10 gallon Gott cooler conversion - a couple questions after the fact

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So I followed FlyGuy's instruction for converting a 10 gallon cooler(Gott that I got off CL for $25) to a MLT. It went mostly well, took a few tries with different combinations of o-rings and fittings cause HD was out of a couple things on the parts list. But I got it working and it passed a 1 hour 10 gallon water test without a single drop lost, so thanks for that write up FlyGuy. Some questions I have, though, are:

1) Is a 1.75 qt dead space good? I ended up going with the circular steel braid design rather than the straight and plan on adding an inner circle as soon as I can find a 4 way barb fitting.

2) I could not for the life of me find SS washers, only zinc plated. Is this going to hurt my brew after a while? If so, will it at least last a couple brews until I can find SS?

3) Does anyone have any suggestions for what I can do to improve the design?

I am very excited to try this out this weekend and see what kind of efficiency I get. Hopefully it's better than my previous failed attempts at jury rigging **** together with a minimum of parts. I decided I had better get something that will work for quite a while since I told SWMBO I wouldn't be needing to make any more equipment purchases for a while. Thanks for reading.

-AJ
 

s3n8

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I dont think adding an inner ring will buy you much. I think someone on here did some experiments and pretty much came to the conclusion that length of braid makes absolutely no diff on efficiency or runoff rates. Go for it if you want, but I wouldnt expect much.
 

archiefl98

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I lessened dead space by using about a 3" or 4" piece of 3/8 i.d. tubing off the on the inside of my tun. Put the tubing on the nipple, clamp the braid to the tubing.

In a "dry run" (just water, no grain) the dead space is about the same. But when you add grain, the weight of it sitting on top of the braid pushes the tubing down to the bottom of the cooler and acts as a dip tube/pickup tube of sorts. The first time around I used regular-walled tubing and it collapsed I think. I've since changed to a thick-walled piece of tubing and a water-heater connector 3/4" stainless braid and sparging has been awesome.

Edit: Wherever I said nipple I meant barb. ThereIFixedIt.
 

OMJ

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2) I could not for the life of me find SS washers, only zinc plated. Is this going to hurt my brew after a while? If so, will it at least last a couple brews until I can find SS?
-AJ
I personally wouldnt use a zinc plated washer in my MLT for any brews. Those things rust real quick.
 

wilserbrewer

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I dont think adding an inner ring will buy you much. I think someone on here did some experiments and pretty much came to the conclusion that length of braid makes absolutely no diff on efficiency or runoff rates. Go for it if you want, but I wouldnt expect much.

I agree with this. Most of the run off occurs in the first few inches of the braid. Additional lengths and tees really serve little function and are more to interfere while stirring.
 

smakudwn

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2) I could not for the life of me find SS washers, only zinc plated. Is this going to hurt my brew after a while? If so, will it at least last a couple brews until I can find SS?
I just used a white nylon washer for the inside of mine, has work just fine for me.
 

T-Hops

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I would also suggest losing the zinc plated washer. If you need a washer, ask (hardware store, HD, Lowes, etc...) someone for a brass washer. You may have to enlarge the hole, but I have had some lucking finding them.
 
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Cool, thanks for the info. I did read an article about zinc plating that said something about how initially the zinc will corrode, but once the initial corrosion occurs the electron transfer between the steel and zinc equalizes and no further corrosion will occur. I will still do some hard searching to find the SS washers, but I think it will be good for a couple brews until I can get it.
 

archiefl98

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I found my SS washers at Fastenal. According to their website they have a few stores in HI. I had to buy a package of ten washers but it was only about $4.50 I think.

www.fastenal.com
 

springer

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1) Is a 1.75 qt dead space good? I ended up going with the circular steel braid design rather than the straight and plan on adding an inner circle as soon as I can find a 4 way barb fitting.
I just put the tun on a 2x4 when I do the runnings just like people do with a bottling bucket doesn't leave very much if any behind.
 
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