Copper manifold for 10 gal Rubbermaid cooler

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Bitterbrush

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I have had a few requests for instructions on how to make the manifold for my Rubbermaid cooler from Home Depot, so here you go. This type of manifold has been shown here before so I can't take credit for the original design. This works really good for me, never have had a stuck sparge with batch sparging. I'm sure it would work equally as well fly sparging also.

I soldered the sides and center of this thing together so there wouldn't be so many pieces to take apart when cleaning, it's very easy to clean. The center T is soldered at an angle up so the tubing can attach to the bulkhead hose barb. The slits are 1/4" apart. I just clamped the tubing gently in my bench vise and left about half of it sticking up out of the vise jaws, then using a 32t hacksaw blade I just went at all the 1/4" marks made on the tubing. Just don't squeeze it to tight or you will have egg shaped tubing.

My bulkhead fitting has a 1/2" stainless nipple going through the cooler wall so I just attached the female npt x hose barb to the back of it. Everything was bought at Lowes except the bulkhead assembly and the silcone tubing. The bulkhead and tubing I got from Bargainfittings.com

Materials list:

2- 7 7/8" 1/2" type M cu pipe
6- 3 9/16"
4- 90's
3- T's
1- 1/2" female NPT x 1/2" male cu adapter
1- 1/2" male NPT x 1/2" hose barb brass
1- 1/2" female NPT x 1/2" hose barb brass
1- 1/2" ID silicone tubing x 3"






 

ultravista

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Bitterbrush - thanks for posting. I'll do the same with my 10G Rubbermaid tun.
 

cfbugsbunny

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thanks for posting. Will be soldering next weekend on this. Just purchased two HD rubbermaid coolers and really liked the manifold design.
 

corwin6654

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How do you keep the silicone tubing on the barb when you are mixing in grains/stirring?
 
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Bitterbrush

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How do you keep the silicone tubing on the barb when you are mixing in grains/stirring?
The tubing is tight on the barbs, never had it come off. It can't move because the manifold can't pull away as it fits tight in the bottom of the cooler.
 

Homercidal

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I did that same basic design in my rectangular cooler and love it. I used the more rigid thermoplastic tubing and it allows the manifold to lift up to be cleaned. I have a 5 Gallon drink cooler that I want to use for half-batches and I may do this same thing.
 

milesvdustin

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How much leftover wort do you typically have in the bottom after mashout? Or does it suck the wort pretty dry in there? I always have a decent amount leftover with my stainless braid.
 
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Bitterbrush

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milesvdustin said:
How much leftover wort do you typically have in the bottom after mashout? Or does it suck the wort pretty dry in there? I always have a decent amount leftover with my stainless braid.
Less than a pint was left. Its probably more like a cup, I never did pour it out and measure it.
 

milesvdustin

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Excellent, thanks! I am going to build this when I get back from training in Virginia. Would one of these work well with a RIMS setup?
 

JetSmooth

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Would there be any advantage to an octagon made with 45 degree elbows, so it's more "round". Or would that just be more expensive due to the additional hardware?
 

topend

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JetSmooth said:
Would there be any advantage to an octagon made with 45 degree elbows, so it's more "round". Or would that just be more expensive due to the additional hardware?
That's exactly what I have, but mine is made with cpvc and fits differently than shown in this post. Works amazingly. If anyone wants more info, I can start a new thread.
 

JetSmooth

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That's exactly what I have, but mine is made with cpvc and fits differently than shown in this post. Works amazingly. If anyone wants more info, I can start a new thread.
I'd be interested in checking it out. :D
 

discooby

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I brewed the other day and got a stuck sparge; after blowing into the silicon hose (and through the kettle screen) the end of the screen floated up to the top… this has been a headache from day one when trying to mix over 22lbs+ of crushed grain with a paddle and constantly hitting the screen. Anyway, after cleaning up the screen looked like this:

Manifold1.jpg

Piece of *&[email protected]!!!! But in darkness, as always, I turned to HBT for light and with the help from others I made this:

Manifold2.jpg
Manifold3.jpg
Manifold4.jpg

I used a dremel tool to cut the slits (used two 1/32 cutting wheels sandwiched together) and was going to solder but after testing it the pieces are air tight.

