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Old 10-28-2010, 07:08 AM   #1
Anubis
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Default DIY 5gal MLT Cooler w/Copper Manifold & Rotating Sparge Arm (w/pics)

So here is my DIY for my 5 gal MLT. I used the SS braid and didn't care for it so I built a manifold. I also wanted to try fly sparging but couldn't find too much for a DIY project. I found one and built around it using copper because it is more readily available. So here it is.




Manifold & Bulk Head Parts List:

1) 5 Gallon Cooler (from Home Depot)
4) Large Steel Washers with a 1/2" ID
1) 1/2" x 2" Brass Nipple
1) 1/2" Ball Valve
1) 3/8" x 1/2" Brass Reducing Bushing
4) Thick 3/8"ish ID O-ring


4) 1/2" x 90 Copper L
3) 1/2" Copper T
1) 3/8" x 45 Copper Street (belled on one side only)
1) 3/8" Female adapter

Aprox. 30 Inches of copper cut into the following lengths:

2) 1/2" x 6 1/2"
5) 1/2" x 2 1/4"
2) 1/2" x 2 3/4"


Process:

After cutting the copper into the pieces listed you will have to cut slits in them. I used a hack saw and a vice. I will stress that you must be gentle with the vice or the copper will become "out of round" and take on a slightly oval shape and be a PITA to put fitting onto.


Everyone may vary in how they do this but I cut maybe 1/4 of the way through the pipe. I also spaced them as close together as I could. This part you can research for what gets the best results.

Assemble your pieces and make sure they fit into your cooler (as seen in the photo). Cooler sizes may vary from Igloo, Colman, And Depot's brand so adjust where needed.


Once you have everything working use a round file to grind away all the burrs inside of copper from the hacksaw blade.

Boil in lemon juice and water to clean all the crap off of it and it should be good to go.

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Cerberus Brewing Co.

GALLONS BREWED IN 2011 : 35
BUCKET 1 : Citra IPA 3
BUCKET 2 : Centenial Blonde
CARBOY 1 : Citrillo IPA
CARBOY 2 : Apfelwein
CARBOY 3 : Psyder test001
CARBOY 4 : empty
CARBOY 5 : Hopsplode
KEG 1 : Palefoot APA
KEG 2 : empty
KEG 3 : Star San
BOTTLED : Nothin'
BUILT: MLT W/Copper Manifold & Rotating Sparge Arm
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:08 AM   #2
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Now attach your 3/8 Female Adapter to your nipple. Put two O-rings on and feed through the inside (Still using the existing washer from the stock valve that came with the cooler).


Put on two more O-rings on the outside of the nipple.

USE TEFLON TAPE ON THESE CONNECTIONS

Put on the washers and then the 1/2 x 3/8 reducer. Tighten it down to seal the bulkhead. Using two wrenches makes it a lot easier.


Now attach your ball valve with a barb or what have you on the other end and you are good to go.


To attach the manifold to the valve, use the 45 degree coming out of the manifold with one of the 1/2 x 2 1/4 pieces and a coupling to the back of the 3/8 female adapter on the back of the valve.


I have had great luck with this design. I keep it all dry fitted and it manages to suck up almost every last drop.

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Old 10-28-2010, 07:10 AM   #3
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Sparge Arm Parts list:

1) Can o' Foam
1) 1/4" Copper T
2) 1/4" Copper End Caps
2) 1/4" x 4 1/4" Soft Copper
1) 1/4" x 3 1/2" Soft Copper
1) 3/8" x 2 1/2" Soft Copper
1) 1/2" x 6" Copper
3) Super Small Supper Skinny O-rings


Process:

First take the 1/4 x 3 1/2 piece of soft copper, straighten it and flare one side. Usually you can ask someone in a plumbing store do do it for you. I do it for people all the time.

Next, slide the 3/8 x 2 1/2 over the the flared piece. You may have to ream out the 3/8 piece to create a smooth action between it and the flare.

Now attach the 1/4 T and sweat it on. Also if you can't do this there might be someone you can ask.
You should en up with something like this.


Next take the O-rings and put them onto the 3/8 piece and slide that into the 1/2 x 6 piece.


Now take the 2) 1/4 x 4 1/4 pieces and, using a nail, tap starting points to drill holes in. Drill holes.

Sweat on the 1/4 caps to your newly drilled arms. It might be nice not to use the caps at all and just pinch them shut. It would be one less place to clean flux from. Then sweat those into your 1/4 T with the holes facing one or opposite directions (depending on your perspective) to push the arms.


Test your sparge arm, it should spin off of a basic gravity feed.


Attaching to MLT:

This is the part I'm working on still so these are still in the works. I'll edit this with the final plan once I'm done..... so, theoretically....

Now you have to drill a 1/2 hole through the center of the lid. This is a good time to spay foam into the empty space in your lid. QUICKLY slide your sparge arm through the lid before it can really expand. Clean off the excess.

Now slide a Washer with a 1/2 ID over the top of the 1/2 copper sticking out. Then put on a thick O-Ring the copper to hold it from falling through the lid.
After that you'll have to adjust to fit to your HLT. You can sweat a 1/2 Male Adapter or barb, etc. That part is up to you.
That's it! Now you have a MLT with a copper manifold and a rotating fly sparge arm!

I'll post pics for the lid once I finish and may even create another bulkhead for a thermometer.

I CAN'T TAKE CREDIT FOR THIS. IF IT WEREN'T FOR THIS FORUM I WOULDN'T HAVE EVEN KNOWN WHERE TO START. THANKS EVERYONE!!!
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:29 AM   #4
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Oh and of course any ideas, criticism, comments or questions would be greatly appreciated. I often explain something not realizing I have left something out

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Old 10-29-2010, 03:25 PM   #5
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I was thinking of doing something very similar with my 10-gal.

Thanks for the help!!!!

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Old 12-15-2010, 05:32 PM   #6
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This is EXACTLY what I was looking for!!! Thanks for the visual instructions, exactly what I needed. Do you think this size will work for the 10 gallon size?

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Old 12-15-2010, 05:51 PM   #7
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great job!

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Old 12-15-2010, 09:33 PM   #8
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It would probably work for a 10 gal but if I were you I would size it up a bit to cover mor of the bottom surface area. Glad I could help and good luck with your build.
With this setup I am getting 80-85% eff.

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Cerberus Brewing Co.

GALLONS BREWED IN 2011 : 35
BUCKET 1 : Citra IPA 3
BUCKET 2 : Centenial Blonde
CARBOY 1 : Citrillo IPA
CARBOY 2 : Apfelwein
CARBOY 3 : Psyder test001
CARBOY 4 : empty
CARBOY 5 : Hopsplode
KEG 1 : Palefoot APA
KEG 2 : empty
KEG 3 : Star San
BOTTLED : Nothin'
BUILT: MLT W/Copper Manifold & Rotating Sparge Arm
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:34 PM   #9
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Where did you get a bucket like that. I can only find the little five gallon ones?

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Old 01-06-2011, 04:10 PM   #10
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do u ahve video of the rotating sparge arm?

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