Building A Mash/lauter Tun

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Hey guys

i'm want to build a mash lauter tun - got an esky and am looking at building one of

those copper lautering manifolds for the bottom. No problems with the design but whats the best way to connect the corner fittings -
you shouldn't use lead solder of course - do i need an oxytorch or what - could i just use some sort of glue.

and will a hacksaw do the job for making the slots

appreciate the advice

I built mine by silver soldering the pipes and fittings but I have since found out that some guys just push them together and hit them with a centre pop to locate them.
The joints dont have to seal as such to work effectively and they can be taken apart for cleaning.
A hacksaw is fine for the slots, just cut the slots BEFORE you assemble the manifold.
I made mine to the design and specifications in John Palmer's How To Brew book or you can view the article on the web.
You can have a look at mine in the "gallery section" on this site under Dicko's Brewery.
Lou depending on the design you may not even need to solder. Mine is a ring with a tee piece for the take off. I just press the pipe into the tee piece and it is a nice snug fit. If you are a crazy stirer you could knock it out but I have yet to have this problem.
Mine use the plumbers compression fittings. The pvc pipe is held together with the compression fittings. The only thing is if you aren't a plumber the tool is really expensive. (My father-in-law is a plumber).

My holes I did with a drill.

well my manifold i have no welds so i can pull it apart easily but on some of the joints i closed it a bit in the vice so it is a tight fitting joint and takes a bit of effort to pull apart that was mk1 no probs so far will get a bigger one soon
Definitely recoomend drilling holes rather than cutting slots

Easier to do neatly, copper tube retains more strength

1/8" holes are fine

Jovial Monk
My 0.02

If the joins leak it makes the manifold more efficient. I just pushed together, put a screwdriver on the fitting, gave a tap with a hammer. Secure fit but could probably be pulled apart if I ever needed to. But I didnt do the joins into the outlet t piece, so the whole manifold swings up for cleaning.

Casing in pumping wells is always slotted, not drilled, because in a sandy aquifer once sand and gravel have packed against the pipe, holes tend to get fully blocked while slots always have some open area and drain more efficiently.

I figure grain husks act in a similar way, so I am a slotter, not a driller. Took me about 2 hrs to hand slot with a hacksaw.
What about a bazooka style using one of those stainless Easy Hooker fittings? Dead easy & works like a charm.
Just my 0.02,
I would make it so it can be pulled apart, no solder. Eventually these things fill with small particles of grain and are difficult to clean. This would be an ideal "hiding" spot for heat resistent spoilage organisms.
What ever you use make sure you can clean it inside.
My experince was that holes tended to get plugged with ends of grains. Hacksawed slots were better for run-off.
Definitely use compression fittings. I did hacksaw slots and they work very well. Here's a picture of my manifold. I got everything from Tradelink.
Yes, I know it's crooked <_<

KenEasy said:
What about a bazooka style using one of those stainless Easy Hooker fittings?
what is this and where do i get it
KenEasy said:
What about a bazooka style using one of those stainless Easy Hooker fittings? Dead easy & works like a charm.
I assume it one of those rubber hoses that are covered in a stainless braid. The idea is to cut off the ends and pull the rubber hose out of the middle. You are then left with a hollow stainless hose.
FWIW it didn't work for for me. I may have pulled too hard on it. (Story of my life) Maybe too much flour in the early days clogged it up. Once it is clogged it is clogged for good. I hated have to dive my arm into mash-temp grain to pull the bloody thing out.
Other people have had better experiences with them.
I also tried Termi-mesh but it also clogged

It's as Darren described. Once the rubber hose is gone you can reattach the end fitting to the braid with a hoseclip & it screws straight on to the nipple. I've used one for 4 or 5 mashes so far without any sticking.
At the request of Chiller, I should point out that the manifold in my tun, above, has the slots facing downwards to maximise drainage capacity. I just had them pointing up to show the design. For those interested, here is the rest of the plumbing on the outside of the tun:

Was looking round for a way to attach a tap to my esky - my one doesn't have a drainage hole. :( The guy at the hardware store said there was no way you coulld attach a tap and run a mainfold off it. has to be a good seal. Has anyone tried drilling a hole in an esky? And what sort of fittings do you use. and where do ya gettem?

I may save up and buy another esky with drainge hole as i got the last one for $6 at a life line store but its only 15 L ( how many kilos of grain can i do in it ya rekon, i thinking 3.5Kg)

any way I'm going to set up a siphon connected manifold for now so i won't need a tap but i've seen the pictures and i know its possible somehow? But i still am not sure what sort of fittings are on the pictures

any advice

Your about right with your grain capacity for 15 litres, i am doing 4kg's in mine tomorrow. Anyway i asked all these questions about drilling thru eski's & taps & stuff and it was far easier, for me, to go for the old "up "n" over, as described in the Palmer book. Just make sure u install a tap fitting to your hose to regulate rate at which you lauter at.
Also cut the vertical pipe short enough so it fits in the esky with the lid on, so there is no need to cut any holes in the esky, so if there is ever a day when your not mashing in it you & the little Mrs can fill the esky with a little bit of cold chicken, bread rolls, a couple of custard tarts and a bottle of your finest and go for a picnic in the country. :wub:
(sorry about all that crap i just got carried away) :wacko:

The wonders of syphoning!
Did you notch the lid so you can leave the copper in place with the lid on so you minimise heat loss?
When you are ready to get an esky or cooler that is for the purpose of a mash tun then get a bulkhead fitting which is a length of thread( usually brass or stainless steel ) two nuts to fit the thread and a tap or ball valve to fit also.
Drill a hole in the esky the size of the bulkhead thread and fit it through with the two nuts and seal it with silastic that they use to assemble fish aquariums. You could also use a couple of fibre or rubber washers if you wish.
Make a copper manifold like the one Snows pictured above and fit to the inside and there you have it.
If you are considering doing full mashes you will need a thirty litre esky as an absolute minimium but preferably forty litres will be better for making higher SG beers.
John Palmers " How to Brew" outlines the design for the manifold.

i must agree with dicko on the mash esky/cooler size.i started with a 20 ish litre size cooler and now wish i went bigger as inveriably you will do a recipe that will be big on grain and if using a size as i purchased you will push it to the makes the mash interesting size wise but the extra space comes in handy.btw i use a s/s braid hose and have had no problems thus far.

big d
If you want to get some inspiration on various types of manifold (copper, ss braid, falst bottom) then over time I have collected a few pics and stuck them in:

brewiki: manifold gallery

Whether this has got much to do with the design I have no idea but using the mashtun in the second pic on that page (figure 8 SS braid), I got over 90% efficiency on my second AG. Maybe I will never hit that again but we will see.

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