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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks > looking to build an MLT. which one works best
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:37 PM   #1
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Default looking to build an MLT. which one works best

i am doing a little research to build an MLT. i've seen people use CPVC tubing inside, some use copper, some use braid, some use false bottom.
which one will work the best? and what size cooler is best for doing 5-6 gallon batches, and be able to fit enough grain for barleywine sized batches?

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Old 03-11-2010, 02:50 PM   #2
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Are you planning on fly or batch sparging? As far as cooler size, just get a really large one (50qt or bigger) as if you want to do bigger batches later on, you will be able to.

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Old 03-11-2010, 02:55 PM   #3
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This link is very helpful in determining what size MLT you would want to make.

http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml

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Old 03-11-2010, 02:57 PM   #4
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batch sparging for now, fly sparging is something i might want to try in the future.

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Old 03-11-2010, 03:29 PM   #5
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For batch sparging (from what I have read) if you plan on using a square cooler, SS braid works fine. A false bottom works better for fly sparging. I am building a square cooler MLT and will use a SS braid.

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Old 03-11-2010, 04:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mirage View Post
For batch sparging (from what I have read) if you plan on using a square cooler, SS braid works fine. A false bottom works better for fly sparging. I am building a square cooler MLT and will use a SS braid.
I have a 75 qt rectangular cooler as I do 10 gallon batches routinely over 1.060. I built a copper manifold. More time consuming but I think it is equivalent to a false bottom. The braid presents other issues with getting it to stay on the bottom of the grainbed as well as keeping it in a shape that allows good consistent flow through the grain bed to the drain from anywhere in the cooler. That said, braid would have been a lot less effort and cheaper. Consider 70 qt as a minimum if you ever want to be able to extend to 10 gallon batches, IMO.

Check out this article:
http://brewingtechniques.com/library....html#manifold

I have also seen one for manifold design that does hydraulic flow/pressure analysis of several designs, but can't seem to find it now.

In general from what I have read, I think false bottom > copper Manifold > SS Braid in terms of efficiency, but cost/time is a factor as well for most people.
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:45 PM   #7
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Consider 70 qt as a minimum if you ever want to be able to extend to 10 gallon batches, IMO.
Despite what Randar says, 70 qt is on the large side, even for 10 gallon batches. The following link contains a helpful chart in determining what size MLT you should be looking at:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/how-...-needs-123585/

Good luck!
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
which one will work the best?
I'd say they all have vices and virtues.

One improvement I have seen with the braid is the insertion of a bent SST rod. the Rod is formed into a shape that allows more coverage of the bottom of the tun and holds the braid in place.

I sue the braid and I manually cycle wort from the Tun to a pot and back to the Tun again to manage temperature and the rests. Then I batch sparge.
I have never had it get clogged.

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and what size cooler is best for doing 5-6 gallon batches, and be able to fit enough grain for barleywine sized batches?
HUGE, as big as you can get.
It helps to pre-heat the Tun/cooler by filling it with hot water.


I started with a 5 gallon cooler and will be using a 15 gallon one soon maybe bigger.

You can also use more than one if you prefer more physically manageable units.
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by danielwhitted View Post
Despite what Randar says, 70 qt is on the large side, even for 10 gallon batches. The following link contains a helpful chart in determining what size MLT you should be looking at:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/how-...-needs-123585/

Good luck!
Yep, i had remembered that incorrectly. That chart is a good reference to have (and keep handy since homebrew will not improve you memory function). I know I wanted to build one MT I could use for up to 15 gallon batches, but the numbers slipped outta my ear hole.
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