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Old 07-31-2010, 02:13 PM   #1
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Hello All-

I just bought a 50 qt igloo cooler and have been contructing my first MLT. I am all done and it looks pretty good however, when I fill it up with water to test the valve sits about and inch and a half above the bottom of the cooler. So in essence I would have about 1.5 inches of water left in the tun and the only way to get it out would be to tip it toward the valve opening and I think that may disturb the grain bed when I am actually mashing/sparging. Is this a common problem?? Should I get a different cooler?? Thanks for any input!!

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Old 07-31-2010, 02:16 PM   #2
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Do you have a manifold or braid attached to the valve that sits on the bottom of the cooler? If you have one and attach a hose on the outside that hangs down lower than the bottom of the MLT you should be able to create a suction to drain off most of the liquid.

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Old 07-31-2010, 02:21 PM   #3
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You are going to need to construct some sort of manifold that sits on the bottom of the cooler. I know this cooler has a lower channel built into it, but the siphon effect will draw almost all of the runnings out of the cooler.

Do a search on here and you'll see an unlimited about of designs for constructing an MLT.

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Old 07-31-2010, 02:21 PM   #4
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I think most people tip their cooler without any problems. I do it with mine, works great!

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Old 07-31-2010, 02:31 PM   #5
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What kind of braid/manifold are you using, it doesn't take much contact to draw the wort from the lower level?

BUT in most brewsoftware, like beersmith, they have you fill your mash tun, drain off all the liquid you can without tipping, then measure out the remaining water in there. Then you imput that amount into the area marked "deadspace" or something like that, and then that is calculated into the volume of strink/sparge water you will be using. So it will compensate for that lost amount by replacing it initially. So you don't have to bother tilting or thinking that you've lost any precious wort, you really haven't.

So measure yours out, it shouldn't be that much if you've got some contact with the bottom. I've forgotten how much mine is, since it is imputted in beersmith, but iirc, it's only between 2 cups and a quart of water. Not too much in the greater scheme of things.

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Old 07-31-2010, 02:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samc View Post
Do you have a manifold or braid attached to the valve that sits on the bottom of the cooler? If you have one and attach a hose on the outside that hangs down lower than the bottom of the MLT you should be able to create a suction to drain off most of the liquid.
+1 The MLT will drain until the liquid level falls below the outlet as you are fearing. So, use whatever fitting/tubing you need to lower the outlet on the inside and attach a hose on the outside that extends below the level of the outlet inside. This essentially creates a siphon. OTOH, you can also tilt the cooler at the end of the sparge to capture that last bit of wort without screwing anything up. The other option is to just say "fuk it" and up the grain bill to compensate for the small volume of wort left behind. If you are fly sparging, there won't be much of anything in that volume worth worrying about and if you are batch sparging it will only be slightly more desirable to recover. You are probably talking about just a little more than a gallon of wort. Tipping should get you at least half of that volume, so then your looking at a total loss of maybe 2 quarts. Not worth losing any sleep over IMO.
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Old 07-31-2010, 04:04 PM   #7
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Fix it with a "down tube", or just tip it assuming you are batch sparging. Also remember that the bottom of the cooler is packed with grain, so a gallon of dead space is much less wort in reality.

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Old 07-31-2010, 04:11 PM   #8
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Thank you all for the responses. I am continually blown away by the information on this site. I am using a stainless steel braided manifold. It seems that I might as well just tip the MLT as the grain will be taking up most of that volume anyway. I do plan on batch sparging so I suppose a tip at the very end will do the trick. I am kind of interested in some of the posts that say some kind of vacuum can be created. I do not really understand how that works if the opening for the valve is above the level of the water. Would I have to get a fitting that would lower the level of the manifold to the level of the cooler bottom? In any case thanks much for the info!

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Old 07-31-2010, 04:45 PM   #9
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Personally I wouldn't worry too much about that last little bit in your cooler, remember that the highest quality wort comes from the begining runnings and it's quality deminishes from there. When I do large batches (~20 gallons into the boil) on my friends system, we typically see upwards of a gallon left in the mash tun. Thats fine with me, is that extra gallon of lower quality wort worth the trouble? I don't feel it is.

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Old 07-31-2010, 05:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshuaWhite5522 View Post
Personally I wouldn't worry too much about that last little bit in your cooler, remember that the highest quality wort comes from the begining runnings and it's quality deminishes from there. When I do large batches (~20 gallons into the boil) on my friends system, we typically see upwards of a gallon left in the mash tun. Thats fine with me, is that extra gallon of lower quality wort worth the trouble? I don't feel it is.
+1 This is good advice.
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