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Old 09-07-2008, 11:20 PM   #1
chefchris
 
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I'm looking at doing the cooler conversion, but I have a couple of questions.

Why is it necessary for the pvc/copper tubing at the bottom being used as a strainer? Could you just use a grain bag and not have to strain?

Why not use the spigot that comes on the cooler? I was listening to The Brewing Network and the guy said he uses the factory spigot and just puts a concave spoon over the hole. The only negative thing I could see would be having to hold down the button.
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Old 09-07-2008, 11:29 PM   #2
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I used the big grain bag method for 2 partial mashes before converting a cooler. The bag turned out to be a huge pain. You had to make sure no grain fell out of it, you had to lift it when draining, and it clogged a few times. Plus the button on the spigot that came with the cooler gets pretty damn hot when you're holding it down draining out gallons of 152F wort. With the cooler you just open up the valve and let it fly - much, much easier.

 
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Old 09-07-2008, 11:35 PM   #3
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The only thing is I just don't have the tools/time to make the conversion myself. I found one on eBay for around $50.

You could tie the bag so no grains escaped. What clogged?
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Old 09-07-2008, 11:44 PM   #4
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The only tools I used was a couple adjustable wrenches, a cutting wheel (but a hacksaw would do fine), pliers, and a flat head screwdriver. Only took me a short time to assemble it and I was able to do it sitting on my couch while watching TV.

Yeah you could tie the bag. I didn't think I was going to need to and I didn't want to have to deal with knots when the thing had been sitting in a hundred and something degree water. Only a little amount of grains escaped and clogged the stock spout. Before that I couldn't even drain my first runnings through the bag. I didn't have any problems the first time I used it but man the second time was enough to make me convert a cooler the next day.

I had a cooler laying around from when I played baseball in high school so I just had to pick up $15-20 worth of parts. $50 bucks isn't too bad of a price I guess.

 
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Old 09-07-2008, 11:47 PM   #5
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Hmm, guess I'll just go pick up a hacksaw if my bid doesn't win.
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Old 09-07-2008, 11:55 PM   #6
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Have you checked out Flyguy's step by step instructions on converting a cooler? If you haven't, I definitely suggest it.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/chea...version-23008/

 
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:38 AM   #7
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Using a stainless braid couldn't be any easier. You can't tie the bag, you really want to be able to stir the water and grain together so bobbing it up and down like a teabag isn't quite what you're looking for. You could clamp the sides of the bag to the sides of the cooler on the top to hold it open for stirring, but you'd also need to put something right in front of the drain so that the grainbag doesn't clog it. Yeah, and holding the spigot open would suck bad. I'd sooner pour the entire mash into a stainless colander over a bucket or your kettle for I did that.
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Old 09-08-2008, 03:35 AM   #8
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FOr what it costs and what is actauly involved, it doesn't make sense not to do fly guys converion. It's about 15 minutes of work and WELL worth it. This hobby is FULL of great gadgets. You will save a ton if you build them yourself vs buying prefabbed. Thats it seems common on here that most of us enjoy the gadget building as much as the brewing. And there are plenty of people on to help. You can usually have responses within 20 minutes! It's rediculous.
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Old 09-08-2008, 04:28 PM   #9
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IMHO, the biggest issue with using a bag is making sure there are no dough balls in the bag. The coolertun is super simple. I use the braid on both my big and little tuns and couldn't be happier. I tried the copper/pvc manifolds and kept knocking them around with the paddle, but I may give them another try.
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Old 09-08-2008, 04:55 PM   #10
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If the cheap and easy mash tun are too much for your budget or you lack the tools right now. Try the El cheapo mash tun from this guy.

Simple All Grain Brewing - German Pilsner

Almost no tools required, screwdriver and a drill are about it, maybe a pair of pliers. And no stainless steel washer thats a pain to find. Even better is that if you use this method and later want a valve you already have the most expensive part, the cooler.

 
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