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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:
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Some of the manifold pieces cut and arranged:
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Soldered and separated:
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Soldered and attached:
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15mm Ball Valve tap fitted approx 11mm up from the inside base of the coolbox:
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Cleaned manifold:
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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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Making my Immersion cooler:
I made the aluminium spacer strips to hold the coils about 5mm apart, the strips also let it sit nicely on the bottom of my stockpot boiler without interfering with the hop strainer.
I wound the 10 metres of 10mm Diameter copper around a small 15 litre bucket which left it quite neat then knocked up the ally strips at work last night, just had to add a short length of bent 15mm pipe to get the coils end points closer so I could bring the inlet/outlet pipe closer together so I can cable tie them when I’m done.
I have the hose connections pointing horizontal with 2x 10mm solder-ring reducers which fit nicely in the end of the garden hose to be jubilee clipped:



Soldered up and connected:
No leaks…

Cooling test Update:
Warming up, bits of pipe scum coming loose and floating…

On the boil:

The Cooling results are, from 100 Deg C:
7mins – 49 C
10mins – 39 C
15mins – 28 C
20mins – 23.6 C
25mins – 21 C
I had to get my stopwatch out and stirred the water at least every 2 minutes, the boil was of roughly 30 litres, I’ll only be brewing and cooling about 12 L in reality.
IC is nice and clean now ready for Saturdays brewday 🙂

I made a mini mash tun with False bottom, made out of a 15 Litre bucket, drum tap, Camping mats (2 layers, 3 on Lid with 2″ skirting), a pink plastic plate (2mm holes drilled), some copper fittings, a tank connector and a bit of PVC tube, and Duct tape 😉
Even though I already made a Thermos Coolbox mash Tun, I still want to experiment with small batches which means more brewing and ‘testing’ 🙄 of recipes 😉
The finished thing:

Inside:

The False bottom and bits of dodgily pushed together pipe:

Did a little heat loss test with hot water:

Time : : Temp
19.36 – 61.1 C
20.38 – 58.6 C
21.06 – 58.0 C
21.35 – 57.6 C

Ordered some Mash-able grains from BarleyBottom / Hope-&-Grape… 🙂

If it falls apart on first use I’ll be tipping the mash into the Coolbox to sparge and I’ve got a slight re-design in mind which won’t fall apart! 😉


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