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Old 01-12-2013, 11:01 PM   #1
jbsayers
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Default Rubbermaid mash tun!

Brewed for the first time in my DIY 10 gallon Rubbermaid mash tun yesterday and I am really glad I made the decision to buy and build it.

For the most part I followed FlyGuy's procedure located here:http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/chea...version-23008/.

Unfortunately Home Depot and Lowes' both no longer carried the 3/8 inch ball valve so I had to buy a 1/2 and use reducers. If you go this route, be warned that the reducers will not thread far enough onto the 1.5" nipple to snug the assembly to the cooler. The fix is to use additional washers. I used 1 SS washer on the inside and 3 SS washers and 2 zinc plated steel washers on the outside.

FlyGuy bent his washer to mold to the contour of the inside of the cooler better but I did not find this to be necessary and the cooler is water tight. Just be careful not to tighten the assembly too much or you may warp the shape of the rubber grommet the nipple slides over and actually cause it to leak.

I wish I would have taken more pictures during the build but alas. FlyGuy's write up is really nice and he has plenty of illustrations. Here is a pic from my first brew day with the new equipment, though!

Cheers!
JB

20130111_221309.jpg  
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:09 PM   #2
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Well done

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Old 01-14-2013, 07:55 PM   #3
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I jsut bought a 3/8" lead-free brass ball valve from Home Depot not more than 7 days ago. Guess there must be either a really high demand or no demand in your area.

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Old 01-14-2013, 09:13 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by VTrookie View Post
I jsut bought a 3/8" lead-free brass ball valve from Home Depot not more than 7 days ago. Guess there must be either a really high demand or no demand in your area.
Funny you say that. I checked on the HD website to see if they still carried them online and they said there were 19 available at my store. I went to my local HD and of course they have them. I asked the master plumber that runs the dept (the guy that told me they stopped carrying them) and he told me that he argued with the management until they agreed to start carrying them again. So looks like I went through the extra trouble for nothing. Still ended up with a working tun so all is well.

JB
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:05 AM   #5
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How snug does the valve/nipple fit in that cooler? I just built this a couple of weeks ago using the 3/8" fittings and there is a lot of "play" in the valve assembly. Just sitting full it doesn't leak but just the force it takes to open and close the valve flexes the entire assembly left and right until a little liquid will leak out. I was curious if stepping up to 1/2" would fit better in the factory hole drilled into that cooler.

Thanks!

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Old 01-15-2013, 10:48 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by abledsoe View Post
How snug does the valve/nipple fit in that cooler? I just built this a couple of weeks ago using the 3/8" fittings and there is a lot of "play" in the valve assembly. Just sitting full it doesn't leak but just the force it takes to open and close the valve flexes the entire assembly left and right until a little liquid will leak out. I was curious if stepping up to 1/2" would fit better in the factory hole drilled into that cooler.

Thanks!
The 3/8" nipple fits very snug through the rubber gasket that the stock spout ran through so I don't think you would be able to get a 1/2" nipple through it. Now mine does have a little play but not much and def not enough that it leaks. If I were you I would be worried that it is leaking into the cooler wall while holding liquid.

I made 2 more for a LHBS to sell since they were so impressed with mine and those builds went much better since I had some experience. On one of those I used extra zinc plated washers on the outside of the assembly in order to be able to snug the assembly to the cooler better. I didn't have enough washers to do the second in the same way and I had the idea to use O rings between the washers on the outside of the assembly since they are the same thickness (and much cheaper). On that one, from the outside of the cooler to the inside, male threaded barb-->ball valve-->washer-->o-ring-->washer-->o-ring-->washer-->o-ring-->nipple (through the factory grommet)-->washer-->female threaded barb. This assembly was very, very sturdy.

The first one I made does flex a little but not much. The next two I made barely flex. All of them rotate inside the hole if I twist them.

Hope that helps. Let me know if I need to clarify anything or if you have any other questions.

JB
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:40 PM   #7
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Thanks, I will try your o-ring between the washer trick. I currently have 6 washers on the outside and 2 on the inside, along with the stock rubber gasket and it still has a little too much flex in it.

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Old 01-15-2013, 06:48 PM   #8
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Thanks, I will try your o-ring between the washer trick. I currently have 6 washers on the outside and 2 on the inside, along with the stock rubber gasket and it still has a little too much flex in it.
Wow. I have 1 on the inside and 5 on the outside of mine and it is relatively snug. Sure its tight?

JB
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:53 PM   #9
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Yeah, I have cranked down on it pretty hard, but I have also read on here that over-tightening will cause leaks too, so I don't want to get it too tight. I filled it with hot water and let it sit for 90 minutes and not a drop leaked out. As soon as I pulled the lever to open the valve a couple of drops leaked out from behind the washers on the outside. It happened again when I closed the valve. But, just sitting it seems fine. However, like you said, it could be leaking into the wall of the cooler, which would suck.

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Old 01-15-2013, 06:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abledsoe View Post
Yeah, I have cranked down on it pretty hard, but I have also read on here that over-tightening will cause leaks too, so I don't want to get it too tight. I filled it with hot water and let it sit for 90 minutes and not a drop leaked out. As soon as I pulled the lever to open the valve a couple of drops leaked out from behind the washers on the outside. It happened again when I closed the valve. But, just sitting it seems fine. However, like you said, it could be leaking into the wall of the cooler, which would suck.
If you have the 1.5 inch nipple, the only thing I could think of that might be causing your problem is if the threads on one end of the nipple is passing through the stock rubber grommet, but if you have it snugged up pretty tight, I doubt that would be the issue.

It is possible your washers aren't as thick as mine. Try the o-rings and let me know.

JB
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