Today’s DIY Showcase comes to us from Eric of Charlotte, NC. Eric recently shared his review of the Blichmann TopTier Brewing Stand. Eric has taken his stand and to make it fit his need for having filtered water, created an attached water filter holder that fits into the TopTier design.
With a stand that is modular, mobile, powerful, and extremely sturdy you may ask “what can I upgrade?” I know there are pump upgrades or plate chiller upgrades that can be bolted on, but what about some homegrown solutions that Blichmann didn’t think of… Glad you asked!
The first upgrade that I did to my TopTier was add a water filter mount directly to the stand’s mast.
The addition of the filter was twofold; I was tired of putting my strike & sparge water in a bucket and carrying it up a ladder to dump in the Hot Liquor Tun and I wanted to filter out any impurities in the water.
I also wanted to build something that looked nice and it had to be easy to use. I believe I’ve done both with this build. One thing I didn’t want was a permanent mount for the filter, so I designed this cup holder concept. Once again, simplicity is the name of the game; drop the filter in before the brew session and pull it out afterwards for drying and clean up.
Here are the materials that I used to put this together:
- Whirlpool whole-house water filter (WHCF-DWH)
- Whirlpool .5 micron filter
- 3/4″ to 1/2″ (I. D.) barbed fitting.
- 5′ of 1/2″ (I. D.) reinforced vinyl tubing
- 1 – RV water supply hose
Holder / Bracket:
- 4″ PVC coupler
- 4 – 5/16 square bolts (to fit in the TopTier T slots)
- 4 – 5/16 x 2″ stainless hex bolts
- 2 – 5/16 x 1.5″ stainless hex bolts
- 12 – 5/16 x 1 1/4″ flat washers
- 2 – 5/16 fender washers
- 12 – 5/16 hex nuts
- 1 – 9 x 3 1/2 x 1 piece of solid oak
The square bolt heads are the right size to slide in the T-slots of the TopTier stand. It attaches in the T-slots the same way the gas pipe hanger does. I really like the T-slots on the stand. If I decide that the filter could be utilized a little better in a different spot, I just loosen the bolts and move it.
It didn’t take too long to put this together; probably an hour from start to finish. After using it a few times, I can say that it is super easy to fill up the HLT and my beer tastes a touch better. The next thing I’ll do to the filter setup is to use some PVC pipe and run it up the mast to connect to the water filter. My water supply will be at the bottom of the stand’s base. This will keep the water hose on the ground making it easier to move around the brew system.
Has anyone else built any additions for their factory-purchased brewing sculpture (or an upgrade for your own DIY brew stand)? If so, let us know what you have done – we love to feature the ingenuity of NC home brewers!