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Old 08-02-2011, 01:39 AM   #1
Frenchy
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Default holes for copper manifold

I recently built a copper manifold, and I'm trying to figure out what diameter to make the filtering hols in the bottom. Does anyone have an suggestions on what diameter to use?

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Old 08-02-2011, 01:41 AM   #2
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1/8 inch is the norm

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Old 08-02-2011, 01:43 AM   #3
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That sounds pretty good to me. I saw someone make a recommendation on another thread to use 1/16, and that seem too small to me, so I thought I'd see what others suggested.

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Old 08-02-2011, 02:09 AM   #4
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Most use slits instead of holes. It's hard to drill holes in round tubing. I just made a manifold and cut slits. It was very easy

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Old 08-02-2011, 03:43 AM   #5
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For drilling I would recommend assembling your manifold, then use a nail or such to dimple the copper a little, then finish with a drill bit and a drill press if possible. Also using a larger bit after the initial hole will help clean it up, the cut copper will really throw sharp bits outward from the holes.

I tried the slits with a grinder and a cutting wheel but felt like I was going to slip and take a finger off, also couldn't get it even enough.

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Old 08-02-2011, 01:55 PM   #6
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I cut slits in my 3/8 copper manifolds, one in the mash tun the other in the boil pot. After experimenting with a couple of cutting tools, like a hack saw with several different metal blades, an angle grinder with cut off wheel, a air powered die grinder with cut off wheel, and a dremel with cut off wheel. I settled on the thinest kerf of then all, a dremel with a thin cut off wheel that cut 1/16 slits. I cut the slits half way through the 3/8 tube at 3/8 spacing. It cut pretty quickly and was the easiest tool to control while cutting.

The manifold works great, drains fairly quickly if needed, and filters well without letting in any crushed grain. I did make one unexpected discovery though. On the mash tun the slits filter best and drain the most wort facing down. However, on the boil pot the slits drain and filter best facing up, especially if using pelletized hops, because the trub and fine ground hop particles settle to the bottom. Facing up, the slits avoid sucking most of it in. Whereas, facing down, the slits did a good job of sucking a great deal of trub and hops off of the bottom of the pot. With whole cone hops it's not such big issue, but the slits still work better facing up to avoid the trub. With slits cut half way throught the tube, facing up they only leave about 3/16 dead space on the bottom of the pot. IMO, that's a small sacrifice of wort to pay of a pretty clean wort in the fermenter.

One additional technique that works well to hold the manifold tubes, elbows, and T's together is to fasten them with a thin SS wire through tiny holes drilled across the fittings. That is, instead of soldering a copper manifold or glueing a CPVC one. Then the manifold can be easily disassembled for cleaning.

Also don't forget to clean out the cutting debris in the tube after either cutting slits or drilling holes. I used a shotgun bore brush to help strip out the ragged bits on the inside of the tube that weren't totally detached.

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Old 08-02-2011, 08:43 PM   #7
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I soldered my manifold together. I just put it inside a grain bag when mashing. Haven't had a stuck mash since I started doing this and it keeps grain particles out of the manifold so it can be easily rinsed with nothing stuck inside it.

Highly recommend this technique, though others obviously can work just as well.

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Old 08-02-2011, 11:42 PM   #8
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hmmmmm...just realized, that i soldered it all together, but i have yet to cut. not sure how well, i can clean it out like that. I'm thinking i could just use my hand held jig saw, that has to have about the same width as a dremmel tool i would think.

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Old 08-03-2011, 01:02 AM   #9
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I used my band saw, took less than 5 minutes. There was a lot of debris inside the pipe I had to use a file to get it off. You might want to take apart your manifold, I know it's a pain now that it's soldered.

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