Converting Coleman Xtreme 70qt to MLT

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thehand

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I'm in the middle of trying to convert a Coleman Xtreme 70qt cooler into a MLT, using the parts and technique this guy used:

Building a Cooler Mash Tun | BrewMoreBeer

I've run into a little problem. When I removed the drain valve it came with, I broke the inner rubber gasket that came with it, and the hole is too big to get a good seal with the #15 o-rings. I went back to Lowe's to try to find some kind of rubber gasket or washer to get a good seal, but couldn't find anything. I searched the web and these forums but couldn't find a good solution. Any ideas?
 
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thehand

thehand

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Logan - thanks for the idea. I picked up a grommet like that but it still leaked.

shorty - thanks for the link, I think that may be exactly what I am looking for. I found some rubber washers, the inner hole is too small for the 1/2" nipple but I thought it might work. Just tested it out and it still leaks. Plus it smells strongly of rubber and I am not sure it would be safe for brewing purposes. I went ahead and ordered one of those gaskets off his site, so hopefully that will work.
 

Bsquared

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I found that at Lowe's, Ace and home depot have various neoprene washers that worked well for my cooler bulk head. I think I used a 5/8 washer and trimmed it down to fit, I also used a plastic nut to secure it. This is an old picture of my first bulk head, I put the neoprene washer between the valve and the outer wall of the cooler.
Bulkhead.jpg
 
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thehand

thehand

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In what department did you find the neoprene washers? I looked all over Lowe's for something like that, and when I asked where I could find washers, the guy showed me the rubber ones with the nuts and bolts. I asked if they had anything else like that and he said no.
 

janzik

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I love my Coleman Xtreme 70qt. I'm guessing, between my father and I, we've got at least 20 5-10 gallon batches on it and it has held up well. I noticed some slightly warping on the inside, but it hasn't gotten any worse since I noticed.

I'd love to find out what type of efficiency you get using the braid. I avg 75-85% into the boiler with mine, using a manifold.

It's a pretty big footprint to have just freefloating around. If you're ever considering moving to a copper manifold.. here is what mine looks like...



 

Troubs

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Hey Janzik -

I'm in the process of converting my 70qt Xtreme Cooler with a copper manifold and I'm starting to get worried about the dead space underneath the outlet. Do you have a lot left over in the cooler after you are done mashing? Am I worrying for nothing?
 

Bsquared

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In what department did you find the neoprene washers? I looked all over Lowe's for something like that, and when I asked where I could find washers, the guy showed me the rubber ones with the nuts and bolts. I asked if they had anything else like that and he said no.
I found them in the hardware/fastener section, in the bins.I think they were near the nylon washers.
 

Duckfoot

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This is my conversion...

As far as a new gasket, something I found was getting a silicone baking dish (found a 8"x8" one at a Tuesday Morning for $5) and cut out your own silicone gaskets... I am using two in my E-HLT... Work great... And you can make them as large or as small as you want...
 

sithspitt

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I made a mash tun with the same cooler. I bought a toilet supply line for the mesh for the "false bottom" and the hose in the middle fit perfect threw the valve hole. just added a disconnect to the end of the that hose. Its never leaked.
 

hezagenius

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I bought one of these coolers to make a MLT and I have a question. How thick is the cooler wall? What length of threaded pipe will I need to run through the wall in order to connect the ball valve on the outside and the hose nipple on the inside? I've seen some parts lists like the one in "How to Brew" that call for a 1.5" piece of threaded pipe but that just doesn't seem long enough to securely thread something on both ends. Anyone have a parts list for the bulkhead conversion for this cooler?
 
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thehand

thehand

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I bought one of these coolers to make a MLT and I have a question. How thick is the cooler wall? What length of threaded pipe will I need to run through the wall in order to connect the ball valve on the outside and the hose nipple on the inside? I've seen some parts lists like the one in "How to Brew" that call for a 1.5" piece of threaded pipe but that just doesn't seem long enough to securely thread something on both ends. Anyone have a parts list for the bulkhead conversion for this cooler?
I just took back the 1 1/2" nipple I bought and exchanged for a 2". The link I posted in the first post has a parts list for converting a cooler. Just be careful not to tear the rubber seal from the original drain like I did and it should work fine! I am sure there are other ways to do it too...
 
