Monday, December 27, 2010

Converting SS Vats to Boil/Mash/HLTs (#homebrew)

Sittin' here sippin' another Espresso Stout (Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeelicious!) and considerin' whether or not the 40 gallon SS vats D and I obtained for a song (99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall) need thicker bottoms. (These are destined for our 1 BBL brew system.)

These vats are being re-purposed from who-knows-what to Boil/Mash/HLTs. Bottoms seem a might thin to me. Definitely not as thick as say, the steel used in constructing a half beer barrel (keg).

Consider: TIG welding another plate of SS to the bottom lip and optionally sandwiching a couple sheets of copper in between. Or, cut out the bottom and TIG weld in a new replacement bottom. Will need to talk to a welder to get their input on this--maybe this week.

Sides seem to be heavier gauge than the bottom. (!)

Also, need to install nipples for well thermometers and drain valves.

Don't have lids but they are available commercially and need not be fabricated.

These vats are dandy (very minimal investment so far) and even with some fabrication cost, would still be less than buying new.


Best part of every day.™


tazio said...

Talked to D today and this as described is probably way overkill. Easiest way to deal with the thin-wall on the bottom of the vats is probably just to lay a round steel plate over the burner and the vat over that, and hope for good conduction between the plate and the vat. Will need to do some tests. This isn't rocket science.

Perhaps not as efficient as above but natural gas is getting cheaper as the drilling goes on.

tazio said...

This is brewing on a shoestring. :O)

tazio said...

On further consideration, I think a single 12x12 piece of steel under the vat should suffice. Perhaps 16 gauge will do.