So, I am new to the forum and have been brewing for about 8 months and felt it was time to contribute. I read a very extensive thread from '06 that was focused on the PM brewer and options for a space efficient/inexpensive mash tun. With inspiration and grain in hand I set off to Lowes/Home Depot for parts. Here is the quick run down:
Build a 2-3gal mash tun for partial mash that had fixed brass or copper fittings through the cooler. Ideally for less than $35.00 total. (There are a few links within past threads that show a drilled rubber stopper and copper stem being used as a bulkhead, but I didnt want to worry about knocking it loose)
Cooler - Rubbermaid 2 Gal. (Cylindrical) Lowes - $9.74
SS Mesh hose for sink - $3.74
Brass Body Globe Valve - ~$7.00
1/2" Male to 1/2" Barb - ~$2.00
1/2" Close - ~$2.00
1/2" PEX converter ~$1.80
1/2" Sillicon O-Ring - firstname.lastname@example.org
* The o-rings are perfect, but the first thought while in Home Depot was to use a toilet tank gasket and cut out the middle to slip over the 1/2" close fitting. I didnt end up doing this, so check out the material before you make some wort.
The bulkhead could probably use a washer or two to stop the rotation of the valve and a better seal against the o-ring, but it does seal as it is. I have it setting on my counter to give it a time test. I was a little reluctant to use Zinc coated washers, any thoughts?
Overall, ~$27.00 + Tax and you are good to go.