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SS Braid or PVC Manifold in MLT?

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Drunkagain

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I know the pvc manifold probably costs a bit more and would require a bit more work but is there any benefit for going with one over the other? I have a 48 quart rectangular Coleman cooler if it matters.

Thanks.
 

Lil' Sparky

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I don't use either, so I won't vote one way or another. I think most people who use either one are happy with it. One thing, though. If you go with a manifold, use copper or CPVC, not PVC. PVC isn't made for the high temps it'll see in the mash.
 

TheJadedDog

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I've been pretty happy with the SS braid in my cooler (although it was hard to find braid that was still SS and not some other material). That said, when I finally upgrade everything and use a keggle as my MLT I will probably go with a copper manifold.
 

jeff967

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I can not say good or bad about the SS braid. but I'd give a big thumbs up for a CPVC manifold. I have not stuck mine yet.
 

Soulive

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I use the SS braid with no problems. Its cheaper and easier and I have no reason to use anything else...

$.02
 

cowgo

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I used my new stainless steel braid mash tun for the first time yesterday. I had been using a cut down colander in a round 5 gallon igloo.

I was not impressed at all. The drain was incredibly slow to seemingly stuck. I had to constantly use the mash paddle and sweep grain off of the braid. I didn't get grain in the braid or wort. I think the braid just got crushed, although I was only mashing 11 pounds of grain.

Unless someone can offer some suggestions or solutions, it's back to my old colander and a few grains husks in the wort for me until I can build a manifold.
 

Flipper

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I just finished building a copper Manifold for my 48 Qt Coleman Rectangular and will be christining it this weekend.
 

Professor Frink

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Flipper said:
I just finished building a copper Manifold for my 48 Qt Coleman Rectangular and will be christining it this weekend.
That's exactly what I use and it hasn't done me wrong yet.
 

BrianP

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I'd vote for either copper manifold or a SS braid. Either will give you good results.

I use a 30" SS braid that is formed in a loop and connected to a T-fitting. I like the braid because the weave keeps the chunks out of the wort very well when draining the MLT.
 

Bobby_M

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cowgo said:
I used my new stainless steel braid mash tun for the first time yesterday. I had been using a cut down colander in a round 5 gallon igloo.

I was not impressed at all. The drain was incredibly slow to seemingly stuck. I had to constantly use the mash paddle and sweep grain off of the braid. I didn't get grain in the braid or wort. I think the braid just got crushed, although I was only mashing 11 pounds of grain.

Unless someone can offer some suggestions or solutions, it's back to my old colander and a few grains husks in the wort for me until I can build a manifold.
Are you 100% positive you have stainless or is it possible you picked up that braided plastic stuff from home depot? You did take the rubber hose out right?
I've never had a stuck sparge with my braid and I crush the heck out of my grain and have done 50% wheat.
 

SuperiorBrew

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jeff967 said:
I can not say good or bad about the SS braid. but I'd give a big thumbs up for a CPVC manifold. I have not stuck mine yet.
+1 CPVC works great for me as well
 

Castawayales

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I also use CPVC. Easy to manufacture, and hasn't stuck yet.

I loved attacking it with the Dremel. Blood Pressure dropped 10 points that day.

Barry
 

bluechip101

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I recieved a brand new Barley Crusher for Xmas and used it for the firsr time on the 08-08-08 RIS. I have a 48qt Coleman and SS braid. I loved the crush, but the flow from the SS Braid was twice as slow as it has been with grains crushed by my LHBS. I think that I will be switching to a copper or cpvc now, and see if that helps. Besides, the SS braid seems to just get caught up in my stiring and gets all deformed. PITA if you ask me.
 

FlyGuy

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cowgo said:
I used my new stainless steel braid mash tun for the first time yesterday.

I was not impressed at all. The drain was incredibly slow to seemingly stuck. I had to constantly use the mash paddle and sweep grain off of the braid. I didn't get grain in the braid or wort. I think the braid just got crushed, although I was only mashing 11 pounds of grain.
Yep, that sounds to me like you had a polymer braid, not a stainless steel braid. SS braids are NOT easy to crush, and if they do, they stay crushed. You would see this after your mash. Check to make sure you are using the right thing.

If that's not it, I am not sure what it could be. Check to make sure the end is crimped or closed some other way so that grain is not getting inside the braid. Also make sure that it is not stretched and deformed in some place (especially at the barb to the bulkhead).

