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Igloo cooler mash tun

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Igloo cooler mash tun

Postby firewater69 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:08 am

I was a beer brewer long before I was a stiller and I used my mash tun for whiskey mash but as many well know corn can be a pita especially sparging corn. My mash tun for beer wasn't able to handle the amount of corn I use so I built a better one. I used a 150qt. igloo cooler that I picked up for 85.00, this can be done with any size of cooler, I used this one because I do two 15 gallon batches at a time. I ordered the stainless mesh from McMaster Carr (85385T41) it comes in several widths and lengths, it has 3/32" openings and drains pretty darn good, I folded the wire cloth sheet into a rectangle then soldered it together. I used 1/8" stainless plate for the end caps, also soldered in place. One end has a copper tube soldered in to hook up to the drain valve via milk barn hose or poly tube, I'm sure you could come up with a better way, but it's what I did and it works well. You'll notice there are also a couple of copper tubes soldered inside of my screen to prevent collapse.
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Re: Igloo cooler mash tun

Postby firewater69 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:11 am

Here's a few more pics.
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Re: Igloo cooler mash tun

Postby firewater69 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:21 am

The grain bill I use most has about 50% cracked corn in it, the rest is barley and crimped oats, I don't care for the astringent flavors that I've gotten from fermenting on the grain or the mess of squeezing it after the ferment, so this is the best solution for me and I get fermenters full of clean beer that I just pump right to the boiler and run.
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Equipment type: 2.0" LM and a 2.0" CM with external RC coil. 1 keg boiler all electric, and a 20 gallon boiler ran on propane or electric.

Re: Igloo cooler mash tun

Postby S-Cackalacky » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:49 am

Looks like it works very well and it seems to be a workable departure from other mash tun builds I've seen using tubes with holes or slots. However, from your written description, I don't quite follow how it's assembled. Do you have any pics taken during the assembly process?
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Re: Igloo cooler mash tun

Postby sugarcreek » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:52 am

In the lauter pic above, how much corn is in the mashbill?
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Re: Igloo cooler mash tun

Postby firewater69 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:15 am

@ S-Cackalacky, I'm sorry, I didn't take any pics during the build, but the mesh came in a 2'x 2' sheet, I just folded it into a rectangular shape made my end caps and soldered it all together. The poly tube is just the connection between the copper tube and drain valve on the cooler. @ sugarcreek, I'm not sure what I was making in the lautering pic above, but I generally use around 50% corn in the grain bill, it really depends on the recipe though.
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Re: Igloo cooler mash tun

Postby Blackstrap » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:00 pm

Simple, but Impressive... Thanks for posting part # and such. :) May have to run with this one.
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Re: Igloo cooler mash tun

Postby Kareltje » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:54 pm

Well done!
I tend to ferment and distill on the grain, but this is a very good alternative for filtering and squeezing through cloth.
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Re: Igloo cooler mash tun

Postby S-Cackalacky » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:57 pm

firewater69 wrote:@ S-Cackalacky, I'm sorry, I didn't take any pics during the build, but the mesh came in a 2'x 2' sheet, I just folded it into a rectangular shape made my end caps and soldered it all together. The poly tube is just the connection between the copper tube and drain valve on the cooler. @ sugarcreek, I'm not sure what I was making in the lautering pic above, but I generally use around 50% corn in the grain bill, it really depends on the recipe though.

Thanks. I think I get the jist of it now. I would imagine it to be a more efficient design than the ones I've seen made from copper or PVC tubes.
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Re: Igloo cooler mash tun

Postby just sayin' » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:10 pm

Firewater, thanks for posting your killer tun here! Do you have something that holds your "filter box" off the bottom of the Igloo?
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Re: Igloo cooler mash tun

Postby firewater69 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:03 pm

just sayin' wrote:Firewater, thanks for posting your killer tun here! Do you have something that holds your "filter box" off the bottom of the Igloo?

A few beer bottle caps work great! You could also solder some sort pieces of copper tube on the bottom if you wanted, I didn't think that far ahead, lol.
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Re: Igloo cooler mash tun

Postby firewater69 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:44 pm

I forgot to mention that I'm just using cracked corn, I have no idea how a finer grind would go through the tun. I boil my corn the night before I brew, that gives it all night to gelatinize and I always get good conversion plus I do a step mash. My go to grain bill is 15 lbs corn, 15 lbs of 2 row and 5 lbs of crimped oats, it's a full load for my keg.
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firewater69
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:30 pm
Equipment type: 2.0" LM and a 2.0" CM with external RC coil. 1 keg boiler all electric, and a 20 gallon boiler ran on propane or electric.

Re: Igloo cooler mash tun

Postby punkin » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:43 pm

firewater69 wrote:I forgot to mention that I'm just using cracked corn, I have no idea how a finer grind would go through the tun. I boil my corn the night before I brew, that gives it all night to gelatinize and I always get good conversion plus I do a step mash. My go to grain bill is 15 lbs corn, 15 lbs of 2 row and 5 lbs of crimped oats, it's a full load for my keg.


Hang on, at the risk of being called a dick..... That's not 50% corn?
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Re: Igloo cooler mash tun

Postby firewater69 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:24 am

firewater69 wrote:The grain bill I use most has about 50% cracked corn in it, the rest is barley and crimped oats, I don't care for the astringent flavors that I've gotten from fermenting on the grain or the mess of squeezing it after the ferment, so this is the best solution for me and I get fermenters full of clean beer that I just pump right to the boiler and run.


I did say about, 42.9% actually, and depending on the grain bill, I do several different recipes. I didn't mean to mislead anyone....... sorry.
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Equipment type: 2.0" LM and a 2.0" CM with external RC coil. 1 keg boiler all electric, and a 20 gallon boiler ran on propane or electric.


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