Author Topic: Building a Coleman Xtreme mashtun, advice?  (Read 2359 times)

Offline anje

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Building a Coleman Xtreme mashtun, advice?
« on: January 05, 2013, 04:16:29 PM »
I'm planning on going all-grain in the near future. Planning on sacrificing a Coleman Xtreme cooler that I've had for about the last 10 years. Still works great, but doesn't get much use camping anymore because we rarely use something so big since discovering dried food.  Not quite sure what the size is off-hand, but I'm going to estimate it's a bit over 10 gallons, and I'll have to mark depths inside soon enough. It's silver, so I'll have to live with the reduced efficiency until I get blue paint, I suppose.  ;)

I'm looking at bulkhead kits at Weldlessfittings and Bargainfittings, but it looks like they're all for spigot holes that are 7/8" or smaller. The hole in my cooler is a full inch in diameter, and the wall is 3/4" thick.  Any recommendations for a cooler with a larger hole like this?

Alternatively, I've read of people inserting 3/8" vinyl tubing right through the spigot on these coolers. That seems like a viable option, but the tubing slides in pretty easily. Does it really not leak with a bunch of hot liquor or mash sitting on it? I'd love such a simple solution, if it's really viable.
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Offline narvin

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Re: Building a Coleman Xtreme mashtun, advice?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2013, 04:57:56 PM »
I've used the Northern Brewer bulkhead kit for all of my Coleman mash tuns, and they fit fine.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/xl-cooler-bulkhead.html

This is the XL version, which I needed for my 120 quart cooler.  The 64 quart version only needed the regular one, which I assume would fit yours.

 http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/cooler-bulkhead.html
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 05:00:02 PM by narvin »
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Offline sparkleberry

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Re: Building a Coleman Xtreme mashtun, advice?
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2013, 05:32:42 PM »
this is how I built mine. works splendidly.

http://brewing.lustreking.com/gear/mashtun.html

cheers.
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Offline tygo

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Re: Building a Coleman Xtreme mashtun, advice?
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2013, 06:43:42 PM »
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Building a Coleman Xtreme mashtun, advice?
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2013, 07:03:34 PM »
I'm looking at bulkhead kits at Weldlessfittings and Bargainfittings, but it looks like they're all for spigot holes that are 7/8" or smaller. The hole in my cooler is a full inch in diameter, and the wall is 3/4" thick.  Any recommendations for a cooler with a larger hole like this?

Alternatively, I've read of people inserting 3/8" vinyl tubing right through the spigot on these coolers. That seems like a viable option, but the tubing slides in pretty easily. Does it really not leak with a bunch of hot liquor or mash sitting on it? I'd love such a simple solution, if it's really viable.

I've actually done it both ways.  I started with a 36-qt Xtreme and just pushed the tubing through the spigot.  I didn't entirely trust it to seal so I added some aquarium sealant and it worked fine with no leaks for years.  Later, I upgraded to a 52-qt Xtreme and for that, I went ahead with the the stainless bulkhead thing from Northern Brewer.  It too works fine.  So basically, both ways work.
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Offline timo

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Building a Coleman Xtreme mashtun, advice?
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2013, 07:43:13 AM »
I use the 165qt tun. I installed the valve kit and it has worked in this, my third cooler, for five years. One thing to note is that eventually with a lot of banging around over the years that the plastic tends to fracture around the valve. The washers that come with the kit are somewhat limited in their diameter, although they are standard size. I just rebuilt mine with custom SS blanks that cover more surface area and disperse the load over a larger area. I also put Silicone in between the body and valve to fill that void.

Instead of SS mesh, like Denny, I use CPVC tubing and fittings inside in an ladder pattern. I get great efficiency and its robust.

TimO
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Online theDarkSide

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Re: Building a Coleman Xtreme mashtun, advice?
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2013, 07:14:03 AM »
this is how I built mine. works splendidly.

http://brewing.lustreking.com/gear/mashtun.html

cheers.

This one works great...going on 3 years and no problems.  The only modification I made was adding a 1/2" bazooka screen instead of water supply line.  Last 2 beers got approx 78% efficiency, which I can live with.
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Offline euge

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Re: Building a Coleman Xtreme mashtun, advice?
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2013, 07:24:15 AM »
I just pushed the tubing through the spigot. Doesn't leak and the weight of the volume of hot liquid tends to expand it a bit within the spigot. If it has ever leaked it was only a few drops.

I like this option since in order to use the cooler for the purposes it was designed for the tubing can be easily removed and replaced...
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Offline BrewArk

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Re: Building a Coleman Xtreme mashtun, advice?
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2013, 11:08:05 AM »
I took a two inch piece of copper tubing and put it in the end of the PVC hose.  That was enough to expand the outer diameter of the pvc tubing to make a good seal on the bulkhead.  The only issue was having it creep back into the tun and begin to leak.  After a couple of mashes where the duct tape was a waste of time, I put another piece of larger tubing on the exterior (about eight inches).  That produced enough friction to keep the whole thing secure for a whole mash.  It disassembles reasonably for periodic cleaning and cost me nothing as it was all scrap.
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