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First AG - Story Stick?

I’m going to brew my first all grain this weekend using a converted keg for my kettle. It doesn’t have any way of measuring volume, so I plan to make a story stick. My questions are: What material should I make it out of (wood, pvc, etc)?; and, What should I use to mark the fluid levels with (sharpie, paint, nail polish, etc)?

I just use a yardstick marked with sharpie. I wouldnt use anything like nail polish cause of the chemicals they have, but Ive never noticed any problem with my yardstick and sharpie

Stay away from anything stained or lacquered. Hard woods like oak will absorb less wort, if that is an issue. No need to get all fancy though, you could just use a stick from the back yard, or guesstimate using the ridges on the keg itself.

I tried using something like that at first, then I made a calculator in Ms Excel that will calculate the volume by entering the height of the wort in inches. Radius squared X pi X height of wort / 231 = gallons
I feel it’s more accurate than marking off gallons on a stick. That’s just me though.

Aluminum flat bar works great. You can pick it up at your local home improvement store. Use a Dremel to make your marks.

I have been wanting to do this as well. I was thinking though, couldnt I just use my long steel spoon, mark on it with sharpie? Or are we thinking the sharpie will come off in the wort?
My Mash Tun 10 gallon cooler already comes marked inside, so that is a bonus.

i used the spear from the keg i converted. i marked it with a sharpie first. then a grinding wheel.

I think sharpie would eventually come off as the SS is not porous, you could nick the edges of the spoon to provide the level.

This would work for a perfectly cylindrical pot but a converted keggle it would not be as accurate. Much better to measure out the liquid in a known container and then pour it and the mark off the height on your stick, spoon, whatever.

After you get sick of having another piece of equipment laying around buy one of these, works awesome.

http://www.brewhardware.com/wlsightglass/49-weldless-sight-glass-kit

[quote=“Porterman”]I tried using something like that at first, then I made a calculator in Ms Excel that will calculate the volume by entering the height of the wort in inches. Radius squared X pi X height of wort / 231 = gallons
I feel it’s more accurate than marking off gallons on a stick. That’s just me though.[/quote]

I got some seamless 304 stainless steel tubing from McMaster Carr and used a grinding disc on a Dremel to mark it.

I used a piece of copper tubing and after marking with sharpie, I used the pipe cutter to make a scribe completely around the copper. Then, I wiped the sharpie off with rubbing alcohol.

I use a turkey fryer, so it seems to be pretty accurate for my set up.

I use 1/2" CPVC with a cap glued on the bottom so I don’t have to clean the inside of the pipe.

O-rings on the plastic spoon. I can adjust them as my hardware changes, but they stay in place while brewing.

Wow! Alot of good solutions. I found a nice length of 1" aluminum square tubing at my local home store. I poured 1 gallon at a time into the kettle and marked each one starting at 2. I used an awl and a square to scribe each mark all the way around. Then I marked 1/2 and 1/4 gallon between each. I engraved the marks using my Dremmel. It looks good but, I’ll post after I use it in the morning. Thanks for all of the replies and good ideas.

I put some small lines on my SS spoon, and used it yesterday. Wow, I should have done this years ago.
Used a dremel.

Good idea.

The engraved markings worked great. They were visible even through the steam at the end of the boil.

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