Monday, September 21, 2009

Tunak Tunak Tun

Daler Mehndi I am not, but I did work on a new mash tun on Sunday in preparation for moving to 10 gallon batches.

I have a rectangular cooler whose manufacturer describes it as a "5 Day" cooler, alleging that it will keep ice frozen for five days under certain conditions. (Presumably these conditions do not include "deploy the cooler in the Arctic.") I purchased it back in March intending to use it as my mash tun but I went with the Gatorade cooler that has featured so prominently here.

I created a manifold for it using essentially the same technique I used for the original tun. The biggest difference was that with the added size of the cooler and the position of the drain hole in the center instead of the end, I used a longer braid (30") and looped it using a nylon tee:

You'll note that I had to use a portion of the braid as an extender from the nipple to the center barb of the tee. I used some copper wire as I did before to stiffen the braid, help it hold its shape, and hopefully avoid crushing. Once again I used nylon ties instead of the stainless clamps called out in the original design. I ran short of ties but I intend to use one about every 2 inches around the perimeter.

The 170 F leak test passed without a drip. However, there was a pretty dramatic temperature drop in the water after an hour or so had passed. I felt around the cooler looking for hotspots, but the only place I could feel heat was at the lid. I guess that stands to reason, as the cooler's primary job is to repel heat from the outside and heated air is not noted for moving downward. I will just have to put a blanket over the top to increase the R-value of the lid.

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