the work that went into the design and fabrication of the stainless steel.
I have purchased almost all of the materials I need to put the stand together. It took some thought and a lot of time on Homebrewtalk.com’s forum, but I think I’m finally ready to begin the rest of the build. The oilfield finally picked back up, so I’ll have to make it a work-in-progress between trips offshore. Keep checking back to find updates. I plan on putting all the part numbers and links to all the vendors that I found for my build. Hopefully the lessons I learn will help others when they decide to build their own RIMS system. Click here to learn more about RIMS and HERMS systems and Brewing Sculptures. I’m building my stand now and posting pictures, links to vendors, and lessons I am learning along the way.
Click on the page number to check out the progress of my RIMS Build:
DIY Brew Room
My house was full of 22 years of accumulated winemaking equipment and 3 years of brewing and meadmaking equipment. My wife was very patient but was constantly dropping hints for me to “do something with all this junk before I kick it to the curb”…Well, I finally got motivated and decided try another DIY project, namely to build a brewing room. At first, I had wanted to build a “cold room”, without really understanding what a “cold room” was. Things evolved into what it is today, my man cave and brewing room. Take a look at my brewing room here.
Stir-Plate Insulating Pad
Have you ever noticed that when you put your starter on a stir plate, it sometimes gets pretty hot? I also noticed that it almost vibrated off the stir plate after a while. I saw products that look like a weighted doughnut that sits on the neck of your Erlenmeyer flask to keep it in place. I have a simple solution to the problem. Purchase a silicone hot pad and place it on top of your stir plate. The silicone will prevent the flask from moving about on the stir plate, and will insulate the yeast starter from the heat generated.
Have you ever wished you had a way to use the CO2 in your bottle and blow it into your carboy for a protective layer against oxidation and all the problem flavors that go with it? Here is an easy and inexpensive CO2 Blow Gun you can attach to the gas hose on your regulator.
Chamois Towel for Freezer Condensation
This is not much of a project, but it sure has paid off in convenience. If you use a freezer with a temperature controller, you probably know about the condensation that builds up on the bottom of the inside. Freezers weren’t made to run at above freezing temps, such as when you are fermenting a lager at 48°F (9°C). There is no evaporation pan below the freezer to collect then evaporate the excess condensation which forms when the temperatures are changed as in a diacetyl rest.
I kept having to wipe all of the water off the floor every-other day as the bottom would fill up and overflow onto the floor outside the freezer. A dish towel was OK, but I had to take it outside to wring it out four or five times to get all the water up. My solution was to buy a Chamois Towel. I roll the large towel up, and place them on the bottom of the freezer floor. So far, I haven’t noticed any water building up (and I don’t find the Chamois Towel is saturated either). Whatever the reason, I don’t have to mop up condensation water any longer.
Purchase your beer pumps and plumbing at MoreBeer.com
There are many places you can pick up parts to build your DIY projects. Some cater to the homebrewing community, others don’t. One place I like is Bargain Fittings, your source for value priced, quality weld-less brew pot fittings and accessories. This site has everything you need to convert your pot, kettle, keg or cooler and make some fine home brewed beer! Plus, they are one of the sponsors for the MCAB XII this year. Why not support those sites that are supporting you?
Another place I like for DIY homebrew projects is Brewers Hardware. Brewers Hardware offers a variety unique and hard to find items to the home and craft brewing markets. Specializing in Tri Clover compatible sanitary fittings and other stainless steel parts and accessories, their selection is constantly expanding so check back often.
I’m going to make some DIY projects so I can put information about them here. If you have a project you’d like me to build a web page around for the homebrewing world to see, email me at the Contact Me Page and I’ll make sure they all get in. Please include some background information on yourself and your project with captions for your photos (keep them short). I look forward to hearing from you and putting your projects on the World Wide Web.