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Old 01-12-2007, 01:54 AM   #1
Ninkasi
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Default Making a 2 Gallon Mini MLT

Ok,

Here is a parts list for a 2 gallon mini mash/lauter tun that I put together. I'm sure it would work for a 3 gallon cooler as well. The cooler was purchased from Target for $9.99. All the parts came from Home Depot and are the "Watts" brand. Use any equivalent in your area. All sizes are 3/8 inch. I will describe the parts for those people who are not familiar with this stuff...like me!:



You will notice a white seal pushed flush against the inside of the cooler on this second picture. It was part of the original cooler set up. After I screwed off the plastic nozzle I left this piece on. If your cooler has this, I would suggest keeping it there. It is a part of the cooler's original seal:


The parts are listed in order starting from the outside:

1. Watts A-294: Barb to MIP Adapter (the piece that screws into the valve) = $2.10
2. 3/8" Brass Valve (with 2 female ends to screw the fittings into) The most "expensive" part at just over $6.
3. Watts A-785: Brass Pipe Nipple. You can't see it from the pictures. It's what connects the valve to the other adapter on the inside of the cooler. = $1.52
4. A washer that will go over the nipple on the outside of the cooler...whatever size will fit for your setup. = $0.25
5. Another washer on the inside. = $0.25
6. Watts A-298: Barb to FIP Adapter. It screws into the nipple. You can't see the actual barb from my picture. It is covered by the SS braid. = $2.33
7. Watts FloodSafe Auto Shutoff Connector: you can use ANY SS braid that will fit inside your cooler. I picked this one beause the braids were so tight I thought it would give me a clean vorlauf/sparge...it did! = $4.69
8. A little clamp to tighten the SS braid to the barb. = $0.79

I also cut a very small piece of siphon tubing and put it on the inside barb before I slid the SS braid over the top and clamped it down....I wanted to give the clamp something to "grab".

Also, don't forget some thread seal tape (only $0.99) for any spots where you screw pieces together.

If you need to there is no shame in bringing your cooler right into the hardware store with you. I did to make sure everything looked right...probably saved myself a trip or two. You don't look as silly carrying a 2 gallon cooler compared to a 5-10 gallon all grain cooler (although, I will probably do that as well when the time comes).

The entire project cost me ~$30, which will more than pay for itself after just a few partial-mash brews...how? 1 lb. of grain at my LHBS = $1.50. 1 lb. of DME = $4.50 (granted, its not a 1:1 ratio, but savings are still an immediate result). This is a great way for extract brewers to start enjoying the variety and benefits of grains during a brew session without needing all the equipment/space to jump immediately into all grain. To read more about the joys of mini-mashing, read the lengthy "Mini Mash For Extract Brewers" Thread here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=8805

Good Luck.

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Old 01-12-2007, 07:29 PM   #2
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Thanks for this post.

I took your parts list to Home Depot and bought all the parts you listed and made one out of a 3 gallon cooler. Going to try it this weekend.

Thanks again!
Dan.

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Old 01-13-2007, 03:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRNDRVR
Thanks for this post.

I took your parts list to Home Depot and bought all the parts you listed and made one out of a 3 gallon cooler. Going to try it this weekend.

Thanks again!
Dan.
Awesome TRNDRVR! Please let everyone know how your first PM goes.
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Old 01-13-2007, 05:08 AM   #4
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Great job with the post! I'm thinking about modifying mine with your plan. Looks great.

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Old 01-15-2007, 06:24 PM   #5
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Ninkasi...

I picked up most of my stuff but had a question...

Does "5. Another washer on the inside. = $0.25" & "8. A little clamp to tighten the SS braid to the barb. = $0.79" have to be stainless steel?

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Old 01-15-2007, 06:28 PM   #6
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Anything that is in contact with wort needs to be stainless, brass, or copper - NOT GALVANIZED. Galvanized will leech zinc into the wort - a very, very bad thing. The biggest issue I had putting this together was finding a SS washer the right size; I ended up making one out of a piece of plastic, I simply could not find one big enough. You can find SS hose clamps pretty easily, though, in the plumbing section of HD/Lowes.

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Old 01-15-2007, 10:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cregar
Ninkasi...

Does "5. Another washer on the inside. = $0.25" & "8. A little clamp to tighten the SS braid to the barb. = $0.79" have to be stainless steel?
Very interesting question, Cregar...

I will have to defer to the experts on this one. I believe the_bird is correct in saying that leeching of zinc from galvanized parts is possible but you should be able to find items that are stainless steel or plastic.

Now...I asked my LHBS owner about this. His response to me was that at a 1 hour rest in an MLT there really shouldn't be any concern. He told me that if there was a low quality, galvanized item in a fermenter, however, you should be concerned. My local guy also said DO NOT use any harsh chemicals to clean those internal parts. Basically, he employs a "relax, don't worry, have a homebrew" approach about such a concern. Again, if someone does have a concern, other pieces can be used, as the_bird described, to eleviate any worries.

I would like to here others chim in on this subject however. It's a very interesting question, especially when we are talking about mini-mashes.
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:57 PM   #8
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I'm glad someone posted the parts. Today I decided I needed to build the same thing. I've got 2.25 lbs of grain that will eventually be an intentional gallon of malt vinegar. I just don't want to use my regular MLT for it. I already have the 2 gallon cooler, just need the braid and other guts to it. Hopefully I can do it all tonight.

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Old 01-16-2007, 02:45 AM   #9
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I have all the parts! Building now...

-edit- I decided to go with a neoprene washer on the inside. I hav to cut it to fit, though

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Old 01-16-2007, 03:27 AM   #10
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Holds water...

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