Sunday, December 12, 2010

Screwy's 5 Gallon Mash Tun

Today I assembled and tested my 5 gallon mash tun made from parts I bought off the shelf at my local Home Depot (see complete parts list below). The Rubbermaid cooler cost $20.00 and the other assorted plumbing parts added about another $35.00. For less than $60.00 you too can built your very own mash tun in under 4 fours, including making a trip to Home Depot.

According to BrewWiki this type of cooler is ideal for infusion mashing where hot water is added to the grains, and the cooler is then sealed to maintain a constant temperature during the conversion process. A cooler will typically only lose a degree or two (F) during the hour long mashing process. The simplicity of infusion mashing in a Gott type cooler makes it a favorite with brewers. 

Single infusion mashing is the simplest mashing method for at home brewing, it uses room temperature crushed grains added to a calculated amount of hot water and maintaining a fixed temperature for an hour. Accurately calculating both the volume and temperature of the strike water allows you to hit the target temperature for the combined mash, somewhere between the 147 - 155 F temperature range.

 Screwy's 5 Gallon Mash Tun Cost Under $60.00 To Build

Complete project parts list:
1 - Home Depot Store SKU # 442438 Rubbermaid 5-Gallon Jug with Cup Dispenser
1 - Watts 3/8 OD x 7/8 BC x 20 inch stainless steel braided filler connector
1 - Danco 80746 Moen Repair Kit 5/8 O rings
1 - Mueller 107-702 3/8 Ball Valve - Full Port
1 - Crown Bolt Inc. Create-A-Bolt 5/8 stainless steel
2 - Watts A-785  3/8 MIP x Close Nipple
1 - Watts A-773  3/8 MIP Square Heap Plug
3 - Watts A-298  3/8 Barb x 3/8 FIP Hose Barb Adapter
3 - Stainless steel 1/2 hose clamps

Parts Assembly Overview

I made the bottom mash filter in about an hour and I assembled it outside the cooler before installing it. Once it was assembled and the valve adapter and ball valve were tightened I pushed the braid end of the mash filter over the end of the barb fitting and tightened down the hose clamp.


Screwy's 5 Gallon Mash Tun With 3/8 Ball Valve


The Stainless Steel Mash Filter
I spent about 4 hours over the past few days researching how others have already modified 5 gallon Igloo or Rubbermaid coolers and turned them into inexpensive mash tuns. I opted to incorporate the braided stainless steel filter design rather than the false bottom design. For me putting together the parts list and assembling the braided filter was also the easiest to do and all the parts I needed were available at my nearest Home Depot store.

20 Inch Long Stainless Steel Braided Mash Filter

I started out with a 20 inch stainless steel braided water connector that I bought at Home Depot. I then cut off both crimped connectors using a pair of inlaid aviation snipes, you could also use a side grinder or dremel tool to do this. 

20 Inch Length Of Stainless Steel Braided Hose

Many of the braided water connectors on the shelves looked like they were made from stainless steel when in fact they were not, make sure you use the part in my material list you don't want one made from polymers.



Cut Through The Stainless Steel Braiding To Remove The Ends

My aviation shears, or tin snips, made short work of cutting through the stainless steel braiding but be prepared to deal with some very tiny and sharp ends after the cut. I later gently folded the cut ends inside the braid and squeezed them under to create a neat bend before pushing the barb adapter into the ends.

Pull Out The 3/8 Inch Plastic Tube From Inside The Braiding

After both ends were cut off I used a pair of pliers to help pull the 3/8 plastic tubing out of the stainless steel braiding



12 Gauge Copper Wire Coiled For Support

I stripped the ground wire from a 20 inch length of 12 gauge Romex electrical cable and used it to create a stiffener for the inside of the braided mash filter to add support so it wouldn't collapse under the weight of the water and wet grains.

12 Gauge Ground Wire Wrapped Around 3/8 Diameter
A vise grip locks one end of the wire to the 3/8 diameter coil form so it's easy to wrap the wire around it without too much effort.
Mash Filter End With 3/8 Barb And Plug
Attach the end barb to the filter braid using a small stainless steel hose clamp and then hand tighten the plug into the threaded end of the barb to seal it.

12 Gauge Wire Coil Stretched To Length
Stretching the coil by holding both ends firmly and pulling them apart lengthens the coil and reduces it's diameter so it will slip inside the braided mash filter easily.

Trim Coil Wire On Vavle Adapter End
Trim off any excess coil length with a pair of wire cutters after it's inserted all the way inside the braid.


