DIY Permanent Brew Pot Markings

posted in: Equipment | 4

So on Thursday morning I woke up around 4:10 in the morning and something in my head kept telling me, “You need volume markings on your brew pot, RIGHT NOW.”  So I lifted my ass out of bed and made it happen.

I got the idea from this thread over at the HomeBrewTalk forums.  He was right, the hardest part of it all was taping off your marks.  I had been wanting to do this for some time now so I already had everything I needed.  I just needed to put Q-tip to metal…

What is needed?  Distilled white vinegar, salt, two pieces of wire about 1.5 ft in length, a 9 volt battery, electric tape, masking tape, and a Q-tip.


I gathered up the materials and taped off where I wanted to markings to be.  First, I put a strip of the blue painting tape on the inside of the pot.  To find my marks I measured out a gallon of water and poured it in, making sure my pot was level.  Then I marked on the tape with a pen where the first gallon mark will go.  I marked it on the water line, I didnt feel that the meniscus was too far away.  For the second mark I did the same thing, poured in a measured gallon then marked on the water line.  The six remaining marks were found by measuring between the first two, and then marking that distance from each new level.


After that is was time to wire it up.  I mixed 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar and 1/4 tsp salt and let it dissolve.  Then I took some wire and taped one to the positive and one negative terminals.  The positive wire was taped directly to the kettle, and the negative was wrapped around the fuzzy end of the Q-tip then taped to help secure it.


I knew it was working once I heard a feint sizzle from rubbing the Q-tip between the tape.  It took about 3 minutes of rubbing on each mark to get it fairly even:


After I was done with the lines, I took the numbers from a this set of stick on stencils I bought at Michael’s.  I performed the same trick with the numbers as I did with the lines and here is the finished product:


Not bad for the first time.  I have another smaller pot I plan on doing this to, so I’ll get some more practice.


– Keep the Q-tip wet.  I noticed a cleaner etch after I re-wet the Q-tip with the solution.

– I laid my kettle on its side, use some tape on the lip to keep it from rolling around.

– Don’t be afraid to go over your marks a few times.  Wipe with a paper towel to see if you are satisfied with the etch.  If you think it needs some more, go for it.

4 Responses

  1. avatar

    That I must say look profesional! A i do need to try this myself. Thanks for inspiration. Found your blog on hbt, and i will be back.
    Keep up the good work.

  2. avatar

    nice! looks great man! I have been wanting to do this, I had found this on Pinterest. I’m planning on doing this on my keggles. I wonder how big of stencils i should get.

    • avatar

      Those are half inch numbers in an 8 gallon pot, the pot is 12.5 inch deep. Maybe 1 inchers would be easier to see in a keggle?

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