The Frugal Beer Brewers Guide To Brewing Aids

by Robert W. Mech,

First version, 11/1/94
Last revisision, 11/8/94


This entire document is Copyright 1994, Robert W. Mech. Where noted the original author(s) name appears with the text and may hold additional copyright information. This document may be distributed freely in an unmodified form so long as no money is charged for its distribution.


Robert W. Mech, and authors mentioned in this text are not responsible for any of the information contained herein. This text is for informational purposes only and the user of this document accepts ALL risks when assembling described devices. What this means is if you blow yourself up making this stuff, don't cry to me.


This text was written in hopes of lessening the costs of beer brewing. Many brewing aids, such as fermentors, wort coolers, etc. can be made at home using parts from your local hardware stores. You should have a good idea of what you are doing before attempting any of this. You should have a good knowledge of beer brewing and how these parts work. To reduce the risk of having infected (bad) beer, all parts should be sterilized and cleaned THOROUGHLY before use. Caustic chemicals such as bleach should NOT be used on metal parts of any kind. These can lead to metal and chemical byproducts in your beer which could make you ill or even cause DEATH. Please use some common sense and caution when using or making these devices.


Greetings fellow homebrewers. If you are reading this document you must at the very least be interested in brewing your own beer at home. When I started brewing beer in 1993, I found it to be an interesting and very rewarding hobby. However I found that the more I got into it, the more money I was spending. I looked around for different ways to save money. This came from making some of my own devices (Fermentors, Lauter Tun, etc.) and some of it came from finding used, or food grade items that did the same thing. After searching near and far, I finally came down to this. Writing an informational text file on how others can save a TON of money like I did. I hope that those of you serious about homebrewing, can make some of these items at home and save yourself a lot of money.

I would also like to thank ALL of the people who sent me info for this project! Your submissions and ideas made this guide possible! Even if your submissions did not make it in the guide, believe me, they were useful! Thank you all!

Please feel free to send me new additions to this guide, and also your comments. I welcome all constructive comments. Anyone who wants to flame me for any of this can send it to /dev/null.

Hoppy Brewing,

Robert Mech


Fermentors are used for turning your wort into beer. Many different people have many different idea's about what a fermentor should be. Basically, most people use a large food grade BUCKET. Yes, a plain old bucket. Most of them have air tight lids, and an air lock on them. Homebrewing supply stores can charge the average Joe anywhere from $5.00 to $15 for this bucket. The airlock which is rather inexpensive runs from $.50 to $2.00 for the inexpensive brands. As this might not seem like a lot of money, the more you get into beer brewing the more fermentors you may want to have on hand. These buckets also serve for "Bottling" buckets, as they have a spigot at the bottom of them so you can bottle your beer after racking. These buckets will soon start adding up, and costing you over 100 dollars. Well you can actually obtain these buckets for free. Yes, you heard it right, for FREE. How? Well think of it this way, how could that company stay in business just selling these buckets to homebrewers? It cant. Well then who do they sell them to? Answer: Food Wholesalers. The people who sell food in large quantity to restaurants, deli's, etc. You might have even seen them before if you have ever been in the back of a restaurant. These restaurants usually just discard them after they have used the food out of them. PRESTO! Free buckets. Simply talk to a larger restaurant near you and ask them if they have any food grade buckets around that they were going to throw out. Most of them will have them and will be more than glad to let you have them. Saving yourself money.

NOTES: You will need clean these buckets using some sort of bleach or other sterilizing solution. If you don't want the labels on them try soaking them overnight in your bathtub in bleach, this will clean the bucket, and your tub! :-) Then drill a hole in the top and add your airlock. If you are using it as a bottling bucket then put the hole near the bottom on the side and buy your spigot from your beer store for under $5. Also, you shouldn't use ones that have had anything in them that could "taint" the bucket. Stay away from ones that have had things such as pickles, mustard, relish, etc. However some of them have things such as ketchup, vegetables, and other syrups, which leave no trace of smell whatsoever. Happy hunting!

Comments From Fellow Brewers:

**** This Article Was From: Mark Bellefeuille (
Get your 5gal buckets from the local doughnut shop or the supermarket bakery. If they charge you anything for them, go to the next store. The 'club' stores usually will give you 'lots' of them at once.

