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Old 11-01-2009, 12:41 PM   #11
Chumley
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Looks nice, and great description/pics of the build!

I've been using the same cooler (version without the wheels) with a copper manifold, and it's worked really well for me.

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Old 11-01-2009, 02:44 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by PurdyGood View Post
Nice! I have the exact same cooler, and have been thinking about doing this exact same thing with it. What are the dimensions of the PVC apparatus, or would a braid be equally as effective, and you could kind of tip the cooler to drain it all the way? Thoughts?
Thanks for the great instructional post! Off to get the parts tomorrow!
The measurements for the manifold are 13" X 9" from outside edge to outside edge. I debated doing a SS braid. If you were to use a braid you would have to use a 90 elbow and a little piece of tubing to drain down to the floor of the cooler, like Kauai_Kahuna suggested. It appears it works well for him. Good luck!
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Old 11-01-2009, 02:46 PM   #13
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Did you check to see how much wort your going to lose? I built a similar manifold for my 48 qt cooler and found that I lose almost 1/2 gal.
I didn't get a chance to measure how much liquid was left at the bottom in my trial run. It looked like only a 1/2" to an inch. Once I run my first batch through, I'll let you know how much i end up losing.
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Old 11-01-2009, 02:50 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by aledawg View Post
Nicely done! I recently went A/G with the same cooler + another one as an HLT. I also do fly sparging with a manifold mounted underneath the lid.

One issue I had during my first batches, was the difficulty of hitting the right strike temperature (and thus I mashed too low and got somewhat "thin" beer). I'm getting ready for my next batch, and this time I have BeerSmith set up with a Specific Heat of 0.450 for the cooler, and I hope I'll be hitting my mark better this time.
Do you think the cooler wasn't totally preheated? Or was the cooler loosing heat?
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Old 11-01-2009, 03:26 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Erik53 View Post
Do you think the cooler wasn't totally preheated? Or was the cooler loosing heat?
Hey Erik,

I have two of these coolers, one as a MLT with manifolds at the bottom and underneath the lid. The other is my HLT.

I think it was a combination of several factors - I was off by approximately 6-8 degrees in my mash.

The most important one was that I hadn't made sure that BeerSmith adjusted the strike temp to compensate for the equpiment. Once I checked this option, plus set the Specific Heat for the cooler a bit "higher", it seems like I'll more on target next time.

In addition, the tube from my HLT to the MLT was too long and exposed, probably letting off a bit of heat as well.

Another observation, although I couldn't determine the actual impact , was that the sparge water I was holding in my HLT seemed to be dropping temperature quite fast. I will test this again in another "Wet run" before I brew next in 2 weeks. The concern is that the cooler is losing a lot of heat through the lid, which is not insulated and only two thin plastic "sheets". If this is an issue, it's easily fixed with a sleeping bag on top, spraying in some insulating foam, or some other remedy to keep the heat from escaping.

I've only done a few AG sessions, so I'm still learning about both the equipment and the process, but I hope I can improve my performance soon.

Best,

Eivind
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Old 11-01-2009, 05:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bullinachinashop View Post
Did you check to see how much wort your going to lose? I built a similar manifold for my 48 qt cooler and found that I lose almost 1/2 gal.

I'm thinking of making a copper false bottom and a custom fitting filter bag that I'll be able to remove after sparging.

Maybe I'm crazy

Bull
I loose about 1/2 gallon but I don't worry about it, I adjust my recipe for that and just RDWHAHB.

I preheat my MT so I only loose about 2 degrees over 1 hour time.
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Old 11-02-2009, 08:40 AM   #17
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Did you check to see how much wort your going to lose? I built a similar manifold for my 48 qt cooler and found that I lose almost 1/2 gal.
Bull
Well, in testing I only have around a cup left over using a SS braid.
In actual mashes, I see maybe around 3 cups of liquid still held by the grains, but I don't think there is anything I can do to fix that without extracting tons of tannins.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:12 AM   #18
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Default spray foam

I always drill a couple of holes in the lid of a cooler and blow spray foam in it. one hole to blow foam into and one hole on other side for it to come out.
there is no insulation in most cooler lids.
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Old 11-03-2009, 02:24 PM   #19
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I always drill a couple of holes in the lid of a cooler and blow spray foam in it. one hole to blow foam into and one hole on other side for it to come out.
there is no insulation in most cooler lids.
By definition a cooler is supposed to keep cold things cold. Since cold air sinks to the bottom coolers are designed with good insulating properties in the bottom but poor ones in the top. You really need to find a way to insulate the top if you are using one as a HLT or MLT...or turn it upside down
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Old 11-08-2009, 07:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by New-B-Brewer View Post
By definition a cooler is supposed to keep cold things cold. Since cold air sinks to the bottom coolers are designed with good insulating properties in the bottom but poor ones in the top. You really need to find a way to insulate the top if you are using one as a HLT or MLT...or turn it upside down
That makes a lot of sense, thanks for pointing that out. Before my next brew session, I'll fill the lids with insulating foam, hopefully that'll help me keep a stable temp (in addition to the other tips I've received and found)

Thanks,

Eivind
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