Igloo 10 gallon for mash tun/lauder pieces

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Beau815

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I have three, ten gallon igloo coolers. I am looking to make one into a lauder tun and another into a mash tun. I have an extra 10 gallon igloo cooler (worth $66) eSportsonline - sporting goods, outdoor recreation, and games that I will be willing to trade for the parts to make a false bottom mash tun and pvc or whatever you might use for a lauder tun. Basically, I dont know what to buy and dont want to mess around with wrong sizes or pieces making 5 trips to the depot. Some of you buy pvc etc for a few bucks and drill holes, vinyl tubing, brass ball locks, etc. Ill mail out a 10 gallon cooler for the pieces I need.
 

iXanadu

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Its really not that difficult and there is a complete parts lists (with part numbers) here: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/cheap-easy-10-gallon-rubbermaid-mlt-conversion-23008/.

I didn't like the steel braid idea so I got a 10' section of copper pipe, an hand full of elbo's and T's and made my own manifold (Fig 165 in Palmers book How to Brew - By John Palmer - Building the Manifold).

Looking for someone to double check my efficiencies but if I'm right I'm really happy with the performance.
 

GoBrewers

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Your LHBS probably sells cooler conversion kits, if you don't mind spending a little more than if you pulled the parts together yourself.
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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Ixanadu, I read that a couple times before but he changes things up because screws rust inside the thing and other people use hex nut or whatever and then vinyl tubing over the SS braid i got lost I dont want to do it wrong.
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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That is a neat and cheap idea. i do like it but I dont mind spending a bit extra for the valve.. I want it to look presentable and be able to open and close the spigot by handle and not clamp. Very good idea, hey it works right? I am not AG yet only need to put the mash tun together. I got 3 igloo 10 gallon coolers from an auction at work for 5 bucks each lol no one else bid on em.
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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That cant be all I need... whats with them 10 parts? I mean I can get a SS valve and a SS braid from Depot. I wish there was just a simple kit. I ll have to check the bigger LHBS thats an hour away.
 

ewbish

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I have three, ten gallon igloo coolers. I am looking to make one into a lauder tun and another into a mash tun. I have an extra 10 gallon igloo cooler (worth $66) eSportsonline - sporting goods, outdoor recreation, and games that I will be willing to trade for the parts to make a false bottom mash tun and pvc or whatever you might use for a lauder tun. Basically, I dont know what to buy and dont want to mess around with wrong sizes or pieces making 5 trips to the depot. Some of you buy pvc etc for a few bucks and drill holes, vinyl tubing, brass ball locks, etc. Ill mail out a 10 gallon cooler for the pieces I need.
Well, if you want easy:

Just order this:

The Bazooka Screen :: Midwest Supplies Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies

And this:

KEWLER KITZ Basic + Conversion- Brass with 1/2" Barb :: Midwest Supplies Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies

And be done with it. Use one Igloo for your Mash/Lauter Tun, and the other for a HLT.

Buy two of each, install the 2nd set on your extra Igloo, and Ebay it as a brand new MLT for 135 plus shipping. Trust me, somebody will buy it.

You can find all this stuff at a hardware store for super cheap, and make a screen from hotwater lines, but I'm getting the impression you don't want to "dick with it", so the bazooka and kewler kitz is about as easy as it can be. I went to this from a manifold system.......I like it much better than my old manifold. For ease of use and ease of cleaning.

Or, trade the 3rd Igloo for a big boil pot....that's a pretty even trade.
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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No i dont mind dicking with it, i can definitely get the SS braid and kink the end... thing is... thats 1/2" and everything i read like that MAIN basic DIY says 3/8" Would I have to drill my cooler if i bought that one you mentioned? Also wouldnt I have to make a lauder tun with that pvc manifold or copper? I cant just buy 2 of them spigots or id have 2 mash tuns right? Also, that brass ball valve... are these the SAME ones you can get at a hardware store for alot cheaper than 31 bucks??? Or are they special?
 

SkiTownUSA

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Nothing special. I used flyguys technique as linked on the last page and it only took me a trip to the store and 10-15 to put together. No drilling required. You will need either a small hacksaw or dremel tool to cut through the ss braided hose though.
 
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yep a 15 minute drive to the hardware store, and 30 minutes maybe at home gathering tools building testing for leaks and putting tools away.
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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Its just that they switched up parts, did away with some, added some, Im not definite what to buy now... is it 3/8" or 1/2"? will I have to drill if I get 1/2"? I guess i just gotta try and if i get wrong parts go back to the store until its right.
 

ewbish

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No i dont mind dicking with it, i can definitely get the SS braid and kink the end... thing is... thats 1/2" and everything i read like that MAIN basic DIY says 3/8" Would I have to drill my cooler if i bought that one you mentioned? Also wouldnt I have to make a lauder tun with that pvc manifold or copper? I cant just buy 2 of them spigots or id have 2 mash tuns right? Also, that brass ball valve... are these the SAME ones you can get at a hardware store for alot cheaper than 31 bucks??? Or are they special?

Awww, I see the confusion. No, you don't need a mash tun AND a lauter tun......it's one thing. One cooler, a mash and lauter tun (MLT). You could build two seperate igloos one for each.....but it would be a PITA and no reason for it.

The hole in your igloo will likely be 5/8. You won't need to drill anything, a 1/2 inch fitting is perfect. If you get 3/8 steel braid, you'll have to step from a 1/2 down. You can get 1/2 inch braid as well, it doesn't have to be 3/8.

