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Old 11-11-2012, 07:43 PM   #1
matthewroberts
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Default Cooler Mash Tun Problem

Hey guys,
First post, and first attempt at brewing all grain for me. I built a cooler mash tun based off some different things I read online, but I am second guessing my design. I think the cooler I purchased may have been a very poor choice, and I didn't really think it through.

Basically the spigot hole is placed about two inches up an incline from the bottom of the cooler. So the filter I made from a dishwasher hose comes out of the T pipe and then has to descend down to the bottom of the cooler. Am I crazy, or will this not be very efficient?


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Old 11-11-2012, 10:20 PM   #2
Brewski1975
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You will be fine. Im guessing that you will be using a gravity fed system to drain your mash tun to your boil kettle. With that in mind, the tubing that you use from your ball valve to the boil kettle will create a siphon that will pull the wort from the bottom of the mash tun over the humpty hump and into your boil kettle. No worries...


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Old 11-11-2012, 10:32 PM   #3
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If your outlet is 2" up you will leave 2" of liquid on the bottom. Not the end of the world especially if you batch sparge. The 2" you leave after the first runnings will be the most valuable, but you will get most of that when stirring during the first batch. Do a batch or two then tip the cooler for the last bit. You will leave very little sugar.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewski1975 View Post
You will be fine. Im guessing that you will be using a gravity fed system to drain your mash tun to your boil kettle. With that in mind, the tubing that you use from your ball valve to the boil kettle will create a siphon that will pull the wort from the bottom of the mash tun over the humpty hump and into your boil kettle. No worries...

Don't worry about a thing. I use a coleman rectangular cooler and my port is about an inch above the bottom. I have never had an issue getting all of the wort out. Brewski is right, as long as your manifold/screen is on the bottom, and your draining into a kettle with the exit below your mash tun, gravity will do the rest for you. If you don't believe it, hook up a tube and fill it with water and drain into your sink. It's always good to have a test run anyway.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:45 AM   #5
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That looks like a really nice mash tun to me.
Like you were already told, when you batch sparge you'll be getting nearly all of the sugars anyhow.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:57 AM   #6
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As everyone has said, if you batch sparge, you're fine.

However, what I would do is add a 90 degree elbow to each end of your T, pointing downward, and rattach your hose to the elbows. They would function as a dip tube and would not leave as much of your valuable heavier gravity runnings at the bottom if you do a continuous sparge.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:13 AM   #7
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As SirJoshuaIV said, reason being as soon as your tube sucks air it will stop the siphon leaving the two inches of liquid in the tun. However as mentioned before that you should be fine if batch sparging, just account for the liquid left behind.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:28 AM   #8
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I used that cooler successfully for years.

I suggest a modification you your current plumbing to the following as pictured:



Add a 90* and then extend the T to the bottom of the cooler.

[IMG]
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t172/StLBeer/Brewing%20and%20Serving/PICT0016.jpg[/IMG]
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:20 AM   #9
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Several people suggested that the effects of dead space are somehow negated when batch sparging. This is simply not true. In fact, excess dead space is a pretty big, needless efficiency hit in batch sparging. In the OP's case, that is a LOT of deadspace (probably 1.5 gallons). Even something as simple as a street elbow in front of the tee would help bring it down closer to the bottom.

No, a siphon won't pull wort UP through a mesh tube. It will such air as soon as the liquid goes below the top of the tee.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:26 AM   #10
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I have the same cooler with CPVC manifold and get insane efficiency out of it (never below 80%) and would recommend, as others have mentioned, that you add a 90 deg elbow to get your screen as low as possible. Cheap and easy "fix".


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