You know how it is, you have very succesfully syphoned 90% of your homebrew out of your demijohn only to tip it too far and it slips over allowing all the sludge and dead yeastie beasties to contaminate the clearing brew. No one likes to waste their alcohol and this happened too many times to me, so I knocked up this little jig / device to assist me racking my drink off. This took no more than 20 minutes to construct and has already proved its' worth.
There is no real measuring, the only exception being the initial diameter of the demijohn. I used a bandsaw but any jigsaw would do.
I used the relevant safety equipment and have dust extraction, the usual disclaimers apply.
Hopefully this little gizmo will allow a stress free experience in the pursuit of cheap homemade booze. Enjoy!
Step 1: The Base
I started by measuring my demijohns, they all appeared to be 18cm in diameter, therefore to allow for a bit of leeway I cut out a 20cm diameter from some scrap 18mm ply. The thickness isn't important, 12mm would be fine, I just had 18mm scrap to hand.
I used a circle jig, there are many many plans out there for these, this is nothing more that a slotted hole in some 12mm mdf through which a spigot protrudes. On the underside, another piece of 12mm is attached and this runs along the edge of my bandsaw table. You drill a hole roughly in the centre of the plywood off cut so that the spigot can pass through and then set the spigot to the desired radius. You keenly observant folk will have spotted that I have marked the jig graduations as the diameter, it clearly is the radius, I was having one of those days when I attacked it with a sharpie.
Any once attached, feed the ply into the bandsaw ensuring the under side fence is referenced against the table edge and when you reach the point where the spigot is parallel with the saw blade, start turning. You should end up with a lovely circle. As mentioned earlier you could use a jigsaw.
Now technically the base doesn't have to be circular because the offcut is the bit needed for the upper retention fixture. (That sounded posh)
Step 2: The Stand Sides
Using two offcuts @ 200mm x 75 mm to make the sides I first had to determine the angle I required the demijohn to stand at.
Using a rough guestimate I worked on 15deg as being sufficient to allow the syphon to get the wine out without the weight being too overbalanced.
I fashioned a block with a 15 degree angle and a attached the base using this block to keep it level.
The next job was to remove 2 oppostite edges of the circle. I know circles don't have edges but cut a chunk out of one and they do. I removed a maximum of 15mm at the widest point of the circle.
The bottom of the base is flush with the sides and is attached by screws.
Step 3: The Upper Retention Fixture
Moving on to the final part. I went fishing in the bin for the cast off from the circle cutting procedure. I was looking for a part of the remains with a width equal to the not so circular base. This needed trimming down to match the dimentions of the base width across the flats as it will be attached to the sides in a similar manner to the base.
Once done the 15 degree block I cut earlier is used to support the upper fixture and this is eyeballed into place so that it sits above the blase in the same plane as the base (continuing the 15 degree angle) With the width of the sides being 75mm this meant the fixture supports the demijohn 75mm up fromt hr bottom. Easliy enough height to provide a steady support for a full demijohn.
Once this is screwed into place it was just a matter of tidying up the overhanging bits and giving it a quick sanding so that it would be allowed in the house.
Job done, safe removal of all valuable alcoholic content is now assured