Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Brew Project: Pick Up Tube

All too often, someone looking to start homebrewing asks the question, "will it be any cheaper than just buying beer?". The answer is most definitely: it depends. Well, after not doing anything to upgrade my homebrewing equipment since I rebought nearly everything since I moved to DC, I made one splurge: a new pot, specifically, a 10 gallon MegaPot from Northern Brewer.
I was never quite happy with the pot I was using, a 9 gallon Bayou stainless steel. The part that bugged me, in addition to its thinness, was my shotty job at drilling a hole and assembling a spigot. The pick-up tube I put together was just terrible. I ended up pinching the end of a copper tube, and it resulted in its uselessness if I used more than a couple ounces of hops. Since I dropped some money on the new one, I figured I had to do it right. I found some great videos and tips online to building one (though I missed out on the BYO article that featured this same project). Having never soldered anything before (or did I in junior high?), that was another hurdle.
Here was the equipment:
1ea 2' piece of .5" copper tubing
2ea copper elbows
1ea copper T
and the requisite soldering tools: torch, lead free solder, flux, sandpaper
The job didn't take too long, perhaps an hour, and will see how it works here in another week. So far, the pot has been sitting, everything assembled, with water in it and no leaks. Can't wait to give it a shot!


  1. Way to go with the soldering, Dan. And I don't think you ever did try any of that at ORRJHS ......

  2. Yeah, it's not the best craftsmanship I've accomplished, but not bad. It'll get a run on Wednesday.

  3. That looks nice. I've got to build myself something like that soon!

    Do the threads rotate independently of the body, or do you have to take the spigot assembly apart to get it on & off?

  4. What I did was thread the pickup/manifold to the bulk head and then thread the spigot (through the pot) on to it. That way I never had to worry about turning the pickup manifold around. I had great success on the first brew with it and the hops actually filtered the wort through openings without clogging them.