The Valve Adapter
The valve adapter is made from the rubber gasket that comes installed in the cooler from the factory, it forms a perfect seal around the hole in the cooler wall for a watertight fit, a 3/8 close nipple, a stainless steel flat washer and a barb adapter .

Apply Teflon Tape For A Watertight Fit

 Before we get started I want to point out that I Teflon taped most of the connections, the 3/8 valve adapter in in particular as I don't plan on unscrewing it any time soon for cleaning. The plug on end of the mash filter didn't get any tape but the 3/8 nipple did on both ends before it got screwed into the ball valve through the cooler wall.
Valve Adapter Assembly Parts Display
To make the assembly easier remove the spigot that came with your cooler but leave the gasket inside the hole in the cooler wall, this will help provide a watertight seal.
Rubbermaid Cooler With Spigot Gasket
From the inside of the cooler push the valve adapter assembly (remove the O ring first) through the gasket until it can't go anymore. From the outside of the cooler slip the O ring over the 3/8 nipple end of the valve adapter while holding the adapter from the inside.
Valve Adapter With O Ring
On the inside of the cooler you can see the barb fitting a stainless steel washer and part of the valve gasket. I put a slight bend in the washer by tapping it with a hammer while it was laying on the floor with a 1/8 wooden shim under one end. Doing this will allow the flat washer to conform to the inside radius of the cooler wall a little better.
Gasket, Flat Washer And 3/8 Barb Shown


The Ball Valve
The ball valve screws onto the 3/8 nipple end of the valve adapter using 2 stainless steel flat washers as spacers. The spacers provide a tight seal on the O ring and keep the ball valve far enough away from the cooler wall so that the valve handle won't hit into it.
Ball Valve And Washers Tightened Onto Valve Adapter
After the ball valve has been firmly tightened to the valve adapter the braided mash filter connects to the inside end of the valve adapter using a small stainless steel hose clamp.
Gasket Compressed Using Slight Radius In Washer

I filled the cooler with 3 gallons of hot tap water and let it sit for about 30 minutes or so and there weren't any leaks. The gasket, O ring and washers provided a perfectly watertight seal.
A 30 Minute Water Test To Find Leaks
The mash filter and 3/8 ball valve emptied 3 quarts of 115F water in a minute and easily provides a fast enough flow rate for my Mr. Beer sized batches.
3 Quarts Per Minute Water Flow Rate
The last step in the assembly was to screw on the 3/8 close nipple, barb adapter and push on a length of 3/8 plastic tubing.
The Completed 3/8 Ball Valve And Barb Assembly
I've read online where other brewers said they liked using ball valves because the valve design makes it easier to clear out a clog simply by twisting the handle between open and closed. The consensus I researched among brewers regarding stuck mashes favored using the braided stainless steel mash filter design over the false bottoms as well. The braided stainless steel filter is easy to clean, less prone to clogging, simply to make  and empties more completely than some false bottom designs.

 Mash temperatures play a significant role in the creation of your wort and the beer that is made from it. Many brewing publications agree that the optimum temperature range for an infusion mash ranges from 147°F to 155°F. A mash done at the lower end of this range will produce a well attenuated lower gravity beer and a mash done at the higher end of the range will produce a dextrinous higher gravity beer.

Now that my new mash tun is ready to go I will be using my Mash Temperature Calculators to help me figure out my mash thickness, rest boil times, strike water volume and temperatures for both mashing and sparging.

11 Pounds Of Mixed Cracked Grains
 I regularly add 11 pounds of grain to my mash tun now and at a 1.25 mash thickness it takes up a total volume of 4.5 gallons leaving me enough extra room for adjusting to my target temperature if needed. I do 60 to 90 minute single infusion mashes for my recipes and lauter for 30 minutes using a fly sparge process.

Fly Sparging With 168F Strike Water During Lauter
The 5 gallon size is perfect for brewing either a single 5 gallons batch or two Mr. Beer sized batches like I do. The tun is small enough to fit inside my sink and that makes it really easy to clean. I've never mashed using a 10 gallon tun but I think it might be easier using two 5 gallon tuns instead.

Lifting And Cleaning The 5 Gallon Tun Is Easy
I've brewed around 10 all grain recipes so far using my mash tun making it the centerpiece of my brewhaus because without it I'd be lost. Initially I had to do quite a bit of calculations to determine the mash thickness, total volume and how to hit the target mash temperatures. I wrote them all down and for the first several brews made some modifications mostly to temperatures.

