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
- 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
- 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)
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).