How to build a cool box mash tun

Discussion in 'Beer Brewing "How-To" Guides' started by HisDudeness, Nov 15, 2015.

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  1. Jan 14, 2016 #41

    HisDudeness

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    They are on the underside, what you can see in the pictures is the marks from the rollers on the pipe cutter. Good luck with your build! :thumb:
     
  2. Jan 15, 2016 #42

    Dutto

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    Many thanks.

    Thought it was a "Doh!" question but asked before I lost another litre of dead-space!!

    Bottled 23 litres of Marsh Mild today (Fulstow Brewery All Grain Kit). Lovely "dark chocolate" flavour that I hope develops even more after a few weeks.

    It was messing around with the grain on that bit of work (i.e. it was all over the garage floor, me and the gear) that persuaded me to make a proper mash tun.

    Thanks for the "how to". I was going to solder everything! :whistle:

    The Coolbox arrives tomorrow according to DFS!
     
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  3. Jan 15, 2016 #43

    HisDudeness

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    Same for me, got fed up trying to manhandle a mash bag and throwing wort all over the place/myself!
     
  4. Jan 16, 2016 #44

    Dutto

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    The 32 litre Thermos coolbox arrived yesterday and work began.

    Decided to go for the "drilled hole" rather than the "cut slots" because:

    a) I broke the blade on the jig-saw within 10 seconds. (Don't ask!!)

    b) I didn't trust myself to stop at the right point.

    This is the finished result with the "drilled hole" system. Diameter of 2.5mm and I only broke one drill bit!

    As pointed out, there is a deadspace but (luckily) it is less than one litre.

    Many thanks for the ideas. Now all I have to decide is which AG brew for a "first go".

    IMG_1312.jpg

    IMG_1311.jpg
     
  5. Jan 16, 2016 #45

    Tony1951

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    Great job that Dutto.

    If you wanted to try an ingredients kit box, the Geterbrewed English IPA kit is a beauty for 15 quid as long as you don't need step by step instructions. Also their Hoppy IPA is good too and about £17.50.

    If you have all the ingredients and want to do your own you can do a big English IPA for under a tenner though.

    Envious of your mash tun. And on the dead space thing - by the time you have sparged a couple of times you won't be losing much sugar and anyway, you can tilt the box and recover it that way.
     
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  6. Jan 16, 2016 #46

    HisDudeness

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    Nice, that should work really well:thumb:
     
  7. Jan 16, 2016 #47

    ManseMasher

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    Looks really good! +1 for the AG kits by the way, wherever you get them from. Fed up with 1/2 bags of speciality grain I have lying around!
     
  8. Jan 17, 2016 #48

    Dutto

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    I've just bottled a Fulstow Marsh Mild full mash kit as per ...

    http://www.homebrewcentregy.com/fulstow-marsh-mild-full-mash-kit

    ... and the lack of a Mash Tun meant that I made a right pig's ear of recovering the wort.

    I bought a variety of malts to tart up the extract kits that I've been brewing so far and I have enough of everything to go for a full AG brew.

    In anticipation, I lodged a recipe for a Mild Ale for consideration but so far no-one has commented. (There's still time to comment though: SWMBO has lined up a load of jobs for me tomorrow!) :doh:
     
  9. Jan 17, 2016 #49

    summertt

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    [emoji1317]
     
  10. Jan 18, 2016 #50

    Tony1951

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    Dudeness - a couple of questions if I can:

    Can you get those copper fittings without the lead solder in them? I've already absorbed enough lead in my time and don't want any more, but from memory, when I have been looking at fittings like those they seemed to have been pre-soldered as far as I can remember.

    Also - how did you cut those neat slots in the pipe sections for draining the tun. I have saws and also a pipe cutter. Yours look so neat I'm thinking you used a pipe cutter, but the one I have cuts right around I think - not that I have used it more than once or twice, so maybe I am missing something. Maybe it would cut only on one side if I didn't fully rotate it. Probably right on reflection. Stupid question maybe.
     
  11. Jan 18, 2016 #51

    HisDudeness

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    Yes you can get solder-less fittings, thats what I used, slightly cheaper too.

    You are correct I used a pipe cutter twisting it back and forth without going all the way round. Be aware though this method takes ages and is quite a strain after you have done a few cuts. I think I would get a hacksaw blade for my jigsaw or drill holes if I did it again.
     
  12. Jan 18, 2016 #52

    Notlaw

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    Does it have to be copper, or could you use plastic push-fit fittings like these ones?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Jan 18, 2016 #53

    HisDudeness

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    I dont see why not, as long as they are food safe and can take the heat (which if they are intended for plumbing use should be yes on both counts I guess)
     
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  14. Jan 18, 2016 #54

    Tony1951

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    Cheers DUDE and also NOTLAW for the info and ideas. I got so much better a result last time not using my bag and just mashing in the boiler that this looks like a good way forward. To be fair, the only problem with what I did was having to empty the boiler into the compost bin and swill it out but still this would be neater.

    I am also wondering about just using braided hose instead of the cut and joined copper. It might even be cheaper. This kind of thing here.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Stainless...hash=item43a7b9b779:m:mxxheCa-r9lfj1wCPb5ZIIw

    You could have a length of that in the mash tun. The only problems I see are joining to the tap and plugging the ends. I suppose a length of about 60cm would be enough. Maybe there are disadvantages, but I can't see them yet.

    You can get bigger bore hose braid if needed from the same people.
     
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  15. Jan 18, 2016 #55

    HisDudeness

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    Yes that would work well I have seen other builds online that use this stuff, I think most people just jubilee clip each end onto short bits of pipe and then fix these to a T junction creating a loop of braid. I was considering this myself but didn't find somewhere that sold the braid like this.....:doh:
     
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  16. Jan 18, 2016 #56

    Tony1951

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    I know that bending the length around would constrict the braided tube a bit, but it would still pass the wort through. I've bent my own stubby pipe in my boiler to raise it out of the sludge I get after the boil (bending it upwards at an angle to raise its level). This doesn't materially effect the flow of fluid I think. So it could be possible to just snake the braided tube about in the bottom of the mash tun. You could use a blanking plug plumbing fitting to close the end off with a clip or even just bend it over and sew it togetehr with some stiff wire of about 26swg. I have a whole bobbin of that.

    Notice how shabby short cuts come to mind here.... Says something about me. I should have registered myself here as 'Bodger'. :)
     
  17. Jan 18, 2016 #57

    Dutto

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    Before I read this Thread I had already bought the fittings and was going to solder everything, hence the Solder Ring fittings.

    Nowadays the solder is made out of tin rather than lead so there's no health problems using them but I will heat the fittings up and knock the solder out anyway.

    All the fittings are available without the solder. They are called "End Feed" fittings and are slightly cheaper.
     
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  18. Jan 21, 2016 #58

    keat64

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    I used solder less fittings then tapped them all slightly with a centre punch.
    A few well positioned pop marks is enough to stop them falling apart.
    I also drilled a few holes in the outer skin of the cooler(underneath) and filled the cavity with vermiculite, then used rubber grommets to plug the holes.
     
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  19. Jan 21, 2016 #59

    keat64

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    In fact if anyone is close to me (Wakefield ish), I could sort you out with some vermiculite.
     
  20. Jan 21, 2016 #60

    AdrianTrace

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    I butchered a tap fitting that B&Q were selling in a clearance sale (��£1, I think) to get the braid for my boiler, then used a compression tee to hold the ends:
    [​IMG]
    The copper pipe is only slid into the tee, not tightened.

    My mash tun has a copper pipe network, like The Dude's (although I still haven't used it - I made it in 2010!)
     
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