Lautering Into Two 12 Quart Pots For Mr. Beer Sized Batches
Now I know from memory that adding 11 pounds of grains and filling the tun to the 4.5 gallon mark will give me a 1.25 mash thickness. I also learned that by preheating the tun with 160F water for 20 minutes and using my Mash Temperature Calculators I can come pretty close to hitting my target mash temperatures, making my brew days a lot more fun.

My mash tun has been heavily used for a little over two years now since posting this original design, so I decided to update this post to go over what I've found to be the best way of maintaining it. All I've ever done to maintain the mash tun is to remove the spent grains and thoroughly rinse out the insides with clean water until there were no grains left inside. Then I just turned the tun upside down with the top facing down on a towel and a small air space under one side so all the water could drain out. Once most of the water had drained out I turned them right side up so they would air dry.

Filter Braid Inspection After Two Years Of Heavy Use

I've recently torn down my mash tun for inspection and after dissembling the filter braid I found no signs of verdigris on any of the parts that have come in contact with the wort. All the copper and brass parts had developed an even dull colored protective oxide layer on them that protects the wort from contamination.
I've read posts in some forums where white vinegar and salt, or StarSan was used to clean the copper parts and get them shining like new. After reading John Palmer's article I decided I'll just use clean water to remove and bits of grain and keep the protective oxide layers that have already built up on mine.

The 10 Gallon Version thanks to Craig Horton who was thoughtful enough to share his parts list with us list for those who may be interested in build your own 10 gallon version of his design. Craig has also provided me with a picture of his build.

Craig Horton's 10 Gallon Design
Thanks for posting the parts list, the pictures and the step-by-step instructions. I did a slight modification by using a T-Connector (Watts #A-168 Tee Connector 3/8 in FL) and a Coupling (Watts #LFA-760 Coupling 3/8 in FIP). Concisely, I followed your exact instructions and connected the braided mash filter to the other end of the T-Connector instead of using the Plug (Watts A-773 - 3/8 MIP Square Heap Plug). The Coupling fits between the T-Connector and the Nipple with the braided mesh essentially forming a circle in the bottom of the mash tun. I just completed a water test and this looks good to go. I plan to brew an APA on the 6th and I am looking forward to my first all grain brew. Thanks again for posting the information. ~Craig

55 comments:

  1. Going to Home Depot tomorrow! I can't wait to start doing partial and all grain batches now! Thanks a lot man, your a good man.

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  2. I came up with a kind of hybrid between your design and that in How To Brew and made my first all grain MB sized batch a few weeks ago. It worked great! I just wanted to tell you I only started homebrewing (with a Mr. Beer kit originally) about six months ago but have moved on to bigger batches but still use my Mr Beer as an experimental vessel. I love reading your stuff to give me new ideas! Thanks! Happy brewing! (Up next, a coconut porter!)

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  3. Great write up. I was wondering what your opinion was of a longer braided line coiled to fill the bottom of the cooler, giving a greater area to drain and less chance of channeling?

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  4. I'm not opposed to increasing the length another 12 inches, but never thought about adding several more feet than that. I guess it could only help but I have to say I'm happy with the original length.

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  5. I'm gonna give it a crack, I'll report back here with my findings. :) . Once again, thanks for the inspiration.

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  6. I like the efficiencies I've been getting with this mash tun design so last weekend we built another one using the same parts list and an older model round 5 gallon cooler. Doubling your mashing capacity also doubles your output and your fun.

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  7. Rick (slykryck on MrB)January 18, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    Screwy, I have been doing BIAB and really considering building a mash tun. I've been looking at your design and a very similar one I saw on the homebrewtalk forum. Both were round coolers and the parts list is very similar. My question is have you had any problems with the hose clamps inside the mash tun? The original poster on homebrewtalk ran into an issues with the clamps rusting.

    Thanks,
    Rick

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  8. Not at all because I used stainless steel hose clamps which will not rust. The design has worked so well for me that I recently built another one using an older model round cooler and the same exact parts list.

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  9. Thank you very much for the detailed list and illustrated directions. I followed your directions and have had very good results. I reprinted the parts list here, with a few modifications, plus a tools list. My costs were about $65 in March 2012. No leaks and only a minimal temperature drop over an hour.

