I’ve been wanting to upgrade my fermenting bucket for a while, just to make brewing that little bit easier. Previously I’ve had to syphon the beer from the bucket into the barrel, so adding a tap should make this easier and also allow me to bottle some beers with ease.

I’m also working on building a BrewPi temperature controller (more on that later), so I added a thermowell to hold a temperature probe whilst I was at it.

So I started with a plain old plastic fermenting bucket (would love a stainless one!)

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I fitted the thermowell first, I didn’t have a hole cutter quite the correct size, so picked one slightly too small, I picked a spot about 1/3rd of the way up the bucket so that I can still get a good temperature reading if I do slightly smaller batches.
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As expected, the hole was a bit smaller than required, so I trimmed it with a Stanley knife until I had a nice hole!

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The thermowell comes with 2 o rings and a nut

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The thermowell goes inside the bucket and the second o ring and nut clamp from the outside. I had to be careful to ensure the o ring sat in its groove correctly – the first time I tightened it the nut tried to squeeze it out.

Next up is a tap which I can use with a bottling attachment. I’m placing the tap quite near the bottom, but high enough to avoid dragging stuff down, the tap rotates so I can leave it at 90 degrees and then swing it round when required (I’ll need to have it hanging over the edge of the work top).

Same procedure as with the thermowell, cut hole and enlarge with a knife (if you don’t have a hole cutter the correct size). After drilling the initial hole I used the back nut and a sharpie to mark how big the hole needed to be.

I test fitted the tap….

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Then removed it to tidy up sharp edges around the hole and clear out any bits of plastic in the bottom of the bucket. The tap screws in, with the rubber seal on the outside of the fermenting bucket and then back nut tightens everything up from the inside. Quite pleased with the final product Рthe tap will allow bottling and syphoning to be far simpler and the thermowell will allow me to control the fermentation temperature with a BrewPi setup (that I still need to build!).

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