Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks > Cheap & Easy 10 Gallon Rubbermaid MLT Conversion
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-22-2010, 01:52 PM   #1001
baron
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
baron's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 179
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

Thanks again Flyguy for the post and excellent details for assembly.

I finally assembled mine yesterday and it looks/works great.

The only thing I did different was use a false bottom (from Northern Brewer) instead of the SS braid. Other than that -- it is identical.

I went ahead and built two (2) of them -- one as a MLT and the other as a HLT.


baron is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2010, 05:42 PM   #1002
pkphy39
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: NW Colorado
Posts: 12
Default

I got mine assembled yesterday as well, but have a small problem.

I had a VERY slow sparge during my first brew yesterday. I purchased a domed stainless false bottom, but the bottom of the cooler is domed as well, and it just about matches exactly the dome of the false bottom.

I guess I wonder if EVERY 10-gal rubbermaid has a domed bottom like this, or if it's just me?

I attribute this to the fact that I'm at about 6700 ft above sea level, and assume some air is trapped under the bottom that is causing it to "balloon" up. Has anyone else experienced this? I plan to try to surgically drill from the bottom up to release the pressure, but was wondering if anyone else has a similar issue. I've searched the forums and found someone else who had a slow sparge for what appeared to be similar reasons but didn't see anything in this thread yet.

Thanks!


pkphy39 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2010, 07:07 PM   #1003
Beernip
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Oregon.. Go Beavs!
Posts: 592
Liked 10 Times on 10 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

What kind of efficiency are people seeing with their Rubbermaid MLT? I can't seem to get above a 65% with mine?
Beernip is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2010, 07:19 PM   #1004
KingKegII
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Katy, TX
Posts: 116
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

To pkphy39, I too live at 6700 ft and have not seen the bottom of my rubbermaid ballon up. Though I have heard of stories of people adding really hot strike/sparge water to their coolers and getting some warping of the liner. I would be VERY careful drilling up from the bottom b/c it would really be a bummer if you pierced the internal liner. Besides, drilling a hole in the bottom may not cure the problem, if the problem is warped plastic and not an air bubble. You may consider that your slow sparge was due to grain bed compaction; next time try slowing the rate of initial drain/vorlauf until your bed is set.

To Beernip, I'm getting 65 to 75% efficiency on my SS-braided Rubbermaid MLT for lower gravity beers, and 60 to 70% efficiency on higher gravity beers. After draining my initial mash I split the sparge into 2 equal volumes and sparge twice, draining between each one.

Cheers
KingKegII is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2010, 07:39 PM   #1005
pkphy39
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: NW Colorado
Posts: 12
Default

KingKeg - thanks for the reply.

I should have noted - both of my rubbermaid coolers (MLT and HLT) have a ballooned bottom, and arrived in that condition (new).

The grain bed seemed fluffy, and during vorlauf I didn't open the ball valve fully until I saw I wasn't getting much flow - though it's entirely possible I did compact the bed; I will pay closer attention to the process next brew day.

I will drill VERY carefully (with a dremel, over which I'll have finer control) - the last thing I want to do is ruin my new equipment! But after springing for the false bottom I'd like the stuff to perform as intended.

I suppose I was hopeful that the addition of water and grain would push down the bubble, but obviously that didn't happen.

Thanks again for your response. Any other tips/experience with this problem would be welcome.
pkphy39 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2010, 07:41 PM   #1006
FlyGuy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
FlyGuy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 3,618
Liked 166 Times on 51 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pkphy39 View Post
I got mine assembled yesterday as well, but have a small problem.

I had a VERY slow sparge during my first brew yesterday. I purchased a domed stainless false bottom, but the bottom of the cooler is domed as well, and it just about matches exactly the dome of the false bottom.
Are you batch sparging or fly sparging? And no, the coolers should have a flat bottom, unless it got warped from hot water.
FlyGuy is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2010, 07:42 PM   #1007
FlyGuy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
FlyGuy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 3,618
Liked 166 Times on 51 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beernip View Post
What kind of efficiency are people seeing with their Rubbermaid MLT? I can't seem to get above a 65% with mine?
80 - 85% with a fine crush, typically.

See my signature below for some efficiency tips if you are batch sparging.
FlyGuy is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2010, 08:07 PM   #1008
pkphy39
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: NW Colorado
Posts: 12
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyGuy View Post
Are you batch sparging or fly sparging? And no, the coolers should have a flat bottom, unless it got warped from hot water.
Fly sparging. And thanks for the info, it lends some credence to my assumption that altitude may be a factor.
pkphy39 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2010, 08:08 PM   #1009
FlyGuy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
FlyGuy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 3,618
Liked 166 Times on 51 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pkphy39 View Post
Fly sparging. And thanks for the info, it lends some credence to my assumption that altitude may be a factor.
If you dumped some boiling water in it and set something inside (e.g., a full corny keg), then let it cool, it might flatten out again. Hope you get it fixed without too much difficulty.

FlyGuy is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2010, 11:10 PM   #1010
ReverseApacheMaster
Registered User
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Keller, Texas
Posts: 4,887
Liked 234 Times on 194 Posts

Default

I just built this as my first DIY project. It was actually much easier than I was expecting. I'm not very mechanically-savvy, but I can follow directions... No leaks, drains perfectly.

I picked up a 10gal cooler at home depot. It has a big home depot logo on it instead of the usual rubbermaid one, but it was only $40 (I saw them elsewhere for $60-70). The parts were about $35, maybe $40. (When shipping is factored in, it was about as expensive as buying a kit from bargain fittings.)

I had difficulty finding the 5/8 SS fender washers -- actually I had difficulty finding 5/8 fender washers period. I did some substitution. I found 5/8 neoprene washers that are both waterproof and heat resistant. I used one on the inside in place of the SS washer. On the outside of the cooler, I used two neoprene fender washers with a 5/8 zinc cut washer in place of three fender washers. It isn't as steady as going all metal and twists a little in the rubber fitting on the inside when you turn it on and off, but there's no leaking after letting water sit for 30 min and not a drop when I turned it on and off.

Thanks a million to the OP and the clear directions and pictures on this!!


ReverseApacheMaster is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
CHEAP 10 Gallon Rubbermaid Water Cooler rj_hockey Equipment/Sanitation 11 05-30-2012 04:26 PM
Rubbermaid conversion bbrim Equipment/Sanitation 2 02-27-2009 10:30 PM
10 gallon and 5 gallon rubbermaid water coolers delivered for 68 bucks. RedOctober Equipment/Sanitation 6 12-12-2008 06:33 PM
Cheap & Easy 5 Gallon Rubbermaid MLT Conversion Brutus Brewer Equipment/Sanitation 1 08-29-2008 03:04 AM
conversion kit for 5 gallon rubbermaid cooler? Steve973 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 2 08-09-2006 06:21 PM


Forum Jump

Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS