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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > a few igloo cooler/stainless steel MLT questions
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:32 PM   #1
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Default a few igloo cooler/stainless steel MLT questions

i've gotten around 10-15 AG batches under my belt now, and i just have a few questions the veterans could answer i'm sure.

first of all, how long should the lifespan of an igloo cooler converted to an MLT be? do they last virtually forever? do you have to throw them away and rebuild them every year/few years?

how often do you guys take your copper peices out of the cooler, i.e. the ball valve, nipples, etc. and soak them in the peroxide vinegar solution? just once when you build the MLT? or after every mash?

my S.S. braid that i use to filter on the inside of my MLT has GROWN, it's longer than it used to be, and is looking pretty bad. it's still working fine, but do you guys replace these every so often?

does that "grain" smell ever go away inside the cooler? i don't mind it, but it is bad for the brew? i've used soap, water, soaked in diluted oxyclean, scrubbed, it always smells a little bit like grain no matter what though.


now on to the stainless steel MLT questions.

do most people that use a stainless steel MLT just heat all the strike water in the MLT, then mash in with all the grain bill at once, and stir it up, and just adjust the flame throughout the 60minute mash, trying to keep the temp. consistent, and keep a lid off of it, and stir it occasionally to keep the flame from burning/scorching the grains at the bottom?

or do they heat the strike water in a seperate tank, and mash in with a little water, a little grain, stir, a little more water, a little more grain, etc. untill it's all in, and then close the lid, and keep it off the flame, maybe insulate the MLT somehow?

thanks!

brian

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Old 07-27-2007, 03:30 PM   #2
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Can't answer any of the cooler questions (I've only had mine for 6-8 bathches so far).

When I mash in my stainless steel pot, I heat all the strike water in the MLT, then stir in the grains. With an insulating blanket, it holds heat well enough that I usually don't have to add heat. If I do add heat, I do it in short, low bursts, and stir. There's little chance of scorching unless grain gets under the SS false bottom, though if that happens it's pretty much guaranteed to scorch. So if I am going to add heat, I recirculate about a quart first, to clear as mcuh grain from under the FB as possible.

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Old 07-28-2007, 04:13 AM   #3
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I've had my 48Q Rubbermaid mash/lauter tun for about 15 years. Just switched to batch sparging and the stainless braid so can't comment on how long that will last. The copper manifold I had in there was pulled out and rinsed after each brew, never treated with vinegar. The smell never totally goes away but I find it helps to leave the lid open for a few days after use to totally dry it out and the smell is very mild at that point.

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Old 07-28-2007, 03:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian williams

how often do you guys take your copper peices out of the cooler, i.e. the ball valve, nipples, etc. and soak them in the peroxide vinegar solution? just once when you build the MLT? or after every mash?

brian
I have just built my Mash tun and would say you might want to do this after every few batches if you are worried about the copper getting a bit icky. I only say this because I was just at a friend house and he pulled his apart and it was pretty nasty and he was surprised. They usually aren't too hard to put back together so a nice soak to keep the thing up to date would help.

As for the peroxide vinegar solution, I've never heard of this. Is there any particular reason beyond cleansing that this is used for, or does it have to do with some chemical reaction with the brass to make it safe for use in preparing beer?
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Old 07-28-2007, 04:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jekster
I have just built my Mash tun and would say you might want to do this after every few batches if you are worried about the copper getting a bit icky. I only say this because I was just at a friend house and he pulled his apart and it was pretty nasty and he was surprised. They usually aren't too hard to put back together so a nice soak to keep the thing up to date would help.

As for the peroxide vinegar solution, I've never heard of this. Is there any particular reason beyond cleansing that this is used for, or does it have to do with some chemical reaction with the brass to make it safe for use in preparing beer?

i honestly don't remember why, but somewhere in palmers book it talks about when you use brass for brewing, to soak it in a particular mix of vinegar and peroxide untill the liquid turns a certain color, and then rinsing it before using it to brew. there's a word for it that i'm sure somebody knows,it's something like metalology or something. i'm tired and right now, or i'd go find it.
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Old 07-28-2007, 04:52 PM   #6
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It is called pickling. There is really no clear cut answer, but I have only pickled my brass the one time when I built the MLT. It removed surface lead (which if you are using fittings for potable water there should be next to none)

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Old 07-30-2007, 12:07 AM   #7
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What are the proportions of vinegar to peroxide for pickling?

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Old 07-30-2007, 03:03 AM   #8
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Try two parts white vinegar to one part hydrogen peroxide.

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