Cleaning an old cooler to use as MLT

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29thfloor

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I just realized I have a pretty big rectangular cooler that I haven't used in a couple years that I could convert to a mash tun. I think it's 56qt.

Anyway, it's been in an outdoor storage space and had spider webs and dirt and god knows what else on it. I put some hot water and PBW in it and got most of the stuff off, but I'm wondering if that's good enough. Do I need to bleach bomb this thing or would that not be a good idea?

Basically, how clean is clean enough for this use?
 

MaltnHops

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You'll mash your grains in it and then collect your wort. Then you'll boil the wort which will kill any bugs anyways, so you'll be fine. I converted an old cooler too and it works great!

Happy brewing!
 

CanadianQuaffer

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I'd soak it with some Star San just to be sure, but yeah, like everyone else said, it should be fine.
 

CrazedArmadillo

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my mash tun is an old cooler that had been sitting unused in the garage for years. Prior to using it for the very first time, I just cleaned it with a little oxiclean, then sanitized with starsan. Works perfectly, beer turns out great, and after each batch I just rinse with hot water and let it dry.
 

autobaun70

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I keep a toilet brush out in the garage just for cleaning coolers, and my mash tun (70 qt igloo marine cooler). Just through a little bleach in there a scrub it a bit with the brush, and give it a couple of good rinses. Then let it air dry with the lid open. The cool thing about bleach, once it drys you can give it one additional rinse and you won't have any chance of residue.
 
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29thfloor

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Thanks for the replies.

I was just measuring the inside and realized that the existing spigot is about 3" above the bottom of the cooler. Is that gonna be a problem? Seems like a lot of space under where the liquid is coming out. Would it make sense to have the manifold sit closer to the bottom and connect it on an angle or something?
 

autobaun70

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if the existing drain is to high, just pop a hole in the other end with a spade bit down lower to the bottom. If the transition from the floor of the cooler to the wall has a curve be sure to get above the curve with the entire hole to make sure it still seals up good.
 
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if the existing drain is to high, just pop a hole in the other end with a spade bit down lower to the bottom. If the transition from the floor of the cooler to the wall has a curve be sure to get above the curve with the entire hole to make sure it still seals up good.
Or make a neck that reaches:



M_C
 
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29thfloor

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That's sort of what I was thinking but I wasn't sure if it would work. So it continues to drain even after the liquid gets below the level of the hole? Or would that only work for continuous sparging?
 

wilserbrewer

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That's sort of what I was thinking but I wasn't sure if it would work. So it continues to drain even after the liquid gets below the level of the hole? Or would that only work for continuous sparging?
Heads up...you just need a lenth of tubing on the outflow and will siphon to the manifold openings. Will work for batch or fly just fine, BTW I like the drilling a hole at the bottom FWIW:mug:
 
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Heads up...you just need a lenth of tubing on the outflow and will siphon to the manifold openings. Will work for batch or fly just fine, BTW I like the drilling a hole at the bottom FWIW:mug:
That's correct, the tail end of the output (by means of a hose) needs to be at least as low as the bottom of the floor of the mashtun, otherwise it will loose it's siphon.

I get down to 3/4 of a cup of liquid left in the mashtun. That's excluding grains.

M_C
 
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