How to Make a False Beer Bottom

Written by melissa ward
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How to Make a False Beer Bottom
Make a false bottom with a trimmed-down window screen. (Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Making a false beer bottom for the mash tun, a vat used in the brewing process, is an effective way for an all-grain home-brewer to control his or her equipment quality and save money. Using materials such as window screen and screws, a home-brewer can build a false bottom that will allow the liquid drained from the mash to pass through to the bottom of the mash tun and out of the spigot while the crushed grain husks collect on top of the screen.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Mash tun
  • Ruler
  • Permanent marker
  • Window screen
  • 8 Stainless-steel machine screws
  • Heavy-duty scissors
  • Screwdriver
  • Safety goggles
  • Work gloves

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the diameter of the mash tun with the ruler. If the mash tun is wider at the top than at the bottom, measure a few inches from the bottom.

  2. 2

    Add at least a half-inch to the diameter measurement. Divide the diameter measurement in half to calculate the radius.

  3. 3

    Use the diameter and radius measurements to draw a circle with the permanent maker on the window screen.

  4. 4

    Cut the circle out of the window screen using heavy-duty scissors.

  5. 5

    Center the screen on top of the mash tun, folding down the excess screen into the vessel for a tight fit.

  6. 6

    Push down evenly on the screen until it's a few inches from the bottom.

  7. 7

    Secure the false bottom screen with the stainless-steel machine screws, placing them at regular intervals around the mash tun.

Tips and warnings

  • Bronze window screen is more affordable than stainless-steel window screen. Cheaper, used stainless-steel window screen can sometimes be found at scrap yards.
  • Spent grain can be collected off the top of the false bottom and used to make dog biscuits or pizza dough, or it can be spread in the garden as compost.
  • Wear safety goggles and work gloves to protect your eyes and hands when cutting the screen.

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