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Old 04-27-2009, 04:44 AM   #1
Beavdowg
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I'm wanting to get into all-grain brewing and building my own MLT from a cooler. I've read many of the posts and seen the different designs. Which is better for the mash tun, the braided hose or the pipe manifold? Which produces a better efficiency?

Another question...I ran across a post on this forum a couple nights ago about the safety concerns with using a plastic cooler and CPVC for MLT's. I can't find that post again so what's the final verdict? Is this low-budget system safe or will I die an early death from mashing out of a plastice cooler?

I'm new to this forum and really enjoying the breadth of info here.

thanks!!



 
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Old 04-27-2009, 04:54 AM   #2
JesseRC
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You wont get a definative answer here. Lot of folks prefer all of the available options such as false bottoms, copper pipe, pvc , braid. They all work, and there should be some sticky about it , just do a search. What I can tell you is that I believe braid is cheaper . Its affordable enough to try, and not much is lost if you try to upgrade to the other options. Whatever you try the bulkhead will still be used for either.


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Old 04-27-2009, 05:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JesseRC View Post
You wont get a definative answer here. Lot of folks prefer all of the available options such as false bottoms, copper pipe, pvc , braid. They all work, and there should be some sticky about it , just do a search. What I can tell you is that I believe braid is cheaper . Its affordable enough to try, and not much is lost if you try to upgrade to the other options. Whatever you try the bulkhead will still be used for either.
I beg to differ....That answer is the definitive one.

All I can add is that if you are thinking in the future to Go with a continuous circulation system (HERMS or RIMS) then you want to be looking in the direction of a manifold rather than a braid.

 
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Old 04-27-2009, 01:49 PM   #4
Edcculus
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I went with a CPVC manifold. My first braid ended in a stuck mash. The second one came loose. The third one (with a supporting tube with holes) also got stuck. The only stuck sparge since switching to the manifold was when the hose connecting the manifold to the spigot got crushed under the weight of the grain.

I used a hack saw and cut a ton of tiny lines. I don't think I've seen a husk make it through yet.

 
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Old 04-27-2009, 01:59 PM   #5
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A manifold is the only filtering mechanism that I haven't tried yet. I did 20+ batches on a braid and had no problems at all. I now have a very large false bottom and its been OK, a little more vorlauf needed to clear grain out but overall it's OK. JesseRC is right though. The braid will cost you a whole $4 to try.
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Old 04-27-2009, 02:08 PM   #6
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I think you'll find that on average the brewers who batch sparge generally use the braid. Those who fly sparge use a manifold to avoid channeling (almost a requirement). Personally I batch sparge with the braid and have never had a stuck mash, wheat beers included. Just use a half pound of rice hulls per 5 gallon batch of wheat for "cheap" insurance. I generally get 80%+ Brewhouse Efficiency with batch sparging.
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Old 04-27-2009, 02:39 PM   #7
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In my opinion, for a first time all grain batch, the braid is simple, cheap, yet very effective for batch sparging. My little 8" braid works so well I see no need to consider a manifold.

 
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Old 04-27-2009, 03:12 PM   #8
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My braid is 30". In a rectangular cooler, you can get away with that. I don't know how that would work out in a round cooler. I had an awful stuck sparge once (not with the braid) and I never want that to happen again.

BTW, the stuck sparge was a wheat in a 2-pail lautertun. Had rice hulls, but they didn't help. Complete loss, that one.

 
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Old 04-27-2009, 03:30 PM   #9
SRTBREW
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I also use a braid in a rectangular cooler. I get consistant 78% efficiency batch sparging.
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Old 04-27-2009, 03:33 PM   #10
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I've used a bazooka screen which is pretty much a braid, and I just built a copper manifold.

With my Barley Crusher I ended up with 75% efficiency with both.

Braid is cheaper. Manifold is fun to build.


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