    1 - Home Depot Store SKU # 442438 Rubbermaid 5-Gallon Jug with Cup Dispenser
    1 - Watts 3/8 OD x 7/8 BC x 20 inch stainless steel braided filler connector
    1 - Danco 80746 Moen Repair Kit 5/8 O rings
    1 - Mueller 107-702 3/8 Ball Valve-Full Port or Apollo THD94A102 3/8" Fullport Ball Valve
    2 - Watts A-785 3/8 MIP x Close Nipple
    1 - Watts A-773 3/8 MIP Square Head Plug
    3 - Watts A-298 3/8 Barb x 3/8 FIP Hose Barb Adapter
    3 - Stainless steel 1/2 hose clamps
    3 - Stainless steel flat washers 5/8" ID
    20" Copper ground wire, stripped from 12 gauge Romex
    2" Teflon tape
    Tools:
    Wire snippers or aviation shears or Dremel tool
    Flat screwdriver
    Hammer
    Adjustable wrench (3/4")
    Needlenose pliers
    Matte knife

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  10. Your welcome and thanks for taking the time to post your parts and tools listing too. I've built two of these now and have mashed dozens of all grain batches with them and have never had a problem with the design.

    I preheat the tun with 170F water for about 20 minutes before before using it for mashing. I also lay a couple of folded towels on the top of the tun lid during the mash, this keeps the mash temperature very stable.

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  11. Thanks for posting this and the Home Depot parts list! Usually I find Home Depot to be a frustrating experience but with this list I was able to get an employee to help me grab everything in five minutes (3/2012)

    Very excited to build this out next week! Also wanted to let other readers know Home Depot carries a store brand 10 gallon cylinder cooler for cheap.

    I guess from your comments about using Mr. Beer fermenters you have not built a three tier system yet?

    T.

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  12. Built one. Piece of cake! Thanks so much!

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  13. thx so much for the write up. Just built my setup and plan on mashing for the first time next wkd.

    super helpful!

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  14. Warning: Not all HD 5gal Rubbermaid coolers are this model! I just bought all the materials only to find out that the opening on the cooler I bought is too big. I'm not sure whether I can salvage this by finding a bigger O-ring to fill in the gap or whether I need to pray that I can return all the hardware and find 1/2" versions of everything. The barcode on the cooler I got at my local HD ends in 44490 9

    Thanks for the details, everything else here is super easy to follow. I'll try to post an update once I figure out how to get this to work.

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  15. Bought the parts and built this on Saturday night and brewed on Sunday. Worked like a charm! Thanks for the great write up. Trickiest part for me was the washers for either side of the valve. My Home Depot did not have the "create a bolt" kit and they had no washers with 5/8" internal diameter (which is what is needed ... 3 x washers @ 5/8" ID). Somehow, I got lucky and had some in a box of old washers and miscellaneous HW. They were really tight. Found that it is important on that step to barely thread the inside barb connector first (do not screw on all the way), then connect the valve and then kind of screw together from both sides. If you screw on the inside all the way, there just isn't enough thread showing on the outside to get the valve on. After all was said and done, no leaks, stayed precisely on temperature for 60 minutes, sparging and draining was super easy. Thanks again.

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  16. Another satisfied customer, thanks for sharing Mike! I've learned that once I throw out some old hardware I'll more than likely need it the very next day. Keep on brewing.

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  17. Completed the mash tun and plan to brew my first all grain batch this weekend! Thanks!

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  18. Just built this up with an old cooler I had lying around and picked up the hardware listed, can't wait to use it. Write up was simple and the wire in the stainless for support is genius although it was a little difficult to get started in the braided line. Cheap and easy, just the way I like my mash tuns (and women)

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  19. Nice, has anyone done this with a 10 Gallon? Will all the parts fit?

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  20. Had the same issue as Eric above with the bigger diameter hole for my 5 gallon cooler. I am faced with a debate now on whether to try with the 3/8 in or the half inch. I think the 3/8 might work, but i am worried about the nozzel being loose. If I go with the half inch I am nervous the washer on the inside will be too big based on the curve of the cooler to get a tight fit....

    Thoughts? I will post back with results.

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    Replies
    1. I had the same problem. The washer is too big. I used an angle grinder to cut a flat edge so the washer didn't cut into the bottom of the cooler. I also bent the washer to better fit the inside radius of the cooler. After 3 trips to home depot it is assembled and doesn't leak. I also didn't have success with a 1/2 close now. Had to go with 1/2" x 1-1/2".

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  21. I actually placed 1/4 inch pieces of wood under the inside stainless steel washer's edges and tapped the center of the washer with a small hammer. Doing this bent the washer just enough to match the radius of the inside of the cooler providing a nice tight seal.

