A mash tun is essentially a large insulated pot for making barley tea. The temperature inside the container needs to stay relatively stable which makes a cooler an ideal vessel to use (very little heat loss). Instead of buying a pre built mash tun I decided to take the more economical route and build one myself. Here is how it works in case anyone else ever wants to construct one.
What you need...
- A large cooler, the size is really up to you. You can fit at least 15 pounds of grain and the mash water into a ten gallon cooler. I am hoping to use this cooler to make 15-20 gallons of beer at a time, so I bought a 30 gallon cooler.
- Cooper pipe (the amount will vary based on how big the cooler is, I used 6 pieces of 1/2 inch pipe)
- 5 T push on connectors
- 4 90 degree elbow push on connectors
- A1/2 ball valve
- A 1/2 male to 3/4 barb plastic fixture
- A 1/2 male to 1/2 male connector
- A length of plastic tubing to fit onto the 3/4 barb
- A hack saw to cut the pipe
- Washers to seal the the outside and inside of the cooler with
- A shark bit connector to hook the 1/2 pipe to the 1/2 male to 1/2 male fitting
How to put it together....
- First I cut slits in the pipe about 1/3 of the way deep every 3/4 inches along the entire length of the pipe. The silts will face down and will work to filter the grain from the wort as it runs off
- I laid the pipe out to get a better idea of how many cuts I was going to need to make
- I made all of my cuts, making sure to measure
- Slip all the connectors onto the pipe and push them tightly together.
- Build the drain valve.
- I pushed the 1/2 male to 1/2 male connectors half into the wall of the cooler after taking out the previous drain.
- To the out side I added a washer and screwed on the ball valve adding the barb to the ball valve
- Next I screwed the shark bite connector to the 1/2 male to 1/2 male connector and added washers to make it seal tightly, and then pushed it onto a piece of 1/2 copper pipe
It was about that easy! It took a little over and hour and a half to cut all the pipe and put it together. Total cost was 150$ which is a lot cheaper than trying to order something like this online!