Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cooler Mash Tun

I know I'm a little behind with the posts around here, but I assume you're used to that by now. All grain brewing posts coming soon, or your money back. But first a few pictures and words about my new cooler mash tun.

Back in September I was the happy recipient of a 50 quart Coleman Xtreme5 cooler. I didn't get around to converting it into a mash tun until October, but I've been brewing all grain beers ever since.

The first step was to take out the drain plug and replace it with a valve. I loosely followed this guide over at Home Brew Talk. They use a piece of PVC pipe on the outside to help it seal better and it give a more stable base for the valve. The PVC on the outside plus the fact that I was able to reuse the rubber grommet that came with the cooler gave a nice tight, clean looking seal. I was impressed with how well it all went together. The only improvement I want to make is replacing the washers on the inside with stainless steel ones, but I haven't been able to locate any in the size I need.

Another thing I didn't like was the angle of the drain valve. It comes out at a 45 degree angle instead of just straight out. Not much I could do about that, but I would like to build some kind of stand for it.

Next is the manifold, I decided to go with a pipe manifold instead of a stainless hose. No real reason, thats just what I did. One note: if you use plastic pipe you want to be sure to use CPVC instead of regular PVC. CPVC has a higher heat rating so it won't leach any chemical into your wort.

Here is a detail of the pipe. I went with drilled holes instead of cutting slots. It seemed less labor intense.

Here is one last picture of the inside fully assembled.


  1. As a post script: I am still finding plastic sqigglies stuck to my socks as a result of you making those drilled holes on the basement landing rug. Yay.

  2. The CPVC pipes are highly resistant to corrosion and chemicals as well. These pipes are formed by the chlorination of PVC pipes and can withstand a temparature of upto 200F. Thus you can use these pipes for hot water and cold water pipes.