I needed three last pieces of equipment and was going to make them all. I ended up making two and purchasing the third. Here's the latest gear that I have that now makes me ready to brew!
I had an old cooler that I wanted to convert and with the help of Robert from the Merced Lowe's and about $12 worth of stuff we got it setup in no time!
Notice the spigot on the right side instead of the drain plug that used to be there.
This is the inside of the cooler with a bulkhead replacing the drain plug and a 24" braided stainless steel water supply line with the plastic insides removed to act as a strainer when we seperate the liquid from the grain.
The hinges on the cooler were old and broken. Not to worry, a couple of new stainless steel hinges did the trick. But, now the cooler occasionally flips over backwards because of the heavy hinges.
Ric Kirby had an old keg he didn't mind contributing to this project. His wife just wanted the darn thing out of their garage! ;-)
*** UPDATE *** Ric let me know today that the garage is his domain and that he is master of that domain. Dana has no say as to what goes on in the garage except to banish Ric there when he oversteps his bounds. I bet Ric gets to sleep in his domain the next few nights!
Ric was also nice enough to cut the hole in the top with his plasma cutter and let me borrow his grinder to finish the job nicely. Jody Burdick and her husband John were nice enough to lend me their step drill bit and tapping oil so that I could get the spigot hole drilled in the side. Morebeer.com was happy to sell me the weldless spigot. ;-)
Here's the results:
30 minutes of drilling and I was finally able to install the new spigot. It's drilled in just above where the floor of the keg attaches to the side. The middle of the floor slopes down just enough to catch the "trub" or junk left over after brewing. Sweet!
I had to finally tell myself that I was going to have to buy my wort chiller instead of building it. Bummer. When I checked the prices of copper tubing I found that it was just as expensive to buy the copper and make it myself as it was to buy a premade one. Then, at the last minute, I checked Craig's List and TADAH! Someone had an OLD wort chiller for sale in Merced. I talked the owner down to $25 for a chiller he had built himself about 15 years ago. All I have to do now is dip it in a little muriatic acid and get all of the gunk off.
Cold water goes in. Hot water comes out. Wort gets chilled in the process.
So, I'm now ready to brew. Now all I need to do is buy the ingredients. I'm thinking of a nice English Bitter or a Pale Ale for my first venture into all-grain brewing. Got to get paid first. I'll probably be brewing in the first week of December!