Equipment Under Construction ?
Under Construction Equipment
To make homebrew it seems I am always having to improvise, somehow or other.
See what works, change it, make it better. Real scientific method you know.
( Homebrew science! Sounds good. Where do I sign up? )
For a brewpot, I use a retired canning kettle. It rims out about 5 gallons, so, usable to 4 1/2.
For fermentation, I have two vessels, the 3 gallon fermener I, in fact, purchased solely for that task.
For the 5 gallon fermenter I adapted a poly water storage container.
Thresher It seems I can grow barley. With the Merry tiller to turn the soil, and Allis to start
the harvesting. But threshing, threshing is the rub. I tried separating the grain from the stalks by hand,
no good. Hours of work in the hot sun to get maybe ten pounds of barley, not enough for even one
batch of beer. Must mechanise, but nothing is available for threshing for less than $30K. Nothing.
Nothing for the backyard grain grower. I'll have to build it myself I guess. Now where can I find a plan?
Went to Instructables.com. They said if you build one put it here. Searched the web, found two plans.
One called for buying a $600 machine first, then modifying it. Other looked like something I could do.
The further I got with it, the more the plan seemed sketchy, like someone finally got something
then published his intermediate, working drawings. It was like designing a prototype
with the parts he told me to buy. Now I am ready for the testing and modification phase,
when the barley is ready to harvest.
To make malt from barley I needed a malting bucket. This started as one of those white poly buckets
they ship things like joint compound in, combined with a white wastebasket the right size to hold
water for the soak. I drilled many holes in the sides and bottom but it wouldn't drain fast enough.
So, I made the holes bigger and used a screen across the bottom, held on with plumber's tape
Once the barley has sprouted it needs to be dried. I made some drying racks years ago to dry onions.
Easy adaptation, I stapled window screen into one. On another, I lay newspaper over the larger mesh
screen for the first stage of the drying that finishes on the other. The pale malt seems like it takes
forever to dry. For specialty malts I have steel enamel trays that I can put on my woodstove.
The Mashing bucket is much like the Malting bucket, they can almost be interchanged.
The only difference is no holes in sides of Malting bucket. If there were holes in the sides,
they would squirt your precious wort all over the kitchen, an unholy mess. Part of my dream would have to be a stainless steel lauter tun. But fabricating in stainless steel? Over my head.