You'll have EITHER a manifold, OR a false bottom, OR a SS braid on the bottom of the MLT. This is to keep the grains from draining out during the MASH process. You may have another manifold on the top, OR use a sparge arm, OR just use a hose from the hot liqcuor tank (HLT) depending on whether you batch sparge or fly sparge.

Basically, if you build your own, you're going to get a ball valve, a bulkhead fitting (that will pass through both walls of the cooler), a 3/8 fitting (for the external tubing, you can use a 1/2 fitting here as well for bigger tubing), assorted washers and orings to seal it, and an adapter that will go from whatever you use as a bulkhead fitting to your manifold/steel braid on the inside of the cooler. It takes less time to assemble than to describe it.

Here is a pic of mine looking down the inside of the cooler:



On the outside is the ball valve.

With your 3 Igloo coolers, you only need to build one into a MLT. Another one can be your HLT, which is basically just a container for holding hot water. On the HLT, all you need is the ball valve, no manifolds, false bottoms, any of that.
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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so just use the HLT to hold water? then why cant i just use the original tap that comes on it? Why a ball valve? so it stays open and drips in like a fly sparge? kinda dont understand why i need a valve on the HLT
 

GoBrewers

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The ball valve can handle the hot water better, plus, you don't want to have to mash your thumb down to hold open a valve that's draining 170 degree water. Too burny. And you can control the rate of flow, which is essential if you're fly sparging.
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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lol ok i get it... thanks... so i would open it and let it drip slowly in while im draining into my kettle?
 

ewbish

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lol ok i get it... thanks... so i would open it and let it drip slowly in while im draining into my kettle?
Yeah basically.

Assuming a gravity setup and you were fly sparging.......you have the HLT at the highest point full of hot water. In the middle would be your MLT. At the bottom tier would be your boil pan or whatever you use to collect the wort in (you could even use your 3rd Igloo if you wanted, then transfer it to your kettle) After you did your mash in the MLT......you'd have a tube going from the valve on the HLT to the top of your MLT. Either a sparge arm, or a manifold, or just the tube and a plastic plate on the grain bed....however you intend to flysparge. You'd open the ball valve on the HLT and let the sparge water flow to the MLT at a nice slow rate, and you'd open the ball valve on the MLT to let that exact same amount of wort escape......so the in flow from the HLT and the outflow from the MLT to the kettle are identical.

Generally, if you use the SS braid in the bottom of a cooler instead of a manifold or a false bottom, you don't want to fly sparge as the braid creates a narrow channel towards the center, and may not let the sparge water evenley flow through the grains (debateable topic). Also, many folks don't like the time it takes to fly sparge. In these cases you would batch sparge. Basically, you drain the MLT, the refill it with sparge water, and drain it again. Possibly repeated. This is faster, and by all accounts is just as efficient as fly sparging, but faster.

Obviously I left out a lot of steps in the brew process for brevity, just wanted to hit on the relationship between the pieces of equipment, not the process itself.
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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ok... i get it, i appreciate the explanation. After I make a mash tun i could use one to just hold hot water.... actually i could just transfer from the kettle right? I want to batch sparge. I only need to use one of my coolers i believe. I dont think i REALLY need a HLT.
 

dutch101st

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I built out both, a HD 5 gallon and a HD 10 gallon, both fitted with brass ball valves and hardware plus the false bottom that MoreBeer sells...I am not quite ready to make the plunge into AG, but will soon.

I did build a manifold, may use it in the future as I am curious to see the differences...
 

ewbish

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ok... i get it, i appreciate the explanation. After I make a mash tun i could use one to just hold hot water.... actually i could just transfer from the kettle right? I want to batch sparge. I only need to use one of my coolers i believe. I dont think i REALLY need a HLT.
Correct. In fact, that's what I do. I pull the hot water straight out of the kettle, and collect the wort in buckets. Once I'm done with the sparge and the kettle is empty, I dump the wort into the kettle.

You can easily use the same method.
 

jldc

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I built out both, a HD 5 gallon and a HD 10 gallon, both fitted with brass ball valves and hardware plus the false bottom that MoreBeer sells...I am not quite ready to make the plunge into AG, but will soon...
I ended up with both as well, mostly because I had the coolers just lying around anyway. I find it helpful to use both. While the grain is mashing in one cooler, I fill the other with heated sparge water. Then I can drain the mash tun into the brew kettle and start heating while I'm sparging. It saves time and I don't need a second propane burner. I usually mash in the 5 gallon, but I can use the 10 if I have a bigger beer.
 
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Beau815

Beau815

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AHHH i think i JUST understood why I need a cooler to HOLD hot water... so the kettle is free to collect 1st runnings.... then id need something else to add the sparge water... something SO simple but no one ever explained that easy tid bit anywhere i read. And being that i never AG brewed i didnt hit that inconvenience and say $hit what now lol
 

BoltsFan704

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AHHH i think i JUST understood why I need a cooler to HOLD hot water... so the kettle is free to collect 1st runnings.... then id need something else to add the sparge water... something SO simple but no one ever explained that easy tid bit anywhere i read. And being that i never AG brewed i didnt hit that inconvenience and say $hit what now lol
This is where I am also. About to build my HLT from a 10 gal Igloo. Hose barbs for future pump purchase.
 
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