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Old 08-27-2010, 02:38 PM   #1
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Default Lifespan of Cooler Mash Tun?

I just made my first mash tun from a Coleman Xtreme 52qt and was wondering how long I can expect to get use out of it. I know these coolers are meant to hold cold, not hot and I have heard that a bit of warping can occur. Does the warping ever become a physical barrier to the functionality of the mash tun?

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Old 08-27-2010, 02:40 PM   #2
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Mine's going on 2 years. Cooler is still fine but my braid is shot and needs replaced before my next brew.

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Old 08-27-2010, 03:15 PM   #3
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The tun itself should last for several years (at least until the plastic starts cracking, which would allow the wort to leak into the insolation layer). The braid probably needs replacing once a year to every other year.

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Old 08-27-2010, 03:52 PM   #4
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I made a copper manifold, so I don't have the issue with the braid going bad, but I do know that the heat of the mash has warped the plastic on the outside of the cooler that I've been using for about a year and a half. I'd say the copper manifold was definitely a good investment.

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Old 08-27-2010, 07:02 PM   #5
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Remember to keep your cooler MLT cracked open when not in use to avoid it getting a bad smell in it and periodically fill it with oxyclean solution, soak it overnight and it will sparkle almost like new.

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Old 08-27-2010, 07:07 PM   #6
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Mine has been in use for 12 years and 380 batches. Same cooler, same braid, same tubing and valve. I clean it with Oxiclean every 3-5 years, whether it needs it or not!

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Old 08-27-2010, 07:08 PM   #7
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The warping, I'd suspect is more of an issue of adding water that's just too hot, rather that something that's going to happen inevitably. I've added plenty of boiling/near-boiling water to my cooler when I preheat it, and I've seen nothing. Been using it for probably three years, still just as good as when I first got it.

Besides, it was only ~$20 when I bought it, if I need to replace it at some point, not the end of the world.

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Old 08-27-2010, 07:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny View Post
Mine has been in use for 12 years and 380 batches. Same cooler, same braid, same tubing and valve. I clean it with Oxiclean every 3-5 years, whether it needs it or not!
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Old 08-27-2010, 08:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird View Post
The warping, I'd suspect is more of an issue of adding water that's just too hot, rather that something that's going to happen inevitably.
I wonder if heating the cooler gradually might help prevent warping. I'm putting together my all grain system, and what I plan to do is leave the water heating kettle and the coolers (MLT and HLT) hooked up to the pump as I heat the water. I have a toggle switch for the pump conveniently mounted, so as I heat the water, I can pump a couple of gallons into the cooler, then let it drain back under gravity into the kettle, then pump some more even warmer water and let it drain, etc., thus heating my cooler more gradually rather than just dumping really hot water into a cold cooler. I know the drain back works, because I've tried it with cold water, but haven't tried a hot water test yet. Anyone tried something like this?
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Old 08-28-2010, 03:40 AM   #10
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I have a 5 and a 10 gallon cooler setup that I've had for at least 6 years with no modifications (except a braided line in each). The 5 has warped a tad over the years, but it won't compromise the integrity. The 10 is just fine.

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