I'm making the jump into AG and am making my MLT. I have been deciding on the lautering method, with the three above options. I think I've decide on the water supply hose like flyguy's build, but I haven't seen many people that use a mesh bag instead of some kind of manifold in their MLT. Is there any reason for this? It seems easier, is there some kind of efficiency loss that I'm not thinking of? Or difficulty while brewing?
More info. I'll be making medium to dark beers, with above average ABV most likely. I have an igloo ice cube 48 quart cooler for the MLT, like this:
http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/178-1364708-5716366?ASIN=B000YIPGWU&AFID=Froogle&LNM=B000YIPGW U|Igloo_Ice_Cube_5075_Can_Cooler_Ocean_Blue_White& ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=B000YIPGWU&ref=tgt_adv_XSG1 0001
Tools and time or effort to make anygthing isn't a factor. I enjoy tinkering. Ease of use and reliability are important.
Sorry if this in the wrong forum, I wasn;t sure if I should put it here or in the AG forums.