Homebrew Recipe Calculator, Blog, How To, & Recipes

Sep
18
2012

How To: Modify a Turkey Fryer Burner To Support a Keggle

 

Homebrewing equipment can be expensive, and if you're anything like me, you quickly realize the limitations of your homebrewing equipment and find the need to upgrade.  Part of the fun of homebrewing, outside of making delicious homebrew, is using your creativity to handcraft thrifty solutions to homebrew challenges.  We've already shown you how to create a Keggle out of a keg but what if you've upgraded from a Turkey Fryer to a Keggle but haven't yet upgraded your burner to a tiered system?

I started homebrewing using a 4 gallon canning pot on the stove.  Aside from my wife complaining about the smell, I wanted to start full boils so I picked up a 7 gallon Turkey Fryer on sale at Home Depot for $30.  This setup worked well for a few brews but I did get boil overs with nearly every batch because 6.5 gallons of water in a 7 gallon turkey fryer only leaves about an inch of empty space at the top of the pot.  

 

I've recently upgraded to a Keggle but I'm not ready to invest in a tiered gravity system yet, so I planned on using the burner that came with my turkey fryer.  Unfortunately, the bottom of the keggle is rounded (unlike the turkey fryer) and the keg's outer rim is larger than the diameter of the turkey fryer which makes for a very uneven surface. When I placed the keggle on the burner its rounded center rested on the burner's center support and the keggle easily swung around in a circular fashion.  To solve this issue, I welded a support structure on top of the burner, allowing the weight of the keggle to be evenly distributed and eliminate the rocking altogether.

It was my first ever welding project and I knew I would eventually be upgrading so I wasn't too concerned about making it look pretty, which is quite obvious when looking at the pictures.  

What's most important is that the added support can handle the weight of the filled keggle and remain steady to prevent boiling hot wort from dumping on you and ruining your brew day.

 

Required Tools and Equipment

  • Keggle
  • Burner from a Turkey Fryer
  • 4 Feet of Weldable Steel (I used 1.5" Wide X .25" Thick to support the weight.  I paid about $15)
  • Something to Cut Steel with (i.e. grinder or cutting torch)
  • Welder and welding supplies

Instructions

  • Cut the weldable steel into 4 pieces.  (I used 2 X 15" pieces and 2 X 9" pieces).
  • Weld the four pieces into a rectangle. 
  • Place the turkey fryer burner upside down on top of the welded rectangle.
  • Position the burner, centered in the rectangle so at least two opposite sides of the rectangle are touching the frame of the burner.
  • Weld the new rectangle to the burner.
  • Let it cool off before touching or moving it (it gets really hot)
That's it!
 
If you are not an experienced welder, make sure you have someone experienced to help you so that you don't get hurt or burn down your garage.
 

Overall, I'm happy with the upgrade which only cost me $15 for the steel and some time to put it all together.  It was also a fun lesson in welding which was way easier than I had expected.  Now that I've welded a bit of steel I can start thinking about designing and building my own tiered gravity system (future post).

Happy Brewing!

Feb
9
2012

Homemade Homebrew Mash Tun

When making the jump from extract-brewing to all-grain home brewing you are going to need a mash tun. One of the least expensive homemade mash tun designs is made out of a cooler. You can use a square cooler, like the ones you would use to hold cold drinks, or a round cooler, like you would use to hold water at a soccer game. Using a cheap rectangle cooler, hoses, and plastic spigot you could build one for about $20, depending on the cost of the cooler. Many people will also convert stainless steel kettles or old kegs into mash tuns, however they don’t hold the heat like a cooler will. A homemade mash tun is not only easy and fun to build but will allow you to brew some amazing home brew.

Homemade Mash Tun

I decided to use an orange round water cooler from Home Depot for my homebrew mash tun, partially because I had a convenient spot to store it and I also liked how it looked. I purchased everything from Home Depot, except a stainless steel washer that is needed on the inside of the mash tun. The total cost for the do it yourself mash tun was $81.65 with tax. Here is a checklist of the tools and supplies you will need:

Tools to Build Mash Tun

  • Hacksaw
  • Screwdriver
  • Needle-nose pliers (or regular)
  • crescent wrench or pliers
  • Teflon tape

Parts for Homebrew Mashtun

Parts for Homebrew Mash Tun

  • 10 Gallon water cooler
  • ⅜” female to female ball valve (plumbing)
  • ¼” male brass pipe plug (plumbing)
  • ⅜” x ⅜” female pipe to barb adapter (plumbing)
  • ⅜” x ⅜” male pipe to barb adapter (plumbing)
  • ⅜” x ⅜” male to male 1 ½” long extension (plumbing)
  • ⅜” oring (over by the faucets)
  • 2 - ¼” x ⅝” stainless steel hose clamp (plumbing)
  • ½” x 12” stainless steel braided faucet supply line (over by the faucets)
  • 3 - ⅝” fender washers (hardware)
  • 1 - ⅝” stainless steel fender washers (not sure where to get these)

Homebrew Mash Tun

Steps to Build Home Made Mash Tun

  1. Use a wrench and remove the spigot on the cooler mash tun, keep the rubber insert.
  2. Use the hacksaw and cut the ends off of the faucet supply line.
  3. Use the needle-nose pliers and remove the hose found in the supply line.
  4. Add the hose clamp and the ¼” male brass pipe plug to one end of the braided mash tun filter, tighten the hose clamp.
  5. Add the hose clamp and the ⅜” x ⅜” female pipe to barb adapter to the other end of the braided mash tun filter, and tighten.
  6. Add Teflon tape to both sides of the ⅜” x ⅜” male to male 1 ½” long extension.
  7. Insert the ⅜” x ⅜” male to male 1 ½” long extension into the hole in the cooler mash tun, it is easiest to do this from the inside of the mash tun making sure the rubber insert stays in place.
  8. Screw on the newly created mash tun filter.
  9. Screw on the ball valve.
  10. Add Teflon tape to the ⅜” x ⅜” male pipe to barb adapter.
  11. Screw the ⅜” x ⅜” male pipe to barb adapter into the ball valve.
  12. Tighten everything up with a crescent wrench.
  13. Test by filling with water to make sure there are not any leaks in your new mash tun.
  14. Brew a batch of all-grain homebrew.

Those are the tools, parts, and directions for building a homebrew home made cooler mash tun. I would like to add a site glass and thermometer to mine so stay tuned for more.

Homebrew Home made Mashtun