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Old 09-13-2011, 07:16 PM   #1
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Default Efficient Octagonal CPVC manifold for Rubbermaids

Efficient Octagonal CPVC manifold for Rubbermaids:

I've gotten many PM's about my manifold so I thought I do a write-up.

I began using Flyguy's easy braided hose rubbermaid conversion. I eventually tore up a couple of hoses and experienced too varied efficiencies. I decided I needed a quality manifold capable of fly sparging. This design would work great for batch sparging as well. I was inspired by another HBT member for this design, but have made some improvements I think.

Follow FlyGuy's popular tutorial here but eliminate the hose clamps, hose, brass square head plug, and 3/8" male barb adapter.

Internal parts:

-5 feet of 1/2" CPVC pipe (at least)
-8 1/2" CPVC 45 degree elbows
-3 1/2" CPVC tees
-1 1/2" CPVC FIP adapter (though mine was not labelled FIP, I think it's basically the same, I can't recall what it was labelled)
-1 90 degree CPVC street elbow
-Optional parts could include some brass fittings depending on the availability of CPVC fittings at your local HD. Mine uses two different brass fittings from the brass nipple to extend the manifold connection into the cooler farther. This was also due to the availability of parts at the time I made this. Basically, if your HD has the proper CPVC adapter (one that fits directly on the brass nipple), there shouldn't really be a need for additional brass fittings.

All prepared pieces:




Cuts:

You'll want to use a Dremel for this, though I suppose the slots could be drilled instead.

From the 5' pipe cut:
-6 3" pieces. These will need to be slotted as shown in the picture.
-4 1" pieces without slots.
-2 3.5" pieces without slots.
-1 4.5" piece without slots. This will be bent as shown in the picture. I used a torch to do this. Holding the piece a few feet away from the torch and slowly spinning it allowed the piece to bend without burning it, like toasting a marshmallow. Also, this may need to be shorter or longer depending on how far the adapter extends from the cooler wall. Basically, cut to the size that will center the octagon in your cooler.

Cross section with 1" pieces connected to tees:



Top of assembled octagon:



Bottom of assembled octagon:



Bent 4.5" piece connected:



Adapter and brass fittings in place and connected to nipple:



Manifold in place and sitting flush:




The bend in the 4.5" piece is crucial for the manifold to sit flush and reduce dead space.

Overall, I wouldn't change anything about my design. I'm quite happy with it. The best part about this design compared to other manifolds IMO is that it pulls the wort from the middle of the octagon. Most designs connect to the spigot directly from the edge of the manifold next to the cooler wall, creating more channeling than this design– which is especially necessary for fly sparging.

My system is designed to 77% efficiency for normal size mashes. Since I fly sparge this is directly related to the flow rate, which is 1qt per minute. If I go slightly faster I might get 75%, slightly slower and I might get 80%. I guarantee I can get much higher efficiencies than 80%, but that is not what I am looking to do.

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Old 09-13-2011, 08:16 PM   #2
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I have basically the same system only larger and two "rings" in my 55 gallon tun. Works great. On a 150 pound grain bill I will pull 80%.

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Old 09-13-2011, 08:46 PM   #3
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This is sized for a 10 gallon rubbermaid right? Looks good. I use the stainless braid now but have been thinking about upgrading to something like this. Thanks for the nice parts list and pics.

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Old 09-13-2011, 08:47 PM   #4
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One more thing, do you remember about how much this cost you in parts?

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Old 09-13-2011, 09:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpr121 View Post
This is sized for a 10 gallon rubbermaid right? Looks good. I use the stainless braid now but have been thinking about upgrading to something like this. Thanks for the nice parts list and pics.
Yes, 10 gallons. The braided hose was killing my efficiency and the ability to predict it. The main reason was probably the dead space.

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One more thing, do you remember about how much this cost you in parts?
I believe the 10' pipe (though I didn't need more than 5') was a few bucks, probably under $5. Each piece (elbows, tees, and adapter) was about $0.30 each. I don't remember how much the brass fittings were but they were probably the most expensive, but like I said, depending on what cpvc adapters your local store has, you may not need the brass as you could just thread it onto the brass nipple you already have.
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:40 PM   #6
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jmo88, thanks for providing this instructional. Your directions and my band saw made this build very easy.

I needed this type of manifold for a 5 gallon Home Depot water cooler, so I basically followed your guidelines using all the same type and number of connectors, but cut the straight pieces shorter to fit the slightly smaller cooler.

Below are the dimensions I needed for the 5 gallon cooler. Hopefully this will be useful to others.
6- 2.75" pieces (slotted)
4 - 1" pieces (no slots)
2 - 2.87" (2 7/8") (no slots)
1 - 3" piece bent w/ blow torch (no slots)

Looking forward to making many 3 gallon experimental AG brews with this setup.




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Old 02-20-2012, 05:21 AM   #7
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I built one, though didn't bend the 4" piece and it still seems to work ok... was my first all grain and I got 72-75% or so with a dual batch sparge...

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Old 02-20-2012, 05:23 AM   #8
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Oh, and I used a bandsaw to cut the slits (nice and small)... almost zero vorluf required (at least I couldn't ever see any grain come out, though it was a darker brew)...

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Old 02-20-2012, 11:35 AM   #9
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Carter, Looks great. The only thing I may be worried about is the torched piece. Correct me if I'm wrong, but heating and bending the CPVC like that may release some nasties. I know for sure it did when you bent it.

Call me a bit paranoid, but what I would do in order to get the height you need to the outlet is remove that 90 on the outlet and replace it with a 45. You can then cut a piece of straight CPVC to match the height you need.

Again, I could be completely off-base here, and I'm no plumber. I am an electrician that has bent LOTS of pvc in my day and I know the fumes it releases when it bends are not pleasant.

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Old 02-20-2012, 03:49 PM   #10
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I did get a bit too close with the torch and ended up scorching it. I tried a second time but still got a bit too close. So, word to the wise, hold the torch a good distance away, it will still heat up enough to bend.

Only the exterior got scorched, however it did stink so I was concerned it might leach unwanted flavors. I sanded it down real good and washed it thoroughly; it no longer has any smell at all. Had 75% efficiency last time I used it.

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