**** This Article Was From: (Thomas Manteufel)
Food grade buckets can be bought for as little as a dollar from restaurants, or may even be had for free from places like donut shops. Hang around the local recycling center and look for them in the garbage. You can clean them out and use a dilute bleach soak to remove most of the residual odors. Empty the bucket and let it sit in the bright sunlight for a few days to remove the bleach odor. You can buy a plastic spigot for a few dollars at the homebrew shop and mount it in your bucket for a bottling bucket. If you have the lids for the buckets, you can use them to store grain.

**** This Article Was From:
Try white caste. They usually sell them for $1 a piece!


I got this idea after fermenting my first batch of hard Cider. Ever notice what a glass carboy looks like? One of those big water bottles for water coolers, only glass. Well, that's about what they are. Its just your secondary fermentor, and being glass, making it extremely easy to clean and sanitize. Most beer stores charge in the upawrds of $20-50 for one.

Here are 2 alternatives:


This is one of the most expensive items a novice beer brewer will come to buy. Its basically a large strainer for removing the malt, and syrup from the grain (wort). Many beer stores will try and convince you that you need a complex "bucket" with a strainer and a spigot on it. These can run from $40 to $100 depending on what kind/size you want. Here is the most common alternative to this.

Obtain yourself a NEW cooler. If you shop for it a the END of the summer, you can obtain one for as little as $5. If you recently got married like myself, you could get one as a wedding gift (or two of them as in my case) :-). Now that you have your cooler, you have several choices of how you want to make the strainer. I have had several recommendations. The easiest, but more expensive method is to purchase an "Easy Masher". This basically is a copper tube and spigot, with a wire mesh over it to filter the wort out of the grain. This usually comes with instructions of how to install it into a bucket or cooler. The easy masher costs about $25-$30.

Another method is to measure your cooler, and go to your hardware store and buy copper tubing. Then find the smallest drill bit you can, and put holes along the tubing. Then attach a copper spigot, and there you go. This method ranges from about $10 total to about $25 dollars total.

I personally recommend the easy masher, simply because it saves you the work of drilling holes, etc.


This is another extremely expensive item you can make yourself for considerably less money. Basically, its a coiled brass/copper tube, that goes into your wort, to cool it so you don't have to wait hours for it to cool naturally. You can make this yourself with about 10' of copper tubing, and some garden hose. One of these devices will cost you about $50 at your local beer store.

Simply go to your local hardware store and find some copper tubing that you want to use. Clean the outside of it well before using it in your wort. To make it coiled you can do a couple of different things. I used a 2 liter bottle and wrapped the copper tube around it to make it a nice coil. You can find someone who has a pipe bender and get it even more precise. Or, you can ask the Hardware store if they can do it. Either way, shape does not matter, so long as it allows the wort to flow around it. Make sure that you leave enough room so that BOTH ENDS stick out ABOVE your bucket. You don't want the garden hose in your Wort. After coiling it, or whatever shape you have chosen, cut the garden hose so it is short enough to reach to your sink without being too long. Both ends should be able to reach to the Faucet, and the sink. Then Attach the garden hose to the brass tubing with some clamps. Here is a brief and simplified picture of what it should look like.

				####### # - Garden Hoses
 				      #	#	
				      ! ! - Hose Clamps
				      |_| - Coiled Copper Tubes
So sue me, I'm not an artist. In any case, it should look vaguely like that when its done. To use it, you may need an adapter so the end of it will attach to your faucet. Then just turn on your water on cold, and the cold water will flow through the copper cooling your wort of quickly, so you can pitch yeast in a few minutes, not a few hours. Total parts should costs you about $15.

**** This Article Was From: Robert Parker (parker@mote.Berkeley.EDU)
here's an idea for cheap wort chilling: set the brew kettle in a plastic tub (e.g. small garbage bucket) on bricks or something so it doesn't melt the bucket, fill the bucket with water with obvious restriction of levels so that it doesn't exceed the level of the top of the kettle, maintain a slow trickle of hose water while stirring the wort. to reduce infection concerns, drill a hole in the kettle lid, insert a long handled spoon (from the bottom of the lid so only the handle and not the spoon part needs to fit through), and stir away while the kettle is covered. works great! if you're concerned about drilling a hole in your lid, buy a small rubber stopper that you can use when you want a solid lid. the cost of this option is virtually zero since you likely have a suitable tub already.

by the way, this is not my original idea. i got it from the hbd quite a while ago but haven't seen it discussed other than the one time. i don't remember the original post author.


