Author Topic: Coleman 52 quart