I know what you are thinking, "Why am I staring at what can only be a big coffee can?" If you look back to just the other day, I was thinking about some upgrades and improvements (as well as other general type stuff) I will be doing over the course of this month.
I had a thought of some work I could do on my grill not too long ago. Its a decent sized one (basically a store bought steel drum style) but it has been lacking one important aspect, a side smoker attachment. Enter the coffee can. Its big enough that I should be able to set it up in this capacity (unless of course the heat melts the can). This will take a little bit of fabricating but its all said and done it should be a nice addition to what I can do with my grill.
As I was staring at this coffee can my mind began to wander (big surprise there) and I realized a few connections. People who brew (pro and home brewers), as well as those who cook (more toward the pros) tend to have a bit of MacGuiver in them. Sometimes you just have to throw something together that most people might not have thought of until they see what it is you have done. And then sometimes its more like "How the hell did you just make a cell phone out of a pack of gum, a coconut, and a shoelace?"
I have to wonder if maybe there is just a bit of wiring different in their brains. Sometimes I look around my brewery and it amazes me with the whole mad scientist feel to the place. Sure, I have had changes to equipment and some beers that weren't worth saving. But the lessons learned from stuff like that was worth the cost. It was the mistakes that brought out better innovations to make the whole thing better and build skills.
I guess what my point with all this nonsense is, don't be afraid to experiment. Sure a coffe can used as part of a smoker sounds like it could fail miserably. But then it may also turn out to be an amazing addition to your equipment that you find you have no idea how you worked it all without it.
Time for a pint...