Most of the time your can obtain bottles from recycle facilities and bars for just pennies. Here are the words of others on the subject.

**** This Article Was From: (Mark Mudgett)
Where to get bottles? 750 ml American sparkling wine ("Champagne") bottles usually accept crown caps as used in homebrewing. Great homebrew bottles, and free from caterers, hotels, etc. Check into facilities and agencies serviceing the WEDDING business, make advance plans to get them from NEW YEAR'S EVE celebrations, or any other "bubbly" occasion. The bottles will otherwise be treated as trash. You can often find them in matched styles, by the case, with carton included.

**** This Article Was From: "DEV::SJK" (
Kegs: Kegs can readily be had for much cheaper than most people think. A cheap source of half-barrel kegs for conversion to a kettle are scrapyards. Some places have piles of these things, usually for $10 apiece. Call first and describe what you're looking for ("beer kegs" usually works). I was surprised, but scrapyards really do know what they have on hand, so call.

Cornelius kegs in better condition than the reconditioned ones my homebrew store sells for $30 can be had at almost any scrapyard for $5. These are even more commonplace than Sankeys. Call and ask for "soda kegs". ALWAYS ask for prices over the phone as sometimes the price inexplicably goes up by the time you get there. Rinse out the vestiges of syrup that WILL still be in the keg, add a (for me) $3.25 gasket kit, and on you go. I don't bother replacing the poppets because my homebrew store charges $4 apiece for them (!). As the poppets don't seem to pick up much soda smell, I just boil them briefly (1-3 minutes) in some baking soda and water.

**** This Article Was From: Brew Free Or Die 04-Nov-1994 1454 (
Keg Pressure Tester and Relief Valve

Here are plans for a Keg Pressure Tester and Relief Valve that you can attach to your soda kegs to read the internal pressure. It is similar to one that was described by Dan Fink in an issue of Zymurgy. It has multiple uses. You can check keg pressure with it, to see if your keg has developed a leak, or to see if CO2 is going into solution. (Note: the valve on a CO2 regulator doesn't perform this function. It tells you how much CO2 the regulator will attempt to place in the keg when it is attached). You can use it to bleed pressure from the keg via the needle valve, if your keg is old and doesn't have a pressure relief valve built in (not recommended). If you are transferring beer from one sealed keg to another, you can crack the needle valve just barely to allow built-up pressure in the receiving keg to escape slowly. Otherwise, when pressure was equal in both kegs, the transfer would stop.

The prices and catalog numbers are from Foxx Beverage Corp, September, 1991.

eTEM    CATALOG #       DESCRIPTION                                     COST
 1      07C07-115       Ball Lock Disconnect, Gas, 1/4" MFL             3.13
 2      05B01-215       1/4" FFL x 1/4" FFL Swivel                      1.21
 3      05B01-183       1/4" MFL x 1/4" MPT Male Half Union              .28
 4      05B01-105       1/4" Female Pipe Tee                            1.11
 5      03G07-142       Gauge, 1/4" MPT, 0-60 PSI                       4.35
 6      05B01-224       1/4" MFL x 1/4" MPT Brass Needle Valve          3.50

Cheesy ASCII Graphics (redundant term) follow:

      _____   -\__/-  /--   -----------  _/      \
      | ---   _/--\_  \__   |    4    |  _    5   |
     /   \                  ----   ----   \      /
     |   |      2       3      |   |        -----
     |   |
     |   |                      | |
     |   |                      | __|
                                | |
      1                         \ /

The quick-disconnect (item 1) can be ball or pin. Its outlet is 1/4" male flare. The 1/4" FFL x 1/4" FFL swivel (item 2) and the 1/4" MFL x 1/4" MPT male half union (item 3) are there simply because there was no other way I could find to connect the pipe tee's (item 4) 1/4" female pipe threads to the quick disconnect's 1/4" male flare threads. The gauge (item 5) and the needle valve (item 6) had male 1/4" pipe threads, so it was easier and cheaper to just use those and adapt the pipe T to the Q-D.

