Extra Mash Tun

Friday, March 14, 2008

Extra Mash Tun

After brewing outside the capacity of our current mash tun, Nick and I have been looking for a way to build out. After surfing around for a 100+qt cooler, I was looking Craig's List and saw a five gallon water jug for $10. I couldn't resist.

I picked up this hoss with the intention of having it be the reservoir for our sparge, but last weekend, Nick mentioned that with a little work, we could make this guy duel porpoise - mash tun and sparge reserve.

First off, we had to remove the water spout that was on it already. For this model (and most others to my knowledge) it's just a matter of unscrewing the plastic nut on the back and it's off. Easy stuff.

After getting that off, I had widen the hole a little bit to fit the 3/4" ball valve (with threads)through. Don't go too big though, as you want to have as tight a fit as possible. With two gaskets and some silicone, I was able to seal things up (this is a process, but it's worth continuing to do until you get it right). I have a gasket on the outside and one on the inside. On the inside is a plastic nut from my bottling bucket - works great!

This false bottom was Nick's idea. It's a 1/2" piece of copper tube that has slits sawed into it with a small piece of stainless steal (feed grade from a cheap strainer) on the end. The copper tube is connected to a 1/2" spur via a piece of rubber tube (it was a lot of work to get it over that). All parts are held in place by screw clamps.

This false bottom (1/2" spur and nut) connects to the ball valve (3/4") through a brass 3/4" to 1/2" connection.

So in the end, we have a false bottom for a mash tun using odds and ends pieces I have lying all over. Having a keg system helps me to have a lot of odds and end parts so we were able to make something pretty basic for about $15.

To everyone out there worried about the expenses involved in going all-grain (Adam I am looking in your direction!), here is a way that is cheap - so much so that it will pay for itself in the first batch you do.



Brian said...

good stuff! Nothing like finding a deal on a mash tun :)


nick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Travis said...

So never mind about this concept. As always, it's in need of some work. More to come...

Bryon said...

I'm really eager to move on to all grain brews, but I haven't kicked off the partial grain extract kit training wheels just yet. I've been wanting to buy an old igloo jug like that and try building my own tun as well. I just need to find one on the cheap like you did. Great score!