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Old 10-04-2007, 09:02 PM   #1
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Default New Cooler Mash Tun - Braid or Manifold?

I sold my 10 gallon Rubbermaid MLT to brew bud and now need to make another one. I just picked up this 70 qt Coleman Extreme at Academy for $36. I need to put a ball valve on it and either a braid or build a manifold for it. I batch sparge, so I'm stoked that I'll be able to do bigger beers now with just one addition of hot water.

So, who has a braid and who has a manifold and what are your efficiencies for batch sparging?


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Old 10-04-2007, 09:05 PM   #2
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I started with a braid and went up to a manifold. I kept hitting my braid and wrecking it. I was getting high 70's with a braid, I get mid to high 80's with my manifold. I have a drill-press so I went with drilled holes instead of the slots that seem to be more usual.

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Old 10-04-2007, 09:06 PM   #3
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What did you use in the old MLT and how was the efficiency with it?

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Old 10-04-2007, 09:18 PM   #4
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I had great results with my braid, although I only used it twice on my 5g round cooler. Now I use the 10g igloo with a false bottom, so I'm no help there.

The braid worked really well for me. The local homebrew club here uses those huge 7 day deep freeze monster huge coffin tuns, and they use a REALLY short braid. Basically a T right inside the cooler with a braid that circles around to both sides...about a 4" round semi circle I guess. It seems to work for them, they have 4 coolers set up that way for the big brews.

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Old 10-04-2007, 09:23 PM   #5
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I use a braid and hit between 80 and 89% depending on my sparge methods.

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Old 10-04-2007, 09:25 PM   #6
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My manifold system gives me high 80s with a double sparge. You can crush extremely fine with no sticking. Here's a pic before I cut the slots:

http://i7.tinypic.com/53ztusj.jpg

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Old 10-04-2007, 09:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JnJ
What did you use in the old MLT and how was the efficiency with it?
Here's my old one and I get into the 80s with it.



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Old 10-04-2007, 09:54 PM   #8
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I'd go with the manifold for one simple reason: it gives you a choice. I know you batch sparge, but who's to say someday you might not want to try fly sparging just for the hell of it? You can only batch sparge with a braid, but you can do either with a manifold.

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Old 10-04-2007, 10:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie Brewer
I'd go with the manifold for one simple reason: it gives you a choice. I know you batch sparge, but who's to say someday you might not want to try fly sparging just for the hell of it? You can only batch sparge with a braid, but you can do either with a manifold.
I fly sparge with a braid and have had no problems. In the 80% range.
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Old 10-04-2007, 10:30 PM   #10
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I'm going with false bottom. Yep, you should build a false bottom for that bad boy.



Seriously, I can't speak from experience. I use a keg MLT. But if it were me, I go with a manifold. I don't think you'd see any real difference in efficiency either way, but I know braids can float and get dorked up from stirring, etc.

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