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thehand

thehand

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Ended up getting the 1/2" silicon gasket from the Bargain Fittings link above, and it seemed to to the trick. I just filled it with 4 gallons of 169F water and no leaks yet. Exchanged the 1 1/2" nipple for a 2", used SS washers to get a tight fit. Thanks to everyone for your advice and help.
 

janzik

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Hey Janzik -

I'm in the process of converting my 70qt Xtreme Cooler with a copper manifold and I'm starting to get worried about the dead space underneath the outlet. Do you have a lot left over in the cooler after you are done mashing? Am I worrying for nothing?
I actually did a test on this a little while ago, and I forget what amount I wound up with, but I'll tell you it wasnt enough to bum me out that it was that much dead space. I'll try and re-measure it later, but I wouldnt worry at all, though.
 

BeerPressure

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Anybody else notice their cooler walls warping? My lid doesnt fit as tight as it used to and I have to layer towels on top of it to keep too heat loss to a minimum
 

janzik

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Anybody else notice their cooler walls warping? My lid doesnt fit as tight as it used to and I have to layer towels on top of it to keep too heat loss to a minimum
My lid closes fine, but I found one of the short sides on the inside bowing in a bit, like it was swollen.
 

Troubs

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I actually did a test on this a little while ago, and I forget what amount I wound up with, but I'll tell you it wasnt enough to bum me out that it was that much dead space. I'll try and re-measure it later, but I wouldnt worry at all, though.
Yea, I figured I was worrying too much. Thanks for the reassurance
 

janzik

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Yea, I figured I was worrying too much. Thanks for the reassurance
I'm not entirely assured that it wont warp even worse though :( So we'll see. I haven't seen it get any worse, so maybe it will be fine...
 

Jkane101

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i cannot get mine to stop dripping it's a very sloow drip buy a drip none the less. Is is possible to over tighten? I can't figure out what the problem is
 

JCourtland

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the ss washers I found don't fit over the nipple so I sanded down ID so they would fit over the nipple but now the washers OD is too big and it won't give me a snug fit, the edges of the washers hit the side of the cooler before it makes it all the way tight at the center cause the wall of the cooler is curved at the drain, so anyways my question is what washers are people using (name, type, store purchase at)
cheers,
Jeremy
 

hezagenius

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the ss washers I found don't fit over the nipple so I sanded down ID so they would fit over the nipple but now the washers OD is too big and it won't give me a snug fit, the edges of the washers hit the side of the cooler before it makes it all the way tight at the center cause the wall of the cooler is curved at the drain, so anyways my question is what washers are people using (name, type, store purchase at)
cheers,
Jeremy
I went to Fastenal and picked up some SS washers with 3/4" I.D. and 1-3/4" O.D. They can fit all the way up to the rubber gasket that comes with the cooler. The ones I found at HD or Lowe's were probably 2-1/4" O.D. but I'm not sure.

I am still getting leaks with my build so I am not sure what's going on. I don't think it is the washers. It seems like it should seal but it doesn't. On the inner wall of my cooler, the precut hole has some warping issues or something so I don't know if the rubber gasket that comes with the cooler is totally sealing or not. When I screw on the cap to the plastic nipple that comes with the cooler, it seals fine. I may exchange it for a different one and see if that one has a warped hole as well. I guess o-rings bigger than #15 might work also.
 

rcm_rx7

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I'm disappointed to hear that the walls on this cooler bow out as well. I have a cheap 48qt rubbermaid that has recently started to do that. I lost almost ten degrees on my last mash because of it, when I used to only lose around 1-2. I was looking at getting this cooler because I want to move up to ten gallon batches, and get a good quality, long lasting cooler. Maybe I need to research more...
 

Derek

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i cannot get mine to stop dripping it's a very sloow drip buy a drip none the less. Is is possible to over tighten? I can't figure out what the problem is
The problem is probably the walls compressing together. That inner wall is pretty weak. Some idea's for a long-term solution:

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/no-leak-mlt-bulkhead-design-87197/

If its been leaking, chances are there's wort between the walls (which probably smells rancid).

I'd cut a slit in the bottom, remove the foam around the hole & slide a spacer up between the walls.

I cut the slit behind the textured outer wall (which curves under), which should give it a little more integrity as well. The slit is 17 mm thick, to match the spacer.
 

oswegan

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After about a year, mine is starting to bow out near the handle so that I can almost see into the cooler. This is due to the weight of the grain and the water after multiple mashes.

It still holds the temp really well though. I drilled a small hole in the lid that I stick my brewing thermometer down though to monitor the temp during the mash.

I have had up to about 32-34 lbs of grain in there no problem.
 
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