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  22. I'm building this right now, and went with 1/2 as a result of the larger hole issue mentioned above. Having some trouble getting a good seal around the spigot after several attempts, so I am going to try again with a bent washer. It seems like another issue might be the outside wall of the cooler around the spigot hole, which doesn't seem as flat as the one shown in the pictures here and so the single o-ring may not be

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  23. I think you're on the right track any type of larger plastic, rubber or Teflon washer should be ok for getting a good seal around the spigot, I'd stay away from fiber washers if they're likely to absorb wort and stay wet for extended periods.

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  24. Well I just finished my first brew with the tun. Had fantastic results. Went with the 3/8 like the tutorial said. The only change was that I also added a rubber washer along side the o-ring. The rubber washer came with my model of cooler. Had no leaks at all!

    Thanks for the advice everyone.

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  25. i used your design but did not have the copper wire to add for support to the stainless steel filler. i have a portable drill press. i took the plastic hose from the filler drilled numerous 5/32 holes in it. used a round file to remove the burrs in hose and re-inserted the hose in the braided filler. i tested it with a small quantity of spent grain and it worked fine.

    thanks for the design

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  26. Just built this with a 10 gallon cooler and it worked perfectly.

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  27. After some "stellar" service at HD I have found that the red version (SKU# 771153) works as well. Essentially the customer service were trying to argue with me that the 2 models were the same thing, even though they have different product numbers and are different colors. What it came down to was that they didn't want to get the lift to get the box off the top rack with the correct coolers in it. Oh well, now I know.

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  28. Okay Guys, you make it sound so easy that a woman could build one ~ we shall see. I'm going to HD in the morning to collect my 'goodies' ... I'll be sure to let y'all know if a woman can follow theses "simple' directions. I'l on;y make 'can' beer... and I assisted with a partial ... I am hopping the fence to the ALL GRAIN SIDE! :-)

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  29. Go for it Debbie, it's easy to build and makes great tasting beer! There's plenty of gals out there brewing beer, why not give it a try.

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  30. You did a great job on this. I just want to be sure to caution anyone about using copper, in any area where you can't completely clean it.
    You know that green oxidation that collects on copper roofs, statues, pennies & whatnot?
    It's called 'Verdigris' & it can poison you.
    I would recommend that anyone making a mashtun use a stainless steel wire, to stiffen their braided hose.

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  31. The issue of Verdigris has come up and I have researched it myself before, the link below to Brew Your Own magazine explains it in great detail too.

    I tore down my braided hose and inspected all the copper and brass parts and found no signs of verdigris at all, what I did find is that the parts had the stable oxide layer dull copper color that protects the wort from verdigris. I will sleep much better tonight knowing this.

    http://byo.com/stories/issue/item/1144-metallurgy-for-homebrewers

    "Copper is relatively inert to both wort and beer. With regular use, it will build up a stable oxide layer (dull copper color) that will protect it from any further interaction with the wort. Only minimal cleaning to remove surface grime, hop bits and wort protein is necessary. There is no need to clean copper shiny-bright after every use or before contact with your wort. It is better if the copper is allowed to form a dull copper finish with use."

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  32. Hi Screwy - Thanks for posting the parts list, the pictures and the step-by-step instructions. I did a slight modification by using a T-Connector (Watts #A-168 Tee Connector 3/8 in FL) and a Coupling (Watts #LFA-760 Coupling 3/8 in FIP). Concisely, I followed your exact instructions and connected the braided mash filter to the other end of the T-Connector instead of using the Plug (Watts A-773 - 3/8 MIP Square Heap Plug). The Coupling fits between the T-Connector and the Nipple with the braided mesh essentially forming a circle in the bottom of the mash tun. I just completed a water test and this looks good to go. I plan to brew an APA on the 6th and I am looking forward to my first all grain brew. Thanks again for posting the information. Craig

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    1. Hi Screwy - Just a quick update - I entered my IPA in a competition at the local home brew shop and took first in the category and tied for Best of Show. I lost the "taste-off", but I am very happy to how well the beer did. I have a batch of English Brown in the fermenter right now and the all grain set up works very well. Have a great weekend.

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    2. Good to hear Craig, sounds like one tasty IPA you've brewed up right there. Last weekend I brewed my first wheat beer of the season and had no issues at all with the lauter or sparging, the braided hose filter is a great design and it hasn't ever let me down.

      We'll be enjoying several Rye Ales on tap here this weekend, have a good weekend and happy brewing!

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  33. Thanks for sharing your design with us Craig, it's folks like you that continue to make this build better by offering different options. I was just drinking a cup of coffee this morning and thinking how great it's been to never have had a stuck sparge once after over 50 mashes and how reliable this mash tun design has proven to be.