It fits snug in my 10g round cooler and my dead space went from 0.4 gallons to 0.078 gallons (or 1 ¼ cup)!!! Awesome! Thanks HBT and HBT members! :mug:

Now, does anyone know how to remove the burs that are inside the ½ inch copper pipe???
 

mccumath

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discooby said:
Now, does anyone know how to remove the burs that are inside the ½ inch copper pipe???
Burrs on the inside of a copper pipe... Ah yes, here is how I got them out. I used a 12 or 20 gauge (pretty sure 20ga, but check your copper tubing size) shotgun cleaning brush (the stiff, prickly wire ones) on my drill, and ran it through the copper pieces before soldering, Worked like a charm, but ruins the cleaning brush.

Hope this helps!
Ryan M.
 

discooby

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Burrs on the inside of a copper pipe... Ah yes, here is how I got them out. I used a 12 or 20 gauge (pretty sure 20ga, but check your copper tubing size) shotgun cleaning brush (the stiff, prickly wire ones) on my drill, and ran it through the copper pieces before soldering, Worked like a charm, but ruins the cleaning brush.

Hope this helps!
Ryan M.
That's a good idea! Would have saved me several hours using a rat tail file
 

discooby

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I had some requests for the dimensions for my manifold… here they are. It’s a pretty tight fit in the cooler (10gal round Rubbermaid); you need to apply some pressure to get it to seat on the bottom. I like it like that, it hasn’t moved at all while stirring. It’s not tight enough to damage the cooler though… but +1/8” on one of the pieces might make it impossible to seat.

ManifoldNumbered2.jpg

1. 1 7/8”
2. 3”
3. 1 7/8”
4. 8 ¼”
5. 3 13/16”
6. 3 13/16”
7. 8 ¼”
8. 3 13/16”
9. 1 1/8”
10. 1 1/8”
11. 3 1/8”
12. 3 13/16”
13. 1 7/8”
14. 3”
15. 1 7/8”

NIBCO half in copper adapter.jpg
(NIBCO 1/2 in. Copper Adapter)

Copper pipe: ½” X 5’ (I believe I got away with using just one 5’ piece… i.e., I didn’t make any mistakes).
Copper elbows: 4
Copper T’s: 7
Project fun: 10+

Note that this manifold uses over 4’ of copper therefore it might make sense to get two ½” x 5’ lengths of copper in case you make a mistake (save a trip back to HD). The high-temp silicon tubing is cut to fit. Attached to the inside bulkhead is a copper female hose fitting (NIBCO ½ in. Copper Adapter… see pic) along with a short piece of pipe so that the silicon tubing slips over it.

Also, a rat-tail file worked great to remove all the burs (I picked up the “Husky 10-piece File Set“ from HD for $10.97… a steal!)

:mug:

Manifold2.jpg
Manifold4.jpg
 

hungry4hops

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just made one of these before i even attempt all-grain! ive never had a stuck sparge and i dont want to (they scare me!) thanks fo letting me steal your idea Bitterbrush!
 

sar_dog_1

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Sweet. gonna make one next week. I made a false bottom on a water jet machine but I could not get the "dome" shape and it is horrible. After several attempts, I am giving up and going with this manifold. Sounds like I may have a winner!
 

LovesIPA

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Would there be any advantage to an octagon made with 45 degree elbows, so it's more "round". Or would that just be more expensive due to the additional hardware?
That's exactly what I ended up doing with mine. It works great. I typically get around 85% - 90% efficiency. I drilled 1/8" holes in it rather than use a hacksaw or dremel.

IMG_1457.jpg
 

pattycakes223

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I've made a copper manifold for my mash tun and I'm wondering if anyone has had an issue with oxidation. Is there a good method of cleaning these things. Maybe a solvent or something.
 

LovesIPA

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I rinse mine off with hot water. I don't pay any attention to the oxidation on the manifold.
 

T_Dub

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Yeah, clean it well and don't worry about it. I actually didn't solder most of mine so its a snap to clean. I just soldered a fitting on one end of each of the slotted pipes so they wont rotate. The thing fits snugly enough in my cooler that they dont come apart.
 

Jdaught

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Another tip is to use a tubing cutter for making the slits, no mess and no burs. Also clean them every once in a while by soaking in vinegar, removes all the tarnish/discoloration that would otherwise end up in the mash.
 
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