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Old 05-06-2011, 04:47 AM   #1
Joshaw50
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Default DIY Mash Tun Design, Parts list, and updated cost

I just finished making a mash tun out of a 48 qt rubbermaid cooler that I had sitting around the house. I've read about all the discussions of what's better between ss braid, copper manifold, and CPVC Manifold.

My choice narrowed down quickly to SS braid vs. CPVC Manifold because the current price of copper.

I decided on CPVC for future versatility and after reading John Palmer but it's also just personal preference.

I've seen some design and costs but most of them seem out of date on pricing. So i decided I'd post my design and updated pricing as of May 5th, 2011.

Equipment Needed:

48 qt Rubbermaid Cooler
Qty 1 - 10 ft Section 1/2" CPVC pipe - $2.60
Qty 5 - 1/2" Tee CPVC - $.19 each
Qty 4 - 1/2" 90 degree Elbow CPVC - $.29 ea
Qty 1 - 1/2" CPVC Female Coupling Adapter - $.67
Qty 1 - 3/4" ID x 1 1/2" OD Rubber Washer - $.86
Size does not matter since you can cut the hole size you want. I could not find anything above 5/16" ID
Qty 1 - 3/4" ID Flat Steel Cut Washer (I used a Rosette washer but may be more difficult to find) - $.40
Qty 1 - Brass 1/2" x 1/2" male to male nipple (1 1/2" to 2 1/2" length depending on cooler width) - $2.52
Qty 1 - 1/2" x 3/8" hosetail (can use 1/2" x 1/2" hosetail) - $2.56
Qty 1 - 1/2" brass full port threaded ball valve - $7.52

Total Investment - $20.64 + cost of cooler.
All Items were purchased at Home Depot.

There are cheaper alternatives with CPVC if you don't mind using glue.
I just didn't want any chance of contamination so I didn't do this.
You can buy 1/2" CPVC ball valves threaded or unthreaded and either glue in the pipe or try to find to find the correct fittings and adapters.

Hope this is useful and helpful to anyone considering making one instead of buying it!

img-20110506-00027-3-.jpg   img-20110506-00029.jpg  
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:37 AM   #2
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I think I have a general idea of what you're looking at, but a photo of the final product would be a huge help .

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Old 05-06-2011, 01:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smagee View Post
I think I have a general idea of what you're looking at, but a photo of the final product would be a huge help .
Photos will be attached tonight. I had to run back to home depot to exchange the male x male nipple for a bigger size so didn't have time to put them up with the post last night. I will post several pictures of the manifold and cooler setup.
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Old 08-05-2011, 03:40 PM   #4
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Great thread. Posting to remind myself for next weekend when I want to start building mine.

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Old 08-05-2011, 03:43 PM   #5
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I don't understand why the slits are facing up, when they really ought to be facing down.


Also as an FYI, my local Home Depot does not sell CPVC parts at all. Lowe's does, but their selection is quite limited. So don't just go to out to the nearest big box store expecting to find everything you need; you may need to call ahead first (although good luck with that).

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Old 08-05-2011, 08:22 PM   #6
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Actually, I just got back from HomeDepot right now, got a little excited and skipped out of work for a couple minutes. I went through and bought everything, but because I was in a hurry, I didn't notice a couple things.

1. Did you use 1/2" pipe with bigger connections or 1/2" connectors with smaller pipe? Wasn't paying attention and connecting things in the store, but they listed the ID's for everything, when because I was in a hurry wasn't connecting to check the fit. So my connectors are the same size as the pipe, my fault, not yours.

2. Also noticed when I got back that my pipe isn't CPVC, but all of my fittings are. You can order CPVC from their website shipped to store though.

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Old 08-05-2011, 08:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weirdboy View Post


Also as an FYI, my local Home Depot does not sell CPVC parts at all. Lowe's does, but their selection is quite limited. So don't just go to out to the nearest big box store expecting to find everything you need; you may need to call ahead first (although good luck with that).
My HD didnt have CPVC either. I am going to check out Lowes.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:47 PM   #8
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OK, some someone with some actual real intelligence regarding tell me why regular white PVC should not be used as a manifold for the MLT. Some say chemical leeching, others say it melts. I use the white regular PVC for 3 batches now with no issues and no off flavors. So why is everyone so uppity when they find out I'm not using CPVC...please, no speculations. I have seen that regular PVC just softens at temps over 160 F, but nothing else, no chemical leeching, so what gives?

Also, I regularly mash around 152, and sparge at temps reaching 170...with that said, I have seen no noticeable "melting" of my PVC.

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Old 08-05-2011, 08:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcaple1 View Post
OK, some someone with some actual real intelligence regarding tell me why regular white PVC should not be used as a manifold for the MLT. Some say chemical leeching, others say it melts. I use the white regular PVC for 3 batches now with no issues and no off flavors. So why is everyone so uppity when they find out I'm not using CPVC...please, no speculations. I have seen that regular PVC just softens at temps over 160 F, but nothing else, no chemical leeching, so what gives?

Also, I regularly mash around 152, and sparge at temps reaching 170...with that said, I have seen no noticeable "melting" of my PVC.
Just searched the forum and found your answer:
Quote:
Originally Posted by headbanger View Post
Both will leach chemicals, in the case of CPVC those chemicals amount to relatively small amounts of chloramines. That said, it is doubtful that the quantities of these "leached" chemicals will affect you or your brew.

I would be much more concerned with PVC actually breaking down and releasing toxins after prolonged exposure to high temps which is why you're better off using CPVC vs PVC in your mash tun.

If you're still concerned about the CPVC leaching chloramines then you can build one out of copper instead. Of course, then you will be leaching copper into your brew instead of chloramines but the amounts are probably negligible in both cases or at least as far as home brewing is concerned.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:57 PM   #10
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I had to switch mine from PVC to CPVC because some of the piping deformed when adding hotter water (probably 190-ish) when trying to raise the mash temp. Real PIA. I also ASSUMED that if it was hot enough to deform then it would be hot enough to leech.

CPVC is more expensive than PVC, but not more than PVC done twice...

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