The braid works great. We made ours from items from Lowes/Home Depot. We now have a Stout Mash Tun with a false bottom and that works great as well. The false bottom is easier to clean. When we used the braid, we removed it and boiled for at least 30 minutes. If you do not do that, it can get crud stuck in it. One problem we had is that the braid would be flattened over time. I got some SS springs from Mc Master Carr and that solved that problem. After cleaning out the braid, I would not use a manifold, unless I could remove it and clean it after every use. We actually have 3 igloo coolers, 2 ten gallon and a single 5 gallon. They all leak a little. I have worked on the leaks and they stop then come back after a while. I now use them to bank hot water as we brew 16 gallon batches. The coolers hold temp very well. If you go that route, do pre warm them.