Seal all pipe threads with Teflon tape and away you go. Enjoy!

Picnic Tap and Hose Rinser

In HBD #1438, new kegger Bill Rust solicited clever ideas on how to clean picnic tappers. I know where he's coming from. Soda kegs are very convenient, but I always hated drawing one or two pints and then be faced with cleaning the picnic tap. I never felt comfortable leaving it on the keg with its beverage line full of beer, and I quickly grew tired of partially dismantling it to rinse it out. So, a few years ago, I designed this gadget to make my life easier.

As with the Keg Pressure Tester and Relief Valve plans that I posted in HBD #1422, the prices and catalog numbers are from Foxx Beverage Corp, September, 1991.

ITEM    CATALOG #       DESCRIPTION                            QUAN    PRICE
1a                   Snap Nipple                                1      ~2.00
1b                   Washing Machine Quick-Disconnect           1      ~5.00
2       05B01-296    3/4" FHT x 1/2" FPT Adapter                1       1.22
3       05B01-160    MP Reducer 1/2" MPT x 1/4" MPT             1        .93
4       15E04-450    Ball Lock Adapter 1/4" FPT x 9/16-18 Male  1       4.48
5       15E04-304    Liquid Tank Plug Assy, Cornelius Ball      1       4.79

                                       |        |
                                        \      /
                                        /      \    1a  Stays attached to faucet
                                        \      /
Q-D        Quick Disconnect           ___________
FHT        Female Hose Thread        <           >  1b
FPT        Female Pipe Thread         |         |
MPT        Male Pipe Thread            \       /
MP         Male Pipe                   ---------
9/16-18    9/16" diameter,            |         |
           18 threads per inch        \         /   2
                                       |       |
                                       |       |
                                       _________           This whole assembly
                                       |       |    3       clips onto Item 1a
                                       |       |    4
                                       |       |
                                        \     /     5
                                        /     \
                                        \     /

Items 1a and 1b are often packaged as a set and can be found in most home improvement stores. The Snap Nipple (Item 1a) screws onto your sink faucet and stays there. The Washing Machine (or dishwasher) Quick-Disconnect (Item 1b) snaps on and off the snap nipple in the same manner as a ball-lock soda disconnect. There are two types of these available. One has a small diameter snap nipple and a smooth white plastic disconnect ring. The other type has a larger diameter snap nipple and a white disconnect ring with ridges on it. This second type of disconnect incorporates an aerator. If you are installing a snap nipple to your faucet, and you have to remove an aerator from the faucet to do it, continued domestic bliss dictates that you use the second type.

Item 2, the 3/4" FHT x 1/2" FPT Adapter, adapts (duh!) the quick-disconnect's 3/4" male hose threads to the MP Reducer 1/2" MPT x 1/4" MPT (Item 3). The reducer is a means of adapting from 1/2" threads to the 1/4" threads of the Ball Lock Adapter 1/4" FPT x 9/16-18 Male (Item 4). The Liquid Tank Plug Assy, Cornelius Ball (Item 5) then threads onto the ball lock adapter.

I keep this gadget in a kitchen drawer where it's handy. After I've drawn a pint from a keg, I remove the picnic tap, line and disconnect and bring it to the kitchen sink. I attach the keg disconnect to the gadget, attach the gadget to the faucet, turn on the faucet, and then run water through the picnic tap and line to rinse it out. I know it isn't sanitized, but at least it's somewhat clean.

I use quick-disconnects in many places in my brewery. My jet bottle washer has one attached and snaps right onto my kitchen faucet for quick use, then snaps off. My wort chiller has a snap nipple on it, and I attach it to the faucet with a washing machine hose with Q-Ds on each end of it. I have a hose sprayer with a snap nipple on it and, using the chiller's washing machine hose, I attach the sprayer to the hose and the hose to the kitchen faucet, to facilitate cleaning out kegs and spraying the cat.

Obviously, with a small change of parts, this gadget could also be used with pin-lock disconnects.



**** This Article Was From: "Jim Ellingson" (
For any most any kind of purchase, the more you buy, the more you'll save. Of course, there's overhead involved in trying to split up 40 pounds of Cascades, but you'll get them for $3 a pound. Likewise the 3000 pounds of 2-row malt for $6 a bushell or 0.18 a pound.

