I did this DIY project several months ago and have finally had enough. Obviously my thought was to use the SS braid as a screen to keep most of trub and break material out of the fermentor. Needles to say it has failed! It has gotten stuck my last 3 brew sessions (4 of 6 total). I have even tried to clear the trub away from the braid with a stir paddle and it still will not drain the boil kettle without getting stuck 30 seconds later.
What should I do? I'm tempted to just unscrew the whole copper and SS braid and just use the ball valve and coupler.
My personal setup is just a side pickup in flat bottom kettles like yours. I chill the wort, stir it to form a trub cone and then wait to let it all settle and then I drain until the cone flattens out, leaving behind a few cups of liquid and crud.
Another method is to use a stainless steel scrubby at the coupling to filter out some of the crud. You will still get small particles through. Using some whole hops in the boil can help form a tighter filter bed against the scrubby.
I'm in the process of building a screen setup out of CPVC and PEX tubing. I bought a great little ice chest at WalMart yesterday, drilled and installed the Bargain Fittings cooler setup in it. Today, I'm planning on cutting and assembling the parts to form the "screen" on the bottom. I'm olanning on using two or three arms on this filter. The tubing will be cut to length and I'll use my bandsaw to cut slits in the PEX and scrape off as much of the burrs as I can.
MY question would be.. should I go with the slits only.... or do you think it would help to slip a length of SS braid over each leg to act as a pre screen?