The beginning of a new era

When I began to do my own brewing, I kept hearing about “going all grain.”  I’ve blogged about it before, but what I’ve not usually mentioned was how I was not all that enthusiastic about going ahead and doing that.  It required more equipment, I didn’t have a lot of space to store it, it required bigger pots, more awareness of water chemistry, and so on and so on.

Since then, I’ve been spending a lot of time learning about brewing and buying bits to improve my process.  One of my favourite items is the 10 Gallon pot that I have, which, when full, will not come to a boil on my woefully inadequate stove.  I’ve also talked about this.

What I have not yet done is developed the full capacity to mash, properly, all of the grain.  You may have read (or can still read) my crazy experiments with doing this without actually having a proper mash tun.

Well, yesterday I made it.

I was out shopping, and ended up near a Walmart.  I went inside, and lo and behold, a 12 Gallon cooler for under $24.  So I bought it.  The Walmart was beside a Home Depot, and I picked up the few bits that I needed to finish the tun.

I got home and got to work.

All the stuff

Here is the new cooler with a variety of parts.  The manifold is the long stainless steel thing (it’s actually the outside of one of those reinforced water supply tubes you see behind toilets and in sinks, with the actual pipe removed.  It acts as a filter). Then the various other bits.

Remove the spigot

Remove the spigot that came with it.

The manifold connected through the hole

I actually ended up having an incorrect part, so I hopped on my bike and raced to the Home Depot.  This picture is after the problem was resolved.

The connection on the outside.

With the ball valve attached.

Here you can see the connection with the ball valve and “hose barb” (the thing that will attach to a hose) sticking out.  when I go to mash, I will connect a vinyl hose to that barb.

The whole thing

Here is the final product–you can see it through the wall.

Now, as for leakage. Originally I had some water seeping through.  I took the whole thing apart, and added another “O” ring to the inside.  This made a better seal between the various components.  so far there has not been a problem.  I will check this again after my first mash, which will come sometime this week.

All I need to do now is get something to heat all the water with.  I ended up not going to look for that stove.  I sat in my car and looked at the map, and realized I just wanted something closer to home.  The next day (today) I went to a local vendor, and learned just how much the kind of gas stove I want will cost. Probably $2000.  Because I also need to get the gas connection made, and a vent hood.  Yikes.  I think I have to go across the river and buy a gas ring to use outside.

Or just keep making half batches.



About danmalleck

Medical historian and jack-of-all-trades curmudgeon. I tend to ramble about politics, social incivility, and our self-centred culture more interested in buying the next cool ringtone or LED TV than actively engaging in the sorts of discussions and issues that matter. The more opportunity we have to buy more stuff, the less concern there is, it seems, in politics, social justice and let's face it, basic human decency, unless those things actually can save us money or get us more things to show how awesome we are through displaying our material wealth. And I like to brew beer, make cheese, and put food in jars.
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