So, once a year or so, someone in my club will organize a group by of (say) 50 pounds of hops or 2000 pounds of malt. If I run out before the next group buy, I'll get together with 1-3 other brewers and split a pound or 2 of hops or a 110 pounds of DWC malt.

Many shops will sell you a pound of hops for something like $10-$12. There's an add in Zymurgy or BT for a company that will sell pounds of Cascade and N. Brewer for < $4.

When I first started buying by the pound, I always found a fellow brewer to split it with. Now, I often use the whole pound myself. Note that I never buy the "Super high alpha" hops like Chinook, etc. At .60 an ounce, I can afford to use 2x as much N. Brewer or whatever to get my bitterness.

Call around. The price per bucket will vary from $70-120 for $60. If local suppliers won't deal, hit the 800 numbers.

Of course there's an assumption here. IMHO, the best way to extract brew is by using light, unhopped malt extract as a base and then getting the color, character, bitterness and hop flavor/aroma from specialty grains (using the "T-bag" technique) and from hops. Since every batch will require 4-10 pounds of "base malt extract" I may as well buy it in bulk.

This isn't so simple. If you want it bagged or boxed, you'll be hard pressed to get it for less than .30-35 a pound for US 2-row. But the deal still holds. If you're willing to put together an order for 500 or more pounds, you should be able to find someone who'll give yo a price break on it.

If your area is like mine, then you've seen a 300% increase in the number of homebrew supply retailers in the last couple of years. Some of these folks are rather greedy, and they're using their retailers association to put the screws to some of our best suppliers. A semi-local maltster with whom I used to deal directly, has upped their minimum order from 50 to 200 pounds. Also, to get the price I was getting at 500 pounds, I now must purchase at least 1000. If you hadn't noticed, I'm very annoyed by all this.

I get rolled oats for about .50, rolled rye for .60, and rolled wheat and barley for 80 cents a pound. This is considerably cheaper than at my local home brew shop.

This is covered in the Yeast FAQ. IF you don't have much trouble with infections (i.e., almost never) then you might try racking the new beer onto the yeast cake from the secondary of a previous batch. If you don't use a secondary, you should *wash* the yeast/dreggs/trub from the primary. (Washing is also in the FAQ.)

Some clubs maintain a yeast bank. They cover some of the cost with slightly increase membership dues.


The most common way to aerate your wort, is just to take a fish air pump, and a fish air stone (available at any pet store) and to use it in your wort after cooling.

**** This Article Was From: COYOTE (
The patentded (not) little bit of racking type tube with holes in the sides. Place at the end of a racking hose when drawing off cooled wort into a primary before pitching yeast. The holes draw in air as the wort passes- thusly airating it. Simple, cheap, effective. Personally I think all the airstone crap is overkill. But that's one hopheads opinion.


One simple way to clear up your beer is the use of finings. Most people use gelatin, however there are several other types available. Check with your local homebrewing store as to what type you should use. If you don't like the idea of animal parts in your beer (what most finings/gelatins are made of). You could always go with a filtration system.

WINE FILTER SYSTEMS REVISITED By Don Schiller Updated for net use on 30 Aug. 94

Why do I want to filter my wine? Filtering cleans the particulates from the wine. A tight filtration will remove most yeast cells. The wine will be clear, with less chance of refermentation starting and look more appealing.

Why should you spend money on a filter rather then just wait for the wine to clear? Some wines will clear nicely with just time. Some wines will need a fining agent to help with the clearing process. Some wines can stand bulk aging and clearing with no problem, and may benefit from the aging. Other wines, the more delicate fruit and some white wines should be cleaned and bottled quickly to preserve the fresh taste. Filtering is the best way to reduce the time needed to clear the wine.

Can't I just use a coffee filter or paper towel to filter my wine? While a coffee filter or paper towel will remove some particles from the wine, there is also a chance of inducing oxidation or bacteria into the wine. The coffee filter is very 'loose' and will only filter the larger items. Smaller particles and yeast cells need a much tighter filtering to be removed, a 1 to 0.2 micron filter can be used for this.

