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Building a 45 Litre Igloo Mash Tun

Posted on: December 30, 2010

Building a 45 Litre Igloo Mash Tun

Each piece of the soldered manifold is made from 22mm copper pipe with un-soldered joints to allow disassembly and cleaning with a ‘cask tap cleaning brush’, the underside 1/3-1/2 of the copper tube is slotted with a 1mm Angle grinder disk.
The hole in the coolbox was made with a 21mm Q-max cutter, the tank connector was drilled out with a 15mm Blacksmiths drill (this would have been a lot easier with a Pillar drill and a Vice, but all I have is a crappy woodworking vice clamped to a wobbly table and a Cordless drill!)

Tools used were:
Pipe cutter
Solder, Flux, and Blow lamp
Round file
Flat file
Angle Grinder with 1mm Cutting disks
Scotch Brite pad
21mm Q-max cutter, with 8mm pilot drill
15mm Blacksmith’s drill
Cordless Drill / driver

Parts used were:
45litre Igloo coolbox
22mm Copper pipe
15mm copper pipe
6-off 22mm Equal Elbows
4-off 22mm Equal Tees
1-off 15x22x22mm Un-equal Tee
15mm Brass compression tank connector
15mm Brass Ball Valve

The Igloo coolbox which came from an ebay seller:
Image
Some of the manifold pieces cut and arranged:
Image
Soldered and separated:
Image
Soldered and attached:
Image
15mm Ball Valve tap fitted approx 11mm up from the inside base of the coolbox:
Image
Cleaned manifold:
Image

I found while fitting everything together that the Elbows were a bit more acute than 90 degrees which made it look all out of parallel, I fixed this by soldering it up with the removable end pieces on.
Everything was filled clean of burrs inside and out, excess solder removed, then scotch-brite pad used to polish up the copper. A thorough clean with a mild soda crystal solution gave it a final internal clean out. I later added a short bent turn-down spout from the ball valve with a 8mm reducer soldered to it.

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4 Responses to "Building a 45 Litre Igloo Mash Tun"

Good job – exactly the same as my conversion of one of these, but I added a valentine onto it after the ball valve. Good coolboxes – seems to hold it’s heat well, and allows a big batch of strong beer, or a smaller batch of very strong beer!

I assume you drilled the manifold afterwards? Any photos of this?

I actually use an angle grinder and a 1mm cutting disk to grind slots into the underside, drilling holes is best for a Hop-Stopper in the boiler rather than the Mash Tun.
Slots give a greater Open Area.

I tried slotting with a grinder and a 1mm slitting disc, but I wasn’t happy with the size of the slots (too big).

Using a junior hacksaw takes *much* longer to cut all the manifold slots (though not as long as drilling holes!), but I thought it gave a more acceptable result. A lot probably depends on your crush though and (partly) the grist.

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