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Old 01-04-2009, 10:06 PM   #1
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Default Yet another cooler Mash Tun DIY, more ideas

I did my first AG batch using the gott 10g cooler and a SS braid. I used a long one, thinking it might help with flow, prevent stuck sparge, etc. What I found was the thing was so long it would lift up during stirring. I did some reading and in a book called "How To Brew" by John Palmer, there is a braided line that loops into a tee. This made a lot of sense to me. I also read here somewhere about the braid collapsing from the weight of the grain. This got me to thinking, and I decided to make a spring out of stainless wire, and pack it into the braid. This supports the braid immensely, and helps it keep it's shape. I got a 1/2 ss ball valve kit from Bargain Brew Fitting Home Page and was trying to figure out how I could best adapt a tee and tube into this. Wandering around Elliots Hardware, I came across some copper threaded to 1/2 tube adapters, a 45˚ elbow, some all stainless clamps, and a 1/2" tee. To make a nice fit I had to sand some of the 45˚ fitting to size. I coiled the stainless wire around a extra fine point sharpie, and then stretched it to size. It was difficult to feed the coil into the braid, but with some additional hands on the job, compressing the braid, I was able to stuff 1/2 the spring in from each side. If I were using a new braid that hadn't gotten dented from my first couple AG batches, it would have fed in much easier. Make sure to bend in the tip of your wire so it does not catch. The braid is bound to puncture your fingers so beware. It also makes a hell of a chinese fingercuff so keep your digits out of them. On my first attempt the coil was way too long and I had to cut it down.
Here are some pics, the valve and fittings work really well, leaving very little water in the cooler.



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Old 01-04-2009, 10:07 PM   #2
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One pic of the outside w/ 1/2" tube. New 1/2" will grow with my system.

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Old 01-04-2009, 10:15 PM   #3
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old valve, which was the OEM valve drilled out and a brass tube pressed in. it worked ok but the snap clamp was annoying to use and the tubing kept getting deformed.

old braid, way too long and moved around too much. What was I thinking?

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Old 01-04-2009, 10:18 PM   #4
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Are your hose clamps SS including the screws? One of the issues with the Flyguy conversion that he discovered was that his weren't they were galvanized.

This is what he discovered after the first couple uses...



Here's the post in his thread...http://www.homebrewtalk.com/253344-post62.html

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Old 01-04-2009, 10:20 PM   #5
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Isn't it amazing how every time you brew you find something to improve in your system? I started out with the braid as well in a round cooler. I eventually moved to a square cooler with a PVC manifold. Your spring idea will really help with drainage but any suction you might have on the wort is broken as soon as some area on the braid draws air. I'm not sure how much wort is then left behind. Probably not enough to worry.

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Old 01-04-2009, 10:32 PM   #6
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Revvy: The clamps were tagged as all stainless, the band, screw, and body. I saw Flyguy's post, but thanks for the warning. You can find good SS clamps if you look.
Missing Link: On my tests with water alone, it sucked all but the last 1/4" of water out. Time to test it out for real. Right now I'm prepping my kegs for some welding with valves, sight glass and thermometers. I have all the parts with the exception of the thermometers.
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missing link View Post
Isn't it amazing how every time you brew you find something to improve in your system? I started out with the braid as well in a round cooler. I eventually moved to a square cooler with a PVC manifold. Your spring idea will really help with drainage but any suction you might have on the wort is broken as soon as some area on the braid draws air. I'm not sure how much wort is then left behind. Probably not enough to worry.

Linc
Good point. I have already started mine in copper tubing, but had considered braiding. Now I can see that the siphon effect will be broken as soon as the wort touches the top of the braid, while in a copper tubing setup, the siphon will continue until it reaches the bottom of the tubing (if you put the holes on the bottom) and therefore you will get more wort.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:58 PM   #8
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Now I can see that the siphon effect will be broken as soon as the wort touches the top of the braid, while in a copper tubing setup, the siphon will continue until it reaches the bottom of the tubing (if you put the holes on the bottom) and therefore you will get more wort.
Actually, the siphon effect is generally only an issue for manifolds or false bottoms, because they require a 'pickup tube' to connect the manifold with the bulkhead/valve. Most who use a braid attach it directly to the bulkhead, meaning that they can simply tip their cooler to drain the last bit of wort out. This means LESS wort loss than in a MLT with a manifold or false bottom outfitted with a pickup tube.
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:32 PM   #9
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Most who use a braid attach it directly to the bulkhead, meaning that they can simply tip their cooler to drain the last bit of wort out.
Yes, I am a big tipper.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:12 PM   #10
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This looks a lot like mine, but I used a compression fitting "T". It's out of the appendix in "How To Brew". Came together sweet.

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