There are several types of wine filters available, ranging from gravity feed to wine pressurized through multiple filter plates systems. There are two common types of wine filter systems generally used by Purple Foot Wine Club members, the first, a double filter and plate system with air or carbon dioxide (CO2) pressurizing the carboy and forcing the wine through the filter. The second system is a motorized pump system that pumps the wine through a filter cartridge in a housing. Both systems have advantages and disadvantages. For the CO2 system, cost is $100.00 and is slow enough to allow filtering and bottle filling in one step, but was more work to set up before filtering the wine. The motorized system was faster, but costly at about $300.00-400.00.

For some time, I had been working on a filter system similar to the pump and filter cartridge system but less costly. Now that I have completed mine, I am passing the information along to you. If you are mechanically skilled, it is quite easy to build. The cost is about $100.00 (excluding cartridges) and does the job about the same as the motorized filter system. If you chose to make it, let me know your results.

Here is what you need: Self priming pump and motor. A small pump and motor is available from Fleet Farm, Northern Hydraulic and maybe Grainger for about $60.00 (I bought a SIMER #M40 that will pump about 360 gallons per hour, on sale for $54.00). Self priming does two things, it will draw the wine into the pump without needing to manually siphon it, and will create a better pump output pressure. The pump instructions tells you to oil the pump before using. DO NOT oil this pump. If you can find a pump system that is rated food grade and can deliver about 25-40 psi, that is what you need.

Filter housing. I bought an Omni housing at Menards for about $10.00. You also need the wrench for about $3.00. There are several other brands on the market, some housings are clear, some not, it should not make a difference. Be sure to get one with 3/4" pipe connections that will take the standard 10" filter cartridge.

Pressure gauge. A pressure gauge rated for 60 psi or less will help you to know when your filter cartridge is plugging up. Presque Isle has a 60 psi gauge or buy one locally. Buy whatever type connectors is needed to connect the gauge to the tubing. The gauge is not a necessity, but is nice.

Connectors/Tubing. You need two plastic garden hose connectors, (your pump connectors, if you get a different type pump, get the proper connectors), two plastic connectors with a 3/4" thread on one end, the other end is barbed push on, (your filter housing connectors), a "T" barbed push on connector (for a pressure gauge), and food grade vinyl tubing, 5/8" inch diameter. You may need 10-15 feet depending on your setup. When you buy these items, make sure your pump, filter housing, connectors and tubing will work together. NOTE: You can make your tubing connections using copper parts, but I prefer to use food grade nylon.

Filter cartridge. For filtering, you need a 1 micron or finer cartridge. I ordered my cartridges from Presque Isle, 1-800-488-7492. The 10" cartridges are available in 1, 0.45, and 0.2 micron sizes. I use the 1 micron size for most filtering, but could use the 0.45 and 0.2 micron for finer filtering. Cartridge prices range from about $7-30.00 depending on micron size and capacity.

Miscellaneous Parts. You will need 5 hose clamps that will fit over the tubing when installed over the barbed connectors and a little Teflon tape to install the filter connectors.

Hooking it all together. I first started by making a frame on which I could mount the filter and pump. I used a piece of plywood 1' X 2' X 1/2" and built supports to make a stand. I made a bracket to hold the filter onto the plywood and secured the bracket and filter to the plywood. A couple large hooks should be able to do the job. Secure the motor/pump to the plywood on the opposite side of the filter. Using Teflon tape, install the filter connectors into the filter input and output openings.

Measure the distance between the pump output and the filter input. This will be about 1-2 feet long allowing for a bend radius. Cut this tubing to length, and cut two more short pieces of tubing about 2" long. Install one garden hose clamp to one end of the long tubing. Heat the other end of the tubing and the two short pieces in boiling water for a few minutes. CAUTION, THIS TUBING IS HOT AND CAN BURN IF HANDLED IMPROPERLY. This will soften the tubing enough to push it over the barbed ends of the "T" connector. Connect the tubing from the "T" to the filter input connector you have already installed. The gauge is connected onto the tubing on the tee end. (SEE DRAWING)

Determine the length of tubing needed from your supply carboy into the pump. Cut the tubing to length (or in half), and install the garden hose clamp on one end. Screw that end onto the pump input side. This is your input hose. Heat one end of the other tubing in boiling water. Push the tubing onto the barbed end of the filter output connector. This is your output hose and will output filtered wine into a clean carboy.

