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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks > Cheap & Easy 10 Gallon Rubbermaid MLT Conversion
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:52 AM   #1521
camus
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Originally Posted by Quaffer View Post
The 10 gallon cooler has smaller surface area to volume ratio so it should perform better than the 5 gallon one.

This is true but for a given volume up wort, you would be better off with the a smaller cooler, the greatest heat loss is going to be at the area of the valve, the bottom of the cooler and the top. By going with a larger tun you will be increasing the 2 of 3 areas of greatest loss. This assumes the 10gal is of greater circumference. Also, the headspace has just been increased. Honestly I don't know if you will see much of a difference.

FWIW, I see about a 1 to 1.5 degree drop with mine, with about .5 degree variance with stirring, this is at about 65 degrees ambient.
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:09 PM   #1522
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Just adding a comment to keep this easy to get too.

BTW my LHBS has these pre-built for $120 with Blichmann parts.

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Old 03-16-2011, 07:19 PM   #1523
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camus View Post
This is true but for a given volume up wort, you would be better off with the a smaller cooler, the greatest heat loss is going to be at the area of the valve, the bottom of the cooler and the top. By going with a larger tun you will be increasing the 2 of 3 areas of greatest loss. This assumes the 10gal is of greater circumference. Also, the headspace has just been increased. Honestly I don't know if you will see much of a difference.

FWIW, I see about a 1 to 1.5 degree drop with mine, with about .5 degree variance with stirring, this is at about 65 degrees ambient.
It is best to use the smallest mash tun that will hold the mash, agreed 100%. Use the 10 gallon tun only for 10 gallon batches.

I guess the lid will be the area of greatest heat loss, being large and not insulated. Some inject it with foam to improve it, but I have not. That might shave a degree off my heat loss.
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Old 03-19-2011, 01:02 AM   #1524
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I made this design and it's been a ****ing nightmare. First, my SS braid collapsed immediately on the first batch I brewed with it. I lost a few gravity points but otherwise still managed to drain most of the wort.

So before my batch today, I bought a new SS braid, removed the nylon tube, put a bunch of holes in it, and reinserted it. I could barely get the wort to flow. So I dumped my mash into a pot, took the tun apart, enlarged the holes in the nylon tube, and reinserted it and put everything back together. This time I could get a trickle of wort, which stops after 30 seconds.

Basically, the SS braid collapses around the barbed connection. The barb will not fit inside the nylon tube.

How the hell did anyone ever get this to work just using a braid?

P.S. My braid is SS. 16x1/2'' OD. 3/8''ID.

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Old 03-19-2011, 01:25 AM   #1525
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What's the diameter and length of your braid?

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Old 03-19-2011, 05:08 AM   #1526
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quaffer View Post
It is best to use the smallest mash tun that will hold the mash, agreed 100%. Use the 10 gallon tun only for 10 gallon batches.

I guess the lid will be the area of greatest heat loss, being large and not insulated. Some inject it with foam to improve it, but I have not. That might shave a degree off my heat loss.
I feel compelled to follow up, I just did a 1.5 qt/lb mash and lost heat gangbusters. Previously I had been doing 1.25 max, anyway I lost about 4 degrees over 90, just FYI.
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:46 PM   #1527
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Never had a problem with regards to off flavors from the igloo's. Im sure if anyone had problems, they would have been addressed a long time ago, especially with the large number of home brewers who rely on coolers for mash tuns.

Here are a few modifications i remember reading about on thi thread and similar ones (buried somewhere in the 153 pgs and counting):
- always preheat the cooler (i use simmering/near boiling water).
- The lid is hollow. Fill it with spray insulation foam.
- cover/wrap cooler with blanket/towels.
- use an electric water heating element to maintain temps in the mash.

I have had much success with filling the lid with foam and preheating. I usually only see a 2-3 degree temp drop during a 60min mash.

Another good tip i read:
If you are doing mini mash, or have smaller grain bills, go ahead and cut a layer of foam insulation measured to the diameter of the cooler (or dimensions of the 10gal cooler), and rest it just above the grain bed, thereby reducing the empty space.

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Old 03-20-2011, 11:51 PM   #1528
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The only stainless steel supply hose I was able to find was a 3/8ths x 1/2in FIP 12" hose. I want to make sure if this will work or not before I go ahead and cut it.

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Old 03-21-2011, 06:11 AM   #1529
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@rexbanner: I am building this and having my own challenges, but to address your collapsing braid i read a post where a person used copper wire 10-12 gauge and coiled it. Then elongated the coil and inserted in the braid. That may stop the braid from collapsing. I also just read on another DYI post where a person used a SS spring and inserted into the braid. Finally after reading your post I might just buy a false bottom.

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Old 03-21-2011, 06:30 AM   #1530
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropitlikesitshot View Post
@rexbanner: I am building this and having my own challenges, but to address your collapsing braid i read a post where a person used copper wire 10-12 gauge and coiled it. Then elongated the coil and inserted in the braid. That may stop the braid from collapsing. I also just read on another DYI post where a person used a SS spring and inserted into the braid. Finally after reading your post I might just buy a false bottom.
I would just go with a false bottom. I'm about to order one.
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