Thursday, May 9, 2013

DIY Randall the Enamel Animal

DIY Randall the Enamel Animal

Who is Randall? Well he's Randall the Enamel Animal. Still don't know? It's an organoleptic hop transducer module. So... What's that?
Simplistically - a holding tank to filter a draft beer through an ingredient prior to serving. It was invented by Dogfish Head in 2010. Ingredients include but not limited to: hops, fruit, herbs, oak, and vanilla beans. The beer travels from your keg, to the Randall - where it is infused with a fresh, flavor enhancing ingredient, and then to your glass. The Randall allows the user to add a level of complexity, enhancement, and creativity to your brew. Randall's are sold by DFH for a good penny but some of the best parts of homebrewing is not only creating your own beer but your own equipment. So why not make a DIY Randall!

Parts used:

  • Two (2) Pentek 158117 filter housings
  • Four (4) 1/4" NPT to 1/4" Nipple 
  • Northern Brewer Foam Free dispenser tubing for Ball Lock Keg (5ft of 3/16" beverage line with a picnic tap on one end and a ball lock liquid out disconnect on the other)
  • 1" ID x 10" long tube (Stainless Steel, Copper, PVC, other food grade material, etc.). We used the inside spear of a Sanke Keg.
  • Teflon Tape
  • Worm Clamps
  • Pressure Relief Valve (something similar to a Powermate 150 PSI Valve would work)
Step 1:
Teflon tape and screw 1/4" NPT fittings into filter inlets and outlets.

Step 2:

Cut the dispenser tubing in 3 segments. 1 small segment to bridge between the filter housings. 2 longer segments with the ball lock fitting on one end and the picnic tap on the other. Insert each end in their respective nipple and worm clamp your heart out.

Step 3: 
Drill a few small holes into the top of your metal or PVC tubing and insert it into the first chamber in the series. This will allow the beer to flow out of the keg, into the filter housing, up the tubing and cascade over the Randall ingredients.

Step 4:
Mount you Randall so it stands upright and is secure. We simply put 4 screws through a piece of plywood and into the built in inserts made to mount the housing under a sink.

Step 5:
This is the only step that requires some skill. To ensure there is no foaming and to properly regulate the level of liquid in the actual Randall, you are going to want to install a pressure relief valve. To do this, drill a hole in the top of the Randall (bottom of actual filter housing) which will allow you to thread into the housing with the pressure relief valve.
Since this is a hard plastic you are drilling into, there will be gaps which air and water can leak. Therefore, we put plumber's puddy around the sides of the valve followed by gorilla glue to fill any other gaps. And don't forget to teflon tape!

Step 6:
Load the Randall with some fresh ingredients and start flowing beer through it! Check for liquid and gas leaks.

So what should you Randall? What shouldn't you Randall? Randall hops, fruit, cookies, donuts, oak chips, vanilla beans, hot peppers, bacon, spices, etc!

Here is a photo of our first Randall experiment - Samoa Scout Cookie Porter Randalled through Samoa Girl Scout Cookies:


  1. Nice build. I just made one following these instructions, and I had a few questions for you.
    1) What pressure did you end up setting your CO2 regulator at? 2) Did you get any leaks leaving the randall attached while not serving?
    My problem was that the randall leaked while we let it sit for a few hours. I am not sure if it was due to pressure build up in the second chamber or what. Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

  2. Coach - sorry I just noticed you commented. I set the pressure pretty low - 5 psi. Didn't get any leaks from letting it sit. Where was the leak from? The top pressure release? Hope it worked out

  3. My be a stupid question, but does the liquid enter the first chamber where the cookies are in your picture and then sit in there until you release it into the 2nd chamber or does it just run through the first and settle in the 2nd? I guess I am wondering if there is a way to control how long the beer sits in with whatever flavor you want to impart? Thank you for sharing!

  4. I'm thinking about doing a build myself, how is this holding up?