Secure all connections to the pump, filter cartridge and all connectors. Fill a pail with about 4-5 gallons water. Add about 1 teaspoon metabisulfite to the water. Put the input and output hoses into the pail of water. With no filter cartridge installed in the housing, plug in the power cord to the pump motor. The pump will draw water up the tubing, into the pump. The water will be pumped into the filter housing, the output hose, and back into the pail. Run this 5-10 minutes, flushing out the system and checking for leaks. Seal any leaks that you find. Dump the water, and refill with clean water. Run pump again for a few minutes to flush system. Remove power and drain water from tubing and filter housing. (Optional-rather then plugging the motor power cord in and out, you could add a switched outlet to the wooden frame. Plug the cord into the outlet and use the switch to turn the motor on and off. This works very well for turning the motor off as the supply carboy is emptied.)

To prepare to filter wine, install a cartridge into the filter housing. Fill the supply carboy with water. Put the output tubing into the empty carboy and the input tubing into the supply carboy. Run pump until supply carboy is empty. Do this each time BEFORE and AFTER filtering wine-it cleans the system.

Now rack the wine to be filtered into your supply carboy, sweeten, add chemicals, etc. as needed. Be sure to add metabisulfite (because the filtering does have a tendency to bubble at the beginning and end of the carboy, you may want to increase the metabisulfite to 75ppm to help reduce oxidation). Prepare a carboy to receive the filtered wine. Plug in the cord for the pump motor. The wine will be filtered and pumped into the carboy. Remove power as the supply carboy is emptied.

The filter cartridges can be used to filter 50-600 gallons of wine depending on the cartridge and the wine being filtered. Since you may not be ready to filter that much wine, you might want to make a container to store the cartridge. Using 3 inch PVC pipe, cut to about 12 inches long (22 inches to store two cartridges). Cement a cap on one end, and make a removable coupling on the other end. The cartridge can be stored in the pipe in a solution of 1/4 tsp. metabisulfite in water.


**** This Article Was From:
major tip! when using round coolers for mash tuns, remove the plug from inside the lid and fill the lid with expanding insulating foam, these coolers are designed to vent heat to keep the cold in, it is a great design for cold foods, not so great for 158 degrees. leave the plug out until the foam cures, you may have to do this a couple of times ti fill the lid, but it works!

**** This Article Was From: (Mark Evans)
Flea markets and garage sales are an overlooked source of cheap homebrew equiptment. I have partially outfitted my homebrewery with various articles purchased at these venues. Many sturdy and usable large pots and other adaptable articles are to be had in these places. One has to have a quick and discerning eye. An other excellent but more elusive source are the basements of our "forefathers." I used to be a house painter and I worked for many elderly people. On many occasions I found myself in cluttered basements, cleaning brushes or rummaging through old paint cans. Several time I found wine making equiptment--probably from the depression or around prohibition. >From one kind old old lady I purchased four blue glass five gallon carboys for $5--for all four of them! she was glad to be rid of them. Remember: somebody is getting into a hobby as someone else is getting out. that cast off equiptment is available somewhere for a song and a dance!

**** This Article Was From: (Thomas Manteufel)
The smaller size milk crates work well as carboy holders. You can get them for free, or a slight civil fine, if you steal them. I recommend buying the cheap generic crates at department stores. For only a few dollars, they have the advantage of being legal. Rubber bungee cords can be used to help hold the carboy into the crate. Use two opposite each other in a crossed "U" shape.

Never underestimate garage sales, rummage sales and flea markets. I bought a 5 gallon carboy for 50 cents because it needed a good cleaning. Ten minutes and a carboy brush brought it back to useful life.

Save the cost of a grain mill and have the homebrew store where you buy your grain crush it for you. Store it well and be prepared to brew; it will pick up moisture rapidly.


Well for those of you who decide that I'm totally nuts and you want to waste your money by buying this stuff from your beer store. DONT! Just tell me what you were intending to buy, Ill send you the homemade brand and keep the difference. I would be more than happy to waste your money for you! For those of you that are now rubbing your hands together waiting to run to the hardware store. Good Luck!