Mash Tun drop in manifold question

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tmoney1224

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Well, I am in the process of transitioning from extract to all grain. I am trying to get my mash tun design together and have a couple of questions. I have a cooler that a friend gave me a while ago that does not have a spicket, and I was hoping to design something like the drop in manifold palmer has in the How to Brew here.

First I was thinking about just buying a bazooka screen or a SS braid instead of building the manifold, would this cause any problems?

How would you start the siphon to get the hot wort out?

I plan on batch sparging, would this method cause any added problems with this design?

Thanks
 

jds

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Here's a link to a great thread on converting coolers to mash tuns on the cheap.
FlyGuy's $10 mash tun conversion

There's no need to siphon, since the liquid level in the cooler is higher than the outlet. Gravity does all the work.

edited after re-reading... If you are using a manifold with no hole through the sidewall of the mash tun, then you will have to start a flow somehow. Suck-starting a siphon of 165+ degree wort sounds like a recipe for mouth burns. You can get a siphon going by dunking all but the last couple of inches of hose into the mash to fill it, covering the end of the hose with a thumb, and quickly pulling it out and down below the liquid level. Alternately, you could clamp the hose near the top of the mash and fill the hose with water before removing the clamp to start a siphon. Both methods are a bit of a PITA. Personally, I'd invest in a 3/4 drill bit and make my own hole in the cooler close to the bottom.

The SS braid / bazooka screen works just fine for batch sparging. IF you plan on fly sparging, you'll need a different type of manifold.
 
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tmoney1224

tmoney1224

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I've read that whole thread on the $10 mash tun, but since I got this free cooler, I was hoping to put it to use.

With the drop in manifold, the level won't be above, and palmer says "If you are using a rectangular cooler that does not have a drainage opening or spigot, lautering works just as well if you come over the side with a vinyl hose - siphoning the wort out."
 

RodfatherX

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It should work. The only problem I see is...when the tubing gets really soft from the hot wort, it might collapse where it bends over the top of the cooler. Maybe you could make a small fitting out of cpvc that would be U shaped and fit on the edge of the cooler with barbs. And if you're going to do that you might as well make your manifold out of cpvc. Mine is cpvc and I love it. It is just a few dollars more $$$ to make then the braid too.
 

bradsul

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I would make the tube that goes up and out of the cooler out of rigid pipe (whatever you use to make the manifold). That way you don't need to worry about the tube collapsing. Also I believe FlyGuy has an easy syphon starter in his signature so you wouldn't have to worry about burning your mouth getting the syphon started.

Rectangular coolers are really cheap though so you might want to think about spending a couple bucks, having a bulkhead really makes life easier.

Edit: Here is FlyGuy's cheap auto-syphon.
 
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