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Old 04-29-2012, 03:52 AM   #1
BodaciousBrew
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Hi. We've upgraded ourselves from 1 to 3, to now 5 gallon batches. We bought the 5 gallon Igloo converted Mash Tuns with the coil at the bottom to filter out the wort. On our first brew with this system, the coil got crushed by our grain and the whole process took over 5 hours because the liquid could not exit through the spout. We ended up having to scoop out a lot of the grain and try and stir it up to lessen the weight on the coil. We are trying to figure out how to prevent this on the next batch. Our current idea is to put a silicone steaming basket from our kitchen in the bottom of the igloo cooler so it stands just above the coil, hopefully lessening the weight of the 12 pounds of grain plus water that will go on top of it.

Has anyone else had a problem with the coil clogging or getting crushed by the grains? How have you fixed this issue? Thanks in advance for your knowledge and help!

~Jen & Mark

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Old 04-29-2012, 04:01 AM   #2
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What do you mean by "coil"? Is it a stainless steel braid? Can you post a photo of it?

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Old 04-29-2012, 04:04 AM   #3
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Yes by "coil" I mean stainless steel braid. It got crushed by the grain and was basically looking like the shedded skin of a snake, all flat.

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Old 04-29-2012, 04:04 AM   #4
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There are several ways to convert a MLT from a cooler. I do know some people that when using the "coil" I think you mean a "braid" (but I may be wrong here) they install a spring in it or do it over a copper coil with slits cut in it.
Myself I am a big fan of the Jaybird false bottom system for the coolers They are custom cut to fit your cooler. They also sit above the drain so you dont have to worry about beating up the braid when you stir.
Cheers
Jay

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Old 04-29-2012, 04:07 AM   #5
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Ahh yes, a false bottom may be in our future. The ones we looked at seemed to be too wide for this cooler. We measured the top and bottom diameter and it definitely is more narrow at the bottom. We were trying to kind of feel out a way to do a false bottom from scratch with something we have around before having something custom made if we can avoid it.

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Old 04-29-2012, 04:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BodaciousBrew View Post
Yes by "coil" I mean stainless steel braid. It got crushed by the grain and was basically looking like the shedded skin of a snake, all flat.
I used a heavy gauge piece of copper wire to make a "coil" (shaped like a long spring) to slip inside of the braid. This will stop the braid from collapsing. Your silicon false bottom idea might work as well...
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BodaciousBrew View Post
Ahh yes, a false bottom may be in our future. The ones we looked at seemed to be too wide for this cooler. We measured the top and bottom diameter and it definitely is more narrow at the bottom. We were trying to kind of feel out a way to do a false bottom from scratch with something we have around before having something custom made if we can avoid it.
Yeah I hear ya there. Try the stainless coil inside the braid. or the copper tubing as well. I hear people are able to make that work, I think you have to go with the 3/8" copper so it can get in the braid. If you arn't able to get it to work let me know, I would love to help.
Cheers
Jay
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stauffbier View Post
I used a heavy gauge piece of copper wire to make a "coil" (shaped like a long spring) to slip inside of the braid. This will stop the braid from collapsing. Your silicon false bottom idea might work as well...
+1. Go to your local hardware store and buy 2 feet of any type of #12 AWG wire. Strip off all the insulation and wrap that wire around a wooden dowl about 1/4" in diameter to make the "spring". Take your braid fitting apart, slide in the copper, form to shape and reconnect.

My first MLT used a braid with this setup and it never stuck - but it was slower than my second MLT setup using a collection manifold (tube with slits cut).
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:19 PM   #9
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Did someone say false bottom? I thought I heard someone say false bottom!

You can also look around here for mash tun designs and builds that you can easily and cost effectively build yourself.

Have fun with it!

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Old 04-29-2012, 12:41 PM   #10
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I used a stainless braid for a while, then I used a converted kettle screen, I think they call them torpedo screens. I finally settled on a copper manifold. They're easy to make from parts from Home Depot or Lowes as long as you can do a little copper sweating. If you can't, there are also people that have made them from CPVC. But if all this is too much work the spring inside the braid is probably a good idea, just make sure you know what the material is.

Here are some shots of mine, works great. If you wrap it in a grain bag, you don't even need to vorlauf.

imag0251.jpg   imag0252.jpg   imag0253.jpg  
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