So I'm just about ready to start brewing some all-grain batches. There is a 5-gallon Rubbermaid jug cooler at Home Depot for $20 that has been calling my name for a while. I came across a mash tun design online
using this cooler and included the exact parts list from Home Depot, so I decided that it was time to make the plunge.
I put everything together tonight. I noticed that some of the parts didn't fit as well as I expected, but eventually I was able to get everything fairly snug. I put in about 2 gallons of water and put a couple of paper towels under the spigot. A half hour later the towels were slightly damp, so I cinched everything down tighter and tried again. This time I saw the leak start almost immediately.
So I started disassembling the spigot and noticed that the O-ring was a hair smaller than the gasket opening. I'm 99% sure that this is where the leak is coming from. I took another look at the website I got the plans from. It turns out that this Home Depot Rubbermaid cooler is a newer/slightly different model! *GROAN*
I'm pretty sure if I used 1/2" fittings instead of 3/8", everything should be OK. Of course now I have to hope I can return everything (a couple of the fittings are scratched since I don't have a proper pipe wrench). My easy mash tun on-the-cheap is starting to look not so easy or cheap anymore. I'm really this isn't going to turn into one of those several week-long projects punctuated by several trips to Home Depot.