Tuesday, June 5, 2012

DIY Mash Tun

Wow! Almost a month since the last update. I've been busy.

This weekend I built a mash tun using instructions off of this thread. I made a run to Home Depot for most of the parts, but they were out of ball valves at the time, so I had to make a quickie run to Lowe's to finish off the parts list (it was on the way home, so no biggie).

I followed the instructions on the HomeBrewTalk thread to a tee, but made a couple modifications to the basic design. First, I opted to use the more substantial 'bazooka screen' instead of the braided hose filter. I've heard too many stories of the braid crushing under the weight of the grain bed and getting horrible efficiency - or worse - a stuck sparge. I attached a spare stainless steel nut to the bazooka screen to weight it down per advice from my friend Rick, who had problems with the bazooka screen 'floating' and causing him to lose efficiency points. The second modification I made to the design was to add a neoprene rubber washer to the inside of the cooler, between the stainless steel washer and the rubber grommet. My hope is that the rubber washer will  help fill in the gap between the flat washer and the curved wall of the cooler. I'm probably going over-kill, but I'd rather overdo something than have it leak.

After everything was assembled and tightened down, I filled the cooler 2/3 with hot water and left it for ~45 minutes. It didn't leak a drop, so I emptied it out, dried it, and hope to use it this weekend to brew.

Some pictures:

Weighing down the bazooka screen.
All done!

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