If you’re like me, when you get done transferring your beer to a secondary, bottling, or kegging, you’ll have a look at all that beer sitting in the bottom of your bucket or carboy and think “What a waste!”. If only there was a way to get almost all of it, without getting all that trub with it! Well say no more! Say hello to my little frien’.
I call it a transfer wedge. Now I have seen similar apparatuses on sale for as much as $15 at online and local stores. That’s just way to much to pay for a simple wedge! So today I am going to show you how you can make one for yourself and how to use it to maximize your final yield. This cheap and easy solution has saved me gallons upon gallons of beer over the years and it will for you too. The wedge pictured is well worn an used and of course is no longer shiny and new but still no less effective.
This simple solution starts with a 2×4 from your local hardware store, or maybe you already have one laying around, or maybe… your lazy ass neighbor who owns six dogs has piles of them rotting in his backyard. In any case, you are going to want to snag yourself a piece of a standard 2×4. Treated or Untreated is fine, as this wedge will never come into direct contact with your beer.
This is a very simple project that you can complete in as little as 30 minutes. You will need:
(1) length 2×4
(1) Hand Saw or Power Saw
(1) Sand paper (optional)
(1) Wood Glue or Hot Glue Gun
The dimensions of this wedge are 6.75″ x 3″ with a total rise of 1.5″. Here’s an illustration of the measurements.
The total construction is comprised of two pieces cut from the 2×4 laid down upon on it’s face. Once cut the two pieces are glued together to form the completed ramp. Now I know what you are thinking… “why not just cut it as one piece from the board???”. Yeah you could do that, if you have the proper tools to do it. However, this article is geared towards the easiest method using tools that almost everyone has (i.e. A Hand Saw) and trust me, cutting these two pieces is a lot easier with a handsaw from the face than standing this board up on end trying to get one single piece.
Now you can go a step further and cut in a locking channel so buckets will lock into the ramp and not slip off. This is accomplished by cutting a 1/4″ slot 1/4″ from the edge. This is just a simple process of cutting two lines with a hand saw and chiseling out the waste to form the channel. I took mine a step further and rounded the edge a bit on my slot to make the buckets slip in easier. From here, you can paint, stain or leave as is. I stained and painted mine, then sanded it to a get the cool ringed effect you see in the final shot of the wedge.
Once you are ready to use it, just carefully tilt your bucket and slide the wedge under it until it locks into place (if you opted for a locking channel), position your siphon on the opposite (low) side. and siphon away. If done correctly and carefully without sloshing the beer, your trub should remain undisturbed allowing you to get every last usable drop. You will be amazed at how much beer you save by doing this super simple trick.
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