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-   -   Dead space in mash tun and new design (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/dead-space-mash-tun-new-design-60778/)

ndhowlett 03-30-2008 03:05 PM

Dead space in mash tun and new design
Just wanted to discuss the ins and outs of a mash tun. I have a square cooler that I converted. Let most mash tuns, I'm assuming of course, there's a dead space of about an inch below where the wort will come out of the cooler.

What methods do you use to compensate for that dead space, or do you at all.

It had crossed my mind to fabricate a mash tun by drilling out the bottom corner of a cooler and using the same parts as I did with my regular conversion. The key would be getting the hole the right size so the grommet/rubber washer would get the plumbing right. Some benefits would be to 1. eliminate the dead space and 2. make it easy for the grains to run off into the boil kettle.

Anyone every seen something like what I intend to design?

Schlenkerla 03-30-2008 03:16 PM

Real simple. I'm gonna assume you batch sparge.

Tip the cooler up on the non-drain side. You can also add a solid object like a 16oz pet bottle. Filled w/ hot water. This will take up the dead space. You can use anything to take up dead just pick out something that won't give the beer off flavors or be a big heat sink.

Maybe you could possibly use pea gravel or aquarium rock. It could be a natural filter bed. Cleaning it might be PITA.

bradsul 03-30-2008 03:28 PM

You could also design your manifold in such a way that it eliminates the dead space altogether. With nothing but water in my mash tun I can drain it dry with less than 150ML of water remaining.


Blender 03-30-2008 03:29 PM

After you make the conversion do a test run with water. Measure the amount of water that will not drain and make the adjustment in your volume additions. I tilt my cooler at the end of the run off.

mrk305 03-30-2008 03:38 PM

I use a braid. To get that last couple quarts, I use a couple 2 X 4's to prop it up and let it drain into my varlauf pitcher. I add this later after my boil is rolling.

Brew-boy 03-30-2008 03:46 PM

I fly sparge so to me it's no big deal to have water left over in the MLT I always have to dump water out.

Bobby_M 03-30-2008 05:53 PM

I put a small siphon tube on the inlet of my cooler MLT to reach the very bottom of the tun. The stainless braid slips over it. No dead space at all.

jagg 03-31-2008 09:50 AM


Originally Posted by Bobby_M
I put a small siphon tube on the inlet of my cooler MLT to reach the very bottom of the tun. The stainless braid slips over it. No dead space at all.

Bobby, could you please elaborateon this a bit more, or a picture of your siphon tube hookup would be great, thanks.

Bobby_M 03-31-2008 02:25 PM

I would have to take the braid off in order to get the picture but let me try to describe it better. On the inside of the cooler, I have a piece of 3/8" copper tubing connected. (mine is soldered to a fitting but it can be done many ways). That tubing is bent in a gentle arc so that it just about touches the lowest spot in the cooler (it only took like 4" of copper). I drilled a couple 1/8" holes in the very end just to add additional pickup area. Then I slipped the braid over the copper and clamped it tight near the bulkhead. My braid is 18" long but only 3" or so covers this copper tube.

FlyingHorse 03-31-2008 04:48 PM

Dip tube as Bobby_M describes is the best solution, but FWIW when I was using my old rectangular cooler with copper manifold as a MLT, I solved my bad manifold design :o by chopping up a couple cheap plastic cutting boards to fit the bottom of the cooler and fill the deadspace.

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