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Old 05-04-2012, 12:12 PM   #1
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Default question regarding mash tun

i converted a 10 gallon Rubbermaid cooler into a mash tun and put a braid in. i only plan on on doing 5 gallon batches. i bought another Rubbermaid 10 gallon cooler (i work for them so they're stupid cheap) and was going to use it as my sparge tank. now i haven't committed to the stainless steel braid setup even though i rigged it in the first one. my question is should i take the braid out and use the cpvc pipe method? i see a lot of people using it and didn't know if the braid would collapse under the weight of 5 gallon beers worth of grain bill.

if the cpvc is the way to go, i'll take the braid out and use that cooler as my sparge tank and just rig up the other with the new pipe fittings

i have extract-to-all grain jitters pretty bad

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Old 05-04-2012, 12:19 PM   #2
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Heard a brewer on the latest Basic Brewing Radio episode mention putting a stainless spring in his braid to prevent collapsing. His has a larger system, but I thought that was a great idea. I used a braid which was fine with 5 gallon batches until I got a bit aggressive stirring and poking around after a stuck sparge. Now I use a slotted copper pipe which was easier to make than the braid anyways.

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Old 05-04-2012, 01:43 PM   #3
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I've done two AG batches with a 10 gal Rubbermaid and braid and didn't have any problems with either one. And the last one was a big IIPA with 18 lbs of grain.

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Old 05-04-2012, 01:46 PM   #4
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what kind of valve connection did you use on the inside to connect the copper to?

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Old 05-04-2012, 01:57 PM   #5
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do you have anything in the braid to help with that?

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Old 05-04-2012, 02:05 PM   #6
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I used Northern Brewer's cooler valve kit, so it has a 1/2" female NPT. I brazed a male fitting onto one end of the copper pipe and a cap on the other. My pipe was 1" diameter which I had on hand. I made slits half way through it, about 1/4" spacing. I just used a straight piece; not a loop. My prior braid was a loop.

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Old 05-04-2012, 02:06 PM   #7
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If you saved a buncha cash on the cooler, consider putting that cash into a false bottom. This may seem expensive, but if you amortize that cost over how many batches you plan to brew over the next 2 to 3 years, it's not so much.

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Old 05-04-2012, 02:12 PM   #8
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I did CPVC. Was stupid easy to cut and put together. Comes apart for easy cleaning. I followed John Palmer's design recommendations. It's worked well for over a year with not one single problem or stuck sparge and my tun has only about a cup of dead space.

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