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Old 02-15-2007, 02:51 PM   #1
Ó Flannagáin
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I'm working on equipment for my first AG... I know my efficiency isn't going to be great for 2 reasons. 1, this is my first attempt and 2, I'm not going to have the greatest equipment... I'll upgrade sometime, but can't really afford it at the moment. But, I don't really mind, I just want to do an AG real bad, and I'll work on great efficiency later... but I do want decent to good efficiency.

SO here's what I'm wondering... I have a cooler and manifold rigged up very similarly to this picture from howtobrew.com:



What I'm wondering is about th eover the side siphoning. This makes me nervous for 2 reasons. One, will there be enough pressure for this to continue once the wort level gets low in my mash tun? And 2, how will I keep the lid closed with this tube going over the side, can I reach my hand in and rig it up after the mashing process is done?

Here is what I have now, it has a hole in the bottom for draining, but I'm having a lot of trouble getting my plumbing rigged up right, and I figured over the side like this would save me a lot of pain.



 
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Old 02-15-2007, 02:55 PM   #2
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Over the side sounds like a HUGE pain to me. Get the plumbing right and check it with water. You don't want to be screwing around with trying to keep your siphon going when you're in the middle of a brew session.
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Old 02-15-2007, 02:57 PM   #3
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That's what I figured, but why would he recommend it in the howtobrew.com book? Seems like there must be some usefullness if he mentions it.

 
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Old 02-15-2007, 03:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seefresh
That's what I figured, but why would he recommend it in the howtobrew.com book? Seems like there must be some usefullness if he mentions it.
I don't think he recommends it so much as listing it as a possibility. Some people may already have a cooler without a drain hole or something. The plumbed cooler is going to be SO much easier and if you've got the drain hole, all you really need is a way to hook it up.

For $25 you can have a ready to go option sent to your house, but quite honestly, I think you could build it for $15
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Old 02-15-2007, 03:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seefresh
That's what I figured, but why would he recommend it in the howtobrew.com book? Seems like there must be some usefullness if he mentions it.
If you get the latest (hardcopy) edition of the book, Palmer has replaced this recommendation with a braided hose and ball valve assembly setup. I think he still shows the over-the-side siphon setup, but no particular recommendation for it.

Since you have already built the manifold, why not just port that out the hole in the cooler using a piece of hose and add a ball valve? That would be a great setup.

 
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Old 02-15-2007, 03:44 PM   #6
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You won't be able to hook up the siphon after the mash starts. It is hot in there, and it will burn your hands. I have had to reattach my ss braid before after in fell off in the mash. It was a fiasco. I guess you could just keep the whole tube in the cooler during the mash, and whip it out to lauter.

 
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Old 02-15-2007, 04:12 PM   #7
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Just as an aside, you don't need expensive gear to achieve high efficiencies.

Efficiency is principally a reflection of grain crush, water/grain ratio, and sparging temps and techniques. If you're getting your grain crushed from the HBS then you can't control the crush, but you can control the other variable with or without an expensive fancy rig.

What the expensive gear mostly does, IMHO, is make some tasks a little easier or less manully intensive.

The only expensive gear in my AG setup is the keggle. The rest is cobbled together from fairly cheap parts. I routinely get efficiencies in the 70-75% range (w/ HBS-crushed grains).
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Old 02-15-2007, 04:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Since you have already built the manifold, why not just port that out the hole in the cooler using a piece of hose and add a ball valve? That would be a great setup.
Not sure what a ball valve is, I got it ported through the hole with copper tubing, but I can't get it airtight through the hole. Is there a recommended liquid sealant or something I could use to seal in the small gaps? The hole in the cooler has kind of a rounded, hexagonal shape which is causing very small corners in the circle.

 
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Old 02-15-2007, 04:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seefresh
Not sure what a ball valve is, I got it ported through the hole with copper tubing, but I can't get it airtight through the hole. Is there a recommended liquid sealant or something I could use to seal in the small gaps? The hole in the cooler has kind of a rounded, hexagonal shape which is causing very small corners in the circle.
I took the drain thingy out of the cooler, drilled a larger hole, and then used a drilled rubber stopper that I had drilled with a larger hole so that high-temp vinyl tubing could be shoved through it. The tubing goes through the stopper and then onto the hose barb of the ball valve.
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Old 02-15-2007, 04:49 PM   #10
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Here is what you need...



From left to right...

Bulkhead screws on to nipple. Then a washer and some sort of gasket. Nipple goes through the cooler wall. On the other side - gasket, washer and nut. Then screw the ballvalve on the nipple.

The place I linked earlier has a good price and it's easy to install.

Your manifold should connect to the bulkhead. You can do that in a number of ways
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