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Free False Bottom For Keg Conversion

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yankee brewer

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Check this out folks. My brewing friend and I cut the top off of my second keg for my RIMS system ( actually it's not a RIMS yet but I still brew with this, I just have to stir the mash and apply direct heat to the bottom) and instead of tossing out the cut out top I held on to it because I'm a pack rat. After enjoying a few pints one day I had an epiphany. Why not use this thig as my false bottom??? Well, I can think of four reasons:

1. Who wants to drill all those holes?
2. How do I plug that gaping hole in the center?
3. Is that collar not too high to clear the siphon tube?
4. What if the bottom is not totally flat? It will gap at the sides and grist will get under the false bottom.

Answers:
1. No one wants to drill all those damned holes! Especially not in stainless steel. But what about slots? Anheuser Bush uses slots in some of their set ups. So, I took out my Dremmel tool, popped in the cut off wheel bit and intalled a fiberglass reinforced cut off wheel. I was able to cut six slots per wheel before changing them. I cut the slots in the raised "ridges" in the top. Why? I do not know, I just did. Below is the result-- should be the first picture.

2. For the gapng hole, I again turned to my Dremmel and cut off wheel. I took a scrap of thick plastic (about 5mm thick), traced a circle using a permanent marker, cut it out and then used a sanding drum attachment to sand off the edges exactly to fit the hole. There was a small lip at the bottom of the hole so the plug sat right on it without slipping through. Next step was to drill a hole large enough for my sipon tube to fit through. Easy enough-- find the center of the disk and drill a small pilot hole and then gradually increase the size of the drill bit until it is big enough. Should be the 2nd and 3rd photos.

3.No, the sipone tube would have cleared just fine but I cut out a slot in the collar-- again Dremmel and cut off wheel. Turns out I didn't need to, but I don't know what the kegs down under are like, so you may need to if you do this. 4th photo (if my pics actually post. If not, I'll figure it out and fix it)

4. This was easy and really low tech. My neighbors were none to pleased with my but they should be used to my antics by now anyway. I placed the top on the street, put my hands on top and pushed it down the street until the pavement wore it flat and smooth. Fast, efficient, low tech and cheap. The fifth photo is the entire set up installed inside the keg.

This set up works flawlwessly and the slots are much less prone to clogging than holes. I love this!

keg_conversion_slots.jpg
 

jayse

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I did think of doing that ended up doing a flat one with the drain right underneath. I am planning on doing slots on it instead of holes.

anyway it is a great idea you have there.
this is a crude digi cam pic of mine. i'll just join the dots for slots.

mash_top1003.jpg
 

Batz

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Looks very neat Yankee , this is your mash tun I take it ?
 

big d

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im impressed yankee.top idea
 

Trough Lolly

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Nice work YB....

Looking at Pic 5 - Does the copper tube fit flush through the false bottom opening? It looks like it might benefit from a rubber O ring fitted where it passes through the false bottom - that way you don't get any grist sneaking through the gap between the copper pipe and the false bottom opening.

Or am I just going a bit over the top here ;)

Cheers,

TL
 

GMK

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Yankee,

Nice one - but dont you think you should have more slots.
 

yankee brewer

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Hey gang, I've been away for a day. Sorry. To answer your questions:

1. Yes, this is my mash tun and also my boil kettle. After the mash, I simply remove the false bottom, scoop uot the spent grains, fill her up with wort and fire up the Cajun Cooker.

2. Is the copper tube flush/ need o-ring to keep mash from slipping through? No, actually the copper tube goes to within 5 or 7 mm of the bottom of the keg. I don't need an oring because the plastic "plug" is fitted just so on both the copper siphon tube inner hole and the outside perimeter so that there are no gaps for the mash to pass through.

3. Do I need more slots? Not really, each slot is about 3cm long and about 2mm wide and there are 18 slots. So from the slots alone I have a total of 1080 square mm or 10.8 square cm of surface area for the wort to pass through. That in itself adds up to one big hole. In addition, slots are more efficient than holes because they are far less prone to clogging. Finally, the area around the perimeter of the false bottom is not anything near a perfect seal and I was counting on this because the domed shape of the bottom would waste a lot of wort around the edges if it were-- it leaks through just fine-- and this provides even more area for runoff to pass through the false bottom, so all told I have 10.8 cm^2 + some portion of the (C=2r=(6.28x15cm=94.2cm)). Assuming 50% of the perimeter gaps at 1mm (a conservative, reasonable assumption), then that gives an additional 47.1mm^2 of area. Bottom line is I recon I have close to 11.271cm^2 of area for the wort to pass through. More than adequate and the system works fine so it must be OK. If I ever have any problems though, I figure I'll just take my cut off wheel and cut some slits perpendicular to the outside perimeter of the false bottom-- to kind of make a "serrated edge". That should do the trick.

Sorry, sometimes I have a tendency to get too wordy and make things more complicated than they should be. I take solice in the fact that my brew buddy is far worse. He'll sit for two hours contemplating the most efficient way to waste time before actually setting out to waste any. :blink:
 

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