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Old 10-09-2006, 01:32 AM   #1
texasgeorge's Avatar
Apr 2006
Posts: 193
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I had an idea for building a mash tun out of a rectangular cooler and did some research on building a manifold, etc... but thought of a different idea.

Couldn't you build some sort of mesh basket, kind of like a deep fryer, to hold the grains, and then lift the basket out of the water to drain out? If the basket was almost as wide as the interior of the cooler, there shouldn't be much concern about not having enough room for the grains, right?

And then I'm sure I could figure out some way of propping or suspending the basket up above the level of the water to get the grains to drain (like to build some feet or something to let it sit on top of the cooler), and then I could batch-sparge by lowering the grains back down into a cooler-full of 170F water once the wort was drained.

Price aside, is there anything else that I should be concerned with in trying to tackle this kind of project?
6.5 Gallon Primary: Empty
5 Gallon Secondary: Empty
Bottled & Drinking: Holiday Ale, Pale Rye Ale, Bridgeport ESB Clone project v1.0
Bottled & Conditioning: Michael Richards' NOT Racist Ale
Best of 2006: All Saints' IPA, Six-Malt Amber Ale, McClelland's Irish Red Ale
On Deck: English Honey Bitter, Chocolate Stout, House Pale Ale

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Old 10-09-2006, 02:00 AM   #2
G. Cretin
Jul 2006
Posts: 333
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When I figure out how to post pics on the comp and pay for my member ship here I'll post pics of my MLT it's not conventional at all. Do what you think is going to work for you.

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Old 10-09-2006, 02:18 AM   #3
Aug 2006
Posts: 829
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Seems like it would work for batch sparging. If you put a kewler kit and ball valve on the chest, you could still vorlauf. I don't see why you'd need to lift the grain basket at any point in time. Just drain out the first runnings after vorlaufing, then add the rinse water, stir, let steep, vorlauf and drain again.

But I'm not really sure if the vorlaufing would work the same if the grain bed isn't uniform across the cooler. Because your basket will probably will leave gap all around the edges, that may affect your ability to get clear runnings.

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Old 10-09-2006, 03:04 PM   #4
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,599
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I've been using a large grain bag (actually a wine making bag) in my mash tun. I batch sparge & using the bag lets me stir the grains without having to worry about resettling the bed. Works great.

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