Hope you get it figured out. A SS braid should work MUCH better than that.
 

cowgo

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Bobby_M said:
Are you 100% positive you have stainless or is it possible you picked up that braided plastic stuff from home depot? You did take the rubber hose out right?
I've never had a stuck sparge with my braid and I crush the heck out of my grain and have done 50% wheat.
Yep and yep. I definitely passed on hoses made out of synthetic polymer and picked up the braid from the stainless steel box that had the stainless steel sticky on the braid. If you hold the synthetic and stainless in each hand you can tell the difference.

I did get the tube out. The braid got a bit elongated in the process but I was able to push it back into shape. Perhaps that was the problem.
 

Brew-boy

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I don't care for the braid, I had slow drains and the braid kept floating around. I built a cpvc manifold and I get 82-85% efficiency each and every time.
 

Bobby_M

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cowgo said:
Yep and yep. I definitely passed on hoses made out of synthetic polymer and picked up the braid from the stainless steel box that had the stainless steel sticky on the braid. If you hold the synthetic and stainless in each hand you can tell the difference.

I did get the tube out. The braid got a bit elongated in the process but I was able to push it back into shape. Perhaps that was the problem.
Are you using a hose on the drain output? How far does it drop down when you're draining? If you don't use a hose, you won't pull a decent siphon so the drain will be slow regardless of your separation medium.
 

bluechip101

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Bobby_M said:
Are you using a hose on the drain output? How far does it drop down when you're draining? If you don't use a hose, you won't pull a decent siphon so the drain will be slow regardless of your separation medium.
Never thought of that. Hmm...
 

Lil' Sparky

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Bobby, have you switched over to your keg MLT yet? Have you decided what your going to use - braid vs false bottom?

Since I got my barley crusher and now have a finer crush, my (small) false bottom doesn't cover the entire bottom of the keg and wants to stick during recirculation. If it was a full false bottom I don't think it would be as big of a problem, but I'm also wondering if using a large braid would be better. That's what MonsterMash uses (or used to at least) in his giant system with good results and he recirculates through a HERMS.

 

Bobby_M

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I wish my brewstand was complete so I could try the keg MLT. I'm afraid to try it without a direct heat source. I am planning to test with a 1" diameter SS braid over my dip tube before I drop the money on full size FB. I'm going to run the braid all the way up the tip tube to where it hits the compression nut and clamp it there but it will also extend passed the end of the dip tube where I'll terminate it on a 3/4" copper end cap (with clamp). I think Lowes has a 16" braided water heater supply. I want to run it over the dip tube to provide rigidity for more aggressive mash stirring and I suspect the larger diameter braid ultimately means more open area without adding significant length.

I also might try this crazy idea of running about 5 feet of 1/2" soft copper tubing in a coil ultimately ending at the center bottom of the keg with a braid covering the entire run.

I'm trying to strike a balance between brewing beer and building beer brewing equipment in my limited spare time so I've been using the cooler MLT a lot.
 

reshp1

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Bobby_M said:
I think Lowes has a 16" braided water heater supply.
That's what I used to build my MLT last night. I got a 24" one from Home Depot and cut it into three sections and made a "T" with a copper "T" connector. The braid is almost 1" in diameter and should get much better flow than the toilet hose braid. We'll see when I get to test it out this weekend. :D
 

Lil' Sparky

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I was thinking about trying something like this in my sanke MLT to see if I can avoid the stuck mash and flow problems I've had with my FB and a fine crush.

Basically a T on the bottom of my pickup tube, connected to 2 more T's with braids looping around to give good coverage.

Or should I just try to make or buy a full false bottom? Whatcha think?

braid design.JPG
 

Reverend JC

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+1 for CPVC

The flow rate of your mash into your manifold can greatly effect your efficiency. Palmers book talks about it. I just looked at the pictures (big suprise) and made a CPVC manifold that is in the shape of a square with 5 4 rows of the pipe that i took a hack saw to and scored slices into in short integrals. Works like a champ, will not get crushed, easy to clean.
 

SuperiorBrew

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Castawayales said:
I also use CPVC. Easy to manufacture, and hasn't stuck yet.

I loved attacking it with the Dremel. Blood Pressure dropped 10 points that day.

Barry
+1

I did it on my desk at work, still finding CPVC dust on things in my office months later....on the positive side I think its all out of my nose now :)
 

KwaiLo

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I built mine with copper, but I am thinking of switching to a SS braid. I have some SS perf plate that i am going to break like ^ to lay over the braid. With some 11ga SS plate over top, there is no chance of the line crushing.
 
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