    If you're interested send me a picture or two of your braided mesh assembly and I'll post it in this thread for others to see as well.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Screwy - Send me your email address and I'll send you a picture.

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  34. Heyl, great write up. One improvement on the standard bulkhead design in most DIY mash tuns I came up with is drinking water safe epoxy instead of a rubber seal. I always had issues with mine leaking after a few batches after the strike water hit it and rapidly changed the temperature. The epoxy molds right to the surface and creates a great seal, and you don't need to maintain such tight tolerances with your parts. Full details can be found over at my blog post:
    http://lifefermented.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/diy-mash-tun/

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  35. I'm sure having drinking water grade epoxy on hand can come in handy for lots of projects in the brewroom, thanks for the tip. I also have to point out to other readers of this post that after building two mash tuns using my design, neither one has leaked in nearly 3 years of very heavy use.

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  36. Your design looks better than the Igloo because of the gasket inserted between the HDPE walls around the drain hole. What happened to my Igloo setting is that there was a leakage from the mashtun into the polypropelene layer BETWEEN the plastic walls.
    After using it for the 5th time I couldn't stop thinking about the bacteria and mould growing between the walls, feeding on the wort residue that I would never be able to clean properly. Have you had this problem?

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  37. I haven't run into that problem, the gaskets seal the walls really tight and there is no leakage. I used stainless steel flat washers that I bent just enough to fit the inside curvature of the mash tun, doing that let's the gasket seat evenly on the inside. The outside gasket sits flat up against the outlet of the cooler, it's a really good design.

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  38. Thank you! Thank you!!! I can't wait to get started!!

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  39. Has anyone been able to successfully find 5/8 SS (not zinc plated thank you) flat washers? I am beginning to think that these were 1/2 ones that were bored out a little.

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  40. Has anyone been able to find these 5/8inch SS washers. i can only find zinc plated ones and I am not going to use those. FRT I can't find them on HD or Lowes sites.

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  41. I haven't looked in over a year but Home Depot is where I bought the 'Crown Bolt Inc. Create-A-Bolt 5/8 stainless steel' washers. I'm sure any large plumbing/heating or hardware store will have them though.

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  42. From the Southside of Chicago.

    Thanks a million Screwy. Built the tun and used it for the first time today.No leaks and it worked like it should. Brewed a 3 gallon batch of Barleywine tonight. Ready to drink in 2015. Ill send you a bottle if you want.

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  43. Joe, big thanks to your 5 gallon mashtun tutorial. I used my rig for the first time today making a barleywine. No leaks, and worked as it should. THANK YOU.

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  44. Great to hear, I'm sure you'll have an amazing beer too. This is a solid design, both of mine give great efficiency without a single stuck sparge.

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  45. I built mine this past weekend to be used this upcoming weekend. I was unable to find the Create a Bolt or the Moen repair kit O-rings at Home Depot. Anyways the cooler I got has the larger hole but I was able to make the hardware work but getting an O-ring at the local hardware store that had a 5/8" I.D. and a 7/8" O.D. That did the trick. They also sold the 5/8" SS washers.

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  46. Just bought most of the parts last night and am looking forward to building this out. I currently have a bazooka screen in my 5-gallon cooler and am not a fan due to how short it has to be. I saw some 3/4 water heater connectors at HD. Did you ever consider using a larger diameter hose?

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  47. It's good to hear your were able to source the parts for the project, with a bit of shopping around.

    The braided hose I used for my design is larger enough to handle the flow of wort to the kettle. Just be sure to follow the directions and remove the vinyl tubing that ships with the braided hose and replace it with the coil of 10-12 gauge copper wire, that'll keep the braid from collapsing.

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  48. Building the 10 gal variant this Friday...thank you..

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  49. just got all the hardware on the list, matched down to the SKU, and that cooler (again, same SKU) apparently now has a 1/2" opening. since I've already opened everything, I'm just going to see if I can either find adapters or buy 1/2" versions of everything... not super pleased about this, but I'm still ahead of the game compared to working it out on my own.

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  50. I guess after 3 years they've changed some of their designs for the Rubbermaid cooler. I guess it's important information to know whether they changed the SKU number to a different Rubbermaid model number or if in fact the same Rubbermaid model is being shipped with the larger half in holes.

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  51. You probably won't get more flow from a longer or larger diameter braided hose as the largest pressure drop is in getting through the wall of the cooler.

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