After reading the thread about grain mill surveys (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/grai...survey-386310/
) and seeing someone mentioned a foremasher like the big-boys use I did a little research. As it turns out a foremasher, to my understanding, mixes the water and the grain as it enters the mash tun. The result is no doughballs, and on my system won't require me to 'bucket dump' the grain into the tun, hoping not to miss.
The idea is fairly simple. From the top of my cooler I'll install a ~2.5" piece of CPVC or pipe of some kind. A ball-valve will be installed near the bottom to control water flow, and either a large ball valve or a stovepipe flue damper will control grain flow. Note, that's not drawn. I'm not really sure I can find a valve large enough, but I'll do some looking.
A funnel on top of the pipe will direct grain. I'm thinking that attaching the lid of the bucket, probably by glue, to the funnel will allow me to secure the grain bucket (Homer 5 gallon) to the funnel.
Now, the procedure.
1. Mill grain into bucket.
2. With bucket upright, attach lid/ funnel apparatus. The funnel will be mounted and removable with the grain valve attached. Close grain valve, attach funnel to bucket.
3. Invert bucket/ funnel/ valve assembly and attach to mash tun.
4. Attach water-in line from strike vessel to foremasher.
5. Open water valve, open grain valve.
6. My cooler has a two-piece lid so I can open half and check out the situation. Adjust flow of both valves until satisfied.
7. Once grain and water are drained, give a quick stir to ensure the whole thing worked. Remove foremasher from bucket and replace with a PVC plug in top of cooler.
Here's the Sketchup file https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2Y0...it?usp=sharing
for the whole get-up. You may notice that I have a problem with my liquid ball valve heights, and I'm going to have to fix that on the actual model. I haven't built this thing yet, but may get to it this week. Any thoughts, comments, suggestions before I dive in? Kyle