Quantcast

Good Efficiency with Un-Modified Cooler?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

killsurfcity

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
167
Reaction score
17
first off, apologies for the crappy image. my scanner is not working properly, so i had to resort to a cellphone pic.

my original MLT that i built is just too small it turns out. so until i decide i need a new one, i was thinking of trying this technique with another cooler i have laying around:



anyone done this before? do you think i will be able to get a decent efficiency using this set-up?
 

truckmann

Mann Cave Brewer
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
491
Reaction score
11
Location
Mannford, OK
Looks like it will work. Doubt you will get anything fantastic for an efficiency increase. Personally I wouldn't bother with the colander either, just looks like more trouble than it's worth.
 

ajf

Senior Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Messages
4,648
Reaction score
119
Location
Long Island
A few little suggestions.
The colander could be useful for fly sparging, but wouldn't serve any useful purpose for a batch sparge where you need to add the water and stir well before vorlaufing and lautering.
The braid would OK for a batch sparge, but not good for a fly sparge.
Extend the length of the outlet hose to the bottom of the kettle. This will minimize any HSA problems, and improve the siphon from the MLT to the kettle.

-a.
 

wilserbrewer

BIAB Expert Tailor
HBT Sponsor
Joined
May 25, 2007
Messages
11,233
Reaction score
2,775
Location
New Jersey
I would absolutely batch sparge a "macgyver" rig like that. Might be a bit of a hassle. Should wourk fine. You might want to flip the racking cane so the end w/ the curve is in the tun letting the braid rest on the bottom. My cane has a 90 degree bend.
 
OP
killsurfcity

killsurfcity

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
167
Reaction score
17
Thanks for the input. Why batch sparge over fly tho?
 

madewithchicken

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
406
Reaction score
2
I think you may have issues with keeping the siphon going when it gets down towards the bottom. As soon as you it sucks any air you will loose the suction.
 

Anthony_Lopez

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
Messages
1,533
Reaction score
29
Location
Groton, MA
Why not just setup a "brew in the bag" system until you get a new MLT? It seems many people are getting high efficiency with that system. How much grain are you trying to mash?
 

madewithchicken

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
406
Reaction score
2
I am about to test my new setup Friday. It does not require you to modify your cooler either.


My pic makes yours look good. I am not sure i am going to bother with the colander part.
 

wilserbrewer

BIAB Expert Tailor
HBT Sponsor
Joined
May 25, 2007
Messages
11,233
Reaction score
2,775
Location
New Jersey
Thanks for the input. Why batch sparge over fly tho?
Batch sparging is not as equipment dependant. All that really matters is the grain is well mixed w/ the proper temp sparge water and drained. With fly sparging, manifold dimensions are critical to achieve a thorough rinsing of the grains without channelling. This is why most fly spargers will use a false bottom or a manifold that covers the entire bottom of the tun. With your basic set up, there is a good chance that the sparge water will find a "short cut" to the braid and not rinse the entire grain bed. W/ batch sparging you mix the grains and sparge in batches and drain the entire tun and rinse the grain in "batches" rather than a continous rinse w/ fly sparging.

I see no reason why one couldn't siphon out of the mash tun w/ a proper set up. You do want the braid to lay flat on the bottom to completely drain. Your sketch shows the braid bent at a 90 and I fear it might kink and limit flow.
 
OP
killsurfcity

killsurfcity

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
167
Reaction score
17
yeah, losing siphon could be an issue. i guess a false bottom would probably be better than a braid huh? what's a good trimable false bottom material? if i could make something simple that i can just put in the cooler when i need it, that would be nice.

as for the grain bag option, i just don't have the kettles. and those things are expensive!
 

Anthony_Lopez

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
Messages
1,533
Reaction score
29
Location
Groton, MA
You don't have to have a giant kettle to BIAB, if you can construct the bag, it doesn't really matter what you use for your mash vessel.
 

HSM

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2009
Messages
460
Reaction score
9
Location
McMurray, PA
If you cooler has a drain then I would skip the racking cane.

It will still be un-modified but you can insert the hose through the drain. If you are luck it will friction fit all by it's self. Attach braid to other side and you are done.

In my case the hose was just not the right diameter, but the valve barb was and it fits perfectly!

 
OP
killsurfcity

killsurfcity

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
167
Reaction score
17
If you cooler has a drain then I would skip the racking cane.

It will still be un-modified but you can insert the hose through the drain. If you are luck it will friction fit all by it's self. Attach braid to other side and you are done.

In my case the hose was just not the right diameter, but the valve barb was and it fits perfectly!

if it had a spout, i'd totally do that. i helped a friend mod his like that and it works great. i was just trying to find a way to use the non-spout-having cooler i already had.
 

Boar Beer

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 24, 2008
Messages
530
Reaction score
21
Location
Central NH
I would try to have a hose at least 3 feet below the cooler.

You might tip the cooler so the braid is more likely to collect the liquid.

Get a 5 0r 10 gallon round cooler and put a false bottom into it. Considering the time you are putting into making your beer you should at least start out with something better

But as money might be tight is say give it a try. It looks like it should work. Good luck
 
Top