Making a Partial Mash mash tun

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Here is a parts list for a 2 gallon mini mash/lauter tun that I put together. I'm sure it would work for a 3 gallon cooler as well. The cooler was purchased from Target for $9.99. All the parts came from Home Depot and are the "Watts" brand. Use any equivalent in your area. All sizes are 3/8 inch. I will describe the parts for those people who are not familiar with this me!

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You will notice a white seal pushed flush against the inside of the cooler on this second picture. It was part of the original cooler set up. After I screwed off the plastic nozzle I left this piece on. If your cooler has this, I would suggest keeping it there. It is a part of the cooler's original seal.

Parts List

The parts are listed in order starting from the outside:

  • Watts A-294: Barb to MIP Adapter (the piece that screws into the valve) = $2.10
  • 3/8" Brass Valve (with 2 female ends to screw the fittings into) The most "expensive" part at just over $6.
  • Watts A-785: Brass Pipe Nipple. This connects the valve to the other adapter on the inside of the cooler. = $1.52
  • A washer that will go over the nipple on the outside of the cooler...whatever size will fit for your setup. = $0.25 Use 2 16mm ID washers stacked together or a Hillman rubber washer, 5/8" x 2-1/4" x 1/8", found in the hardware (not plumbing) section of Home Depot or Lowes.
  • Another washer on the inside. = $0.25 (Use soft plastic garden hose gaskets)
  • Watts A-298: Barb to FIP Adapter. It screws over the nipple and is covered by the SS braid (see this picture). = $2.33
  • Watts FloodSafe Auto Shutoff Connector: you can use ANY SS braid that will fit inside your cooler. I picked this one beause the braids were so tight I thought it would give me a clean vorlauf/ did! = $4.69 (Have the store clerk cut the ends off with a PVC Cutter!) (Any stainless-steel faucet supply hose will work.)
  • Two small hose clamps (2 Hose Clamps Size 1/4-5/8) to tighten the SS braid to the barb. = $0.79
  • Use a 1/2" push-in brass barb plug or 1/2" brass test plug, plus a small hose clamp (1/4-5/8"), to plug the end of the braid. To give the clamp something to grab, you can cut a very small piece of siphon tubing and put it over the inside barb; then slide the SS braid over the hose and clamp it down. Or wind teflon tape around the barb and then over the stainless steel, which will accomplish the same thing and also minimize cuts to your hand from stainless steel "jaggies" while you're assembling the braid.
  • Also, don't forget some thread seal tape ($0.99) for any spots where you screw pieces together.

If you need to there is no shame in bringing your cooler right into the hardware store with you. I did to make sure everything looked right...probably saved myself a trip or two. You don't look as silly carrying a 2 gallon cooler compared to a 5-10 gallon all grain cooler (although I will probably do that as well when the time comes).

The entire project cost ~$30 (3-22-09: $37 before sales tax), which will more than pay for itself after just a few partial-mash 1 lb. of grain at my LHBS = $1.50. 1 lb. of DME = $4.50 (granted, its not a 1:1 ratio, but savings are still an immediate result). This is a great way for extract brewers to start enjoying the variety and benefits of grains during a brew session without needing all the equipment/space to jump immediately into all grain. To read more about the joys of mini-mashing, read the lengthy "Mini Mash For Extract Brewers" Thread here:

Same thing by Brewsmith

KQVLtX Very neat blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Want more.

External Links

BYO Countertop Partial Mashing Oct, 2006 by Chris Colby