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Exhaust Fan / Vent Hood



** Video of the Brew Fan in Action! **


After buying a new Brewzilla electric brew system, I wanted to setup some kind of vent hood/exhaust fan in my basement so I could brew down there.  I recalled seeing an article in BYO about building a cheaper vent hood, but I couldn't find the article, so after some searching online, I ended up finding a HomebrewTalk forum post that was actually the same guy that submitted the build to BYO.  All the parts can be had for around $100-150, which is WAY cheaper than a traditional vent hood setup.  I've included build instructions and a parts list below of my build.  Hopefully this helps other people looking to brew inside and get rid of some of that excess moisture.

Parts List

Quantity Part Link/Location
1 30 qt Stainless Mixing Bowl Amazon
1 4" Inline Duct Fan Amazon
1 Variable Speed Fan Controller (optional but highly recommended) Amazon
1 4" x 8' Semi-Rigid Aluminum Ducting Amazon or Menards
1 4" Dryer Easy Connector (used to attach bowl to fan) Amazon or Menards
1 4" 90 Degree Adjustable Duct Elbow Amazon or Menards
1 4" Snap Collar Duct Fitting Amazon or Menards
3 4" Duct Worm Clamps Amazon or Menards
  Wood screws, small bolts & nuts to connect fan to bowl, small nails or screws, silicone  
  Spare plywood (for window section & to mount fan to rafters if needed)  


Vent Hood Build

1. Start off by finding a good spot in your basement that's close to a sliding window.  I had a small window in the unfinished portion of my basement where I had all my other brewing stuff, so this worked out well.  Once you have a spot picked out, you can move forward with the fan build.

2. Cut a 4" hole in the bottom of the Stainless Mixing Bowl.  I tried using a metal hole saw and some cutting oil, but it wasn't really working, so I switched to a cutoff wheel on my Dremel tool and made quick work of cutting the hole.  You may also need to widen the hole a bit and smooth it out in order to fit the Dryer Easy Connector.

3.  Fit the Dryer Easy Connector through the hold, and drill 4 holes through both the PVC and the metal bowl. Once the holes have been drilled, apply some silicone to the inside of the Dryer Easy Connector that will come in contact with the bowl, press the connector through the bowl, and use bolts, nuts, and washers to tighten down the connector to the bowl as seen in the images below.  Smooth out any extra silicone on the inside of the bowl to provide a good seal.

4. Drill two or three holes in the lip of the Dryer Easy Connector and through the lip of the input side of the Inline Duct Fan. This will be used to connect the bowl/hood assembly to the fan once it's mounted.

5.  Cut a spare piece of plywood that will hang down below the bottom of your rafters to mount your Inline Duct Fan to.  You will need to account for the height of your fan along with the height of the 90 degree adjustable duct elbow, so make sure you measure multiple times before deciding how much wood you need. Also as you can see from my picture, the spare piece of plywood I had wasn't quite wide enough, so I had to add some straight metal braces to my piece of plywood and attach the fan using bolts, washers, and nuts instead of using wood screws.  Once your piece of plywood is in place use a level to make sure the fan is straight and screw (or bolt) your fan to the wood.

Once your motor has been mounted to the plywood, attach your bowl/hood using bolts, washers, and nuts.  Also attach your 90 degree adjustable duct elbow and secure with a worm clamp.  NOTE:  Once the fan and bowl/hood were mounted, I noticed it wanted to lean a little towards my board due to the weight.  I ended up fixing this by installing an eye screw in the opposite rafter and using a couple zip ties to create tension to help keep the bowl/hood level.  This seems to be working pretty good so far, so I haven't had to make any alterations yet.

6. Measure and cut a piece of plywood that will fit inside your window that you will vent out of.  Mine goes in at an angle and sits nicely inside the window well so I can slide the window up against it to hold the wood in place.  After dry-fitting the wood, cut a 4" hole in the plywood and attach the 4" Snap Collar Duct Fitting using small nails or screws.

7. Attach the 4" Semi-Rigid Aluminum Ducting to the 90 degree elbow from the fan and connect the other end to your piece of plywood in the window with the Snap Collar Duct Fitting using a couple 4" worm drive duct clamps.  I thought I would need some kind of support to keep the ductwork suspended, but it stays put pretty well.  Make sure the ductwork is at a decline from the fan to the window so moisture is less likely to get stuck in there between brew sessions.  When not using the fan for brewing, I remove the wooden panel and use an S-Hook and an eye screw attached to the wood to keep the board suspended next to the window.  Also important to note, I like to run the fan for 15-30 minutes after I'm done brewing to make sure to dry out the fan and ductwork so I don't get any mold or other issues in the system.


Contact Information:  MikeYoungHB at gmail.com

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