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More Water = More Wedding Ale

2011 June 21
by Chris

As the Wedding Beer brewing continues (we’ve now got over 200 bottles in the fridge or carbonating in the closet…not counting the ones we have shared and/or consumed) I am continuing the series of upgrades to my all-grain brewing system.

hot liquor tun for home brewingOur most recent addition was the building of a new hot liquor tun.  I have no idea why it is called a hot liquor tun…no liquor goes in it, just water.  It should probably be called a hot water tank, or even just a water pot, but I don’t get to decide these things.

OK, enough rambling.  Recently, I posted about the counter-flow wort chiller and in-line thermometer I built.  This was the next upgrade on my list.

I have been brewing all-grain wedding ale for a while now, but I am unable to produce a true 10-gallon batch because the turkey fryer pot that I am using to heat the water in will not hold the amount of water needed to rinse my grain to result in 10-gallons of beer.  Thus, I decided I just needed something bigger (insert manly laugh here).

I also lucked out by finding a FREE keg that another local home brewer was giving away, so this will be the base of the build.

For this hot water vessel (you see what I did there, changing up the name like that), I won’t need any sort of filter or screen in the bottom like in the boil kettle because there won’t be anything in there but water (no nasty hops to filter out).  The only unique thing I will need is a sight glass.  Because it will be sitting up high, it will be hard to measure the amount of water in it, so by using a sight glass, I can easily see how much water there is, and how much I am pouring out into the mash tun.

Additionally, I am adding in the 6″ thermometer that I removed from my boil kettle.  I am attaching it at the base of the sight glass so I only have to drill one hole that will work for both.  Less holes = less chance of a leak!  I will need this thermometer to be very accurate because I need to make sure my water is the exact right temperature when I add it into the mash tun.

brewing sight glass and ball valve

Because it is a keg, the bottom is concave, so having a straight pick-up tube would not work well because it would leave a lot of water behind in the bottom.  I purchased a copper tube that I then bent by hand to angle it down to the bottom of the keg.  It isn’t as important to get every last drop out of here as it is in the boil kettle, because it is just water, not my beer (yet).

I then just attached a weldless fitting with a ball valve on the outside so that I can just open it up and let it flow right into the mash tun.  And there we have it, a simple and affective hot water/liquor tun that can hold PLENTY of water for my 10 gallon batches of wedding brew!


Related posts:

First Look at the Wedding Ale
Homemade and Crafted with Love
Our How-To Guide for DIY Save the Dates
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