Brewing with others is always a pile of fun, what with the tasting and the good conversation. But there’s another reason to attend a brew-in: education.
Every time I’ve ever gone to a brew in, I’ve learned something new, or found a new must-have gadget or must-use technique. Recently I watched a friend brew, and once again, came away with a jewel of an idea.
Monte took a piece of flexible pipe, like one would find under their sink, and modified it for use as a false bottom in his mash/lauter tun. When he described it to me, I thought, that sounds interesting. But when I saw it, I thought, I can’t believe you haven’t had a stuck runoff. It was so modest. I expected a little more coverage, I guess. But this guy’s been brewing with this method for nearly two years without a problem.
If you’re thinking about giving this a go, it’s important to know that a couple kinds of this pipe/hose exist: braided stainless steel and some kind of plastic. Go for the former. Take out the rubber hose on the inside, and replace it with a loose coil of copper wire, to help the hose hold its shape. Otherwise the braided hose could easily squeeze in on itself with no holes through which your wort might like to travel. Simply twist one end of the pipe closed. His is only six or eight inches in length. Then, sort out whatever fittings you need to affix it to the inside of your mash/lauter tun, and you’re in business. With very little time or money spent.