Monthly Archives: February 2016

$12 Walmart Test Batch Kettle

As my curiosity of beer styles rose and available empty bottles declined I found myself wanting and needing to brew smaller batches. Forking out $100+ for a homebrew branded kettle put this idea was on hold…until a visit to Walmart. I found this 4 gallon stainless kettle for a mere $12. One hole punched in the lid later and I’m brewing it’s maiden Dunkelweizen.

I thoroughly love the output, control and function of my 12 gallon electric BIAB system but the plain simplicity of brewing a batch on this size is difficult to beat. It’s easy, low cost, quick, cleanup is only a few minutes..what’s not too love?

Brewdown $12 walmart brew kettle

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Lo Siento – Oaked Mexican Saison

Unashamedly I still love Corona. It’s a deliciously refreshing variant of the ubiquitous American lager and just like any beer, has a time and place. This recipe was meant to capture the flavors which make Mexican lagers what they are and shove them into something with more distinction.


Brewdown Lo Siento Mexican Saison Wyeast 3711 French Oak tequila Fermentation Homebrew

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Switching to a Plate Heat Exchanger

Upon arriving at the fork of plate vs counter flow chiller, I opted for the hose wrapped,  copper tubing counter flow. Because A) I could make one and B) It was cheaper. It worked wonderfully! Wort went in hot and came out cool, what more could you want? Well, call me finicky but as someone who spends my paid hours designing parts that both work well and are easy to use, the trusty old coil HE fell short. It was chaotic to arrange, hoses everywhere, had to be leak checked frequently and for its purpose, took up too much damn space in a home brewery which strives to fit on a single rolling stand.

Brewdown Duda Diesel Plate Chiller Homebrew Heat Exchanger


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Whirlpool/Stir Inlet

Whether myth or fact, the thought of scorched wort while electric brewing gives me a bit of a shiver. So what’s one to do? Stir! 30 minutes of it while waiting for the boil sounds dull. Let’s put that pump to work.

Started with a piece of 0.5″ 304SS pipe. Bent the exterior bend, the outlet bend and welded on two 1.5″ TC caps. I designed the top to sit above the kettle to avoid adding another ball valve.

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