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I picked up my old Thermos Cool Box from the parents house a bit back…
Bought it back when ESSO petrol was just stopping giving petrol tokens, so it was a freebie from petrol, I guess it must be the best part of 15 years old.
It clips apart and there is about 30-35mm of polystyrene insulation in it, which I guess is enough for my Mash Tun, I’ll probably fill any voids and the lid with expanding foam at some point.
I’ll be still doing some Extract brews for now as I feel there is plenty for me to learn while I’ve limited space for a full AG setup that has a permanent place to live, but at least I’m progressing with the kit; big old stock pot with S/steel ball valve and hop strainer and now a Coolbox for a mash tun… Just need the HLT and an Immersion cooler.

This things holds about 30 Litres:


The makings of my Mash Tun manifold to hold back the grain so the wort can run off:

The Ball Valve tap with compression fitting:

The Strategically soldered manifold, I had to bend the copper pipe a bit to get the manifold to sit nice and flat against the base of the coolbox:

The Saw cuts in the lower third of the pipe:

How I decided it would come apart, I have some stainless Steel Jubilee clips to secure certain bits:

I did a leak and heat retention test:
It didn’t leak, and it only lost 2.4 Deg C over an hour using Hot Tap water starting at 56.2 C, and the manifold drained the Mash tun down to less than 200ml 🙂

My Stock Pot to Copper Conversion.

The Starting point was this, a Huge 38 Litre Aluminium Stock Pot:
The Huge 38 Litre Aluminium Stock Pot
I had this welded up at work, made from a 1/2″ BSP Stainless Steel barrel nipple from BES and a 3mm thick M22 Stainless washer from Stig’s Stainless Steel Fasteners:
Home made Tank connector
The 1/2″ BSP Female-Female Ball Valve came from BES and 1/2″ BSP-Compression Elbow was from B&Q, there is a brass 1/2″ BSP Female-15mm Compression fitting with another M22 washer on the inside of the stockpot holding the Tank connector in place:
Mounted Ball Valve tap
My Home made Hop Strainer (Hop Stopper), can drain down with a bit of a Pan tilt to 1 litre of dead space (*To be improved):
Hop Stopper
Outflow from the boiler via a piece of 15mm copper pipe (*slight redesign in order):
Outflow
Plan view of a re-design idea (*which I won’t need to use)
Redesign idea

* <<< Stuff marked with a star / asterisk:
The first drain down of the pot left about 1 Litre of liquid and I had to tilt the pan to get it to drain that far. I did some reading up at www.jimsbeerkit.co.uk and started looking into the ‘Syphon Effect’ and decided to stick some electrical tape over the top two thirds of the strainer (the bottom third of the holes are left open) holes and also reduced the internal diameter of the outflow pipe with a bit of PVC tube stuffed in the end. I did the same drain down test and found that it not only drained down faster but also only left 75ml of liquid in a level pan, no tilting necessary!
Now I just need to get a 15mm-10mm copper reducing fitting for the outflow pipe and solder up the top two thirds of the holes in the hop strainer. I’ll also drill some more holes in the remaining bottom third to as to keep a good open area.

Can’t wait for the next brew day now 🙂 I can’t help but think that I could half cool the wort via the outflow pipe now too if I just did a bit more coper pipe bodging and turned it into a counter-flow chiller!

My modified hop Strainer section, holes just in the bottom third of the tube, makes use of the syphon Effect:
Modified hop Strainer


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