How to Make a Randall With a Water Filter Housing

Dogfish Head’s New Randall the Enamel Animal

The Randall was first pioneered by the ever-innovative Dogfish Head Brewery in Maryland. Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head’s founder and president, was looking for a way to make his brutally-bitter 120 Minute IPA even more hoppy at an event called the “Lupulin Slam” in 2002 (lupulin is a bitter powder found on hop plants).

Sam built a makeshift water filter and filled it with Cascade and Willamette hops before sending the 120 Minute IPA through it. Hopheads at the event were stunned at how fresh and resinous the beer’s hop presence was, even if it did seem like it could strip the enamel off of your teeth. Thus “Randall the Enamel Animal” was born.

These days, brewers and homebrewers alike fill Randalls and water filters with much more than just hops. Some common Randall fillers include coffee or vanilla beans, bourbon-soaked oak, fresh fruit, candy canes and jalapeno peppers.

Don’t worry: if you can’t afford Dogfish Head’s Randall the Enamel Animal at $375, you can make your own Randall beer filter out of a water filter housing for a fraction of the price.

How to Make a Randall the Enamel Animal:

1. Find an appropriate water filter housing. A standard 10″ water filter housing should work for most applications. You’ll probably want to go with a clear water filter housing, so that you can see whatever ingredients you stuff in it. Since most beer lines are 1/4″, it would make since to find a filter housing that could accommodate 1/4″ lines (rather than using bungs to convert the fittings). Popular outlet sizings on these housings include 1/4″, 1/2″ and 3/4″. Just make sure it either matches the size of your existing line, that you have the appropriate fittings to convert it. The Pentek 158117 Filter Housing is a popular, economical choice.

2. Make a stainless-steel filter replacement. Since a true water filter would diminish the flow you need to move beer through the filter, you’ll want to construct a piece of stainless steel to stand in for the filter. You can drill holes through it to allow for a good flow. Most standard 10″ water filters measure around 2 1/2″ x 9 3/4″.

3. Assemble fittings, tubing, disconnects and other assorted hardware. HopWild gives a good run-down of the various hardware you’ll need to build the Randall, and walks you through the necessary steps.

If you liked this post, be sure to come back to read about which water filters to use for homebrewing. If you have any questions about which filter housings would be appropriate, feel free to leave a comment below.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Threatens Indoor Ice Skating Rinks

New ice resurfacers are powered electrically and do not pose a threat.

The EPA provides strict indoor air quality guidelines for recreational arenas, including ice skating rinks, but unfortunately, not everyone follows them. One writer recently noted that carbon monoxide poisoning is a potential threat for people who visit ice skating rinks that use fuel-fired ice resurfacers and edgers. New machines are electrically powered and do not pose a threat, but there are some indoor ice rinks that use machines fueled with diesel, propane or gasoline.

In addition to carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter also pose health risks. Parents should be aware of the signs of poisoning from air pollution if their children frequent these arenas, namely shortness of breath, mild headaches and nausea. These symptoms often mimic flu symptoms, and may be mistaken as such.

Good health starts with indoor air quality. If your children don’t frequent these arenas, it is still important to make sure the air in your own home is clean and safe to breathe. Check out our series, “Filters for Kids,” to learn more about ways to ensure your kids stay healthy with quality furnace filters and air purifiers. And since your children likely spend most of their time at school, it’s important to know what their school is doing to create a healthy environment as well.

Fortunately, we are in the winter season. If you live in a cold climate, you may want to take advantage of an outdoor ice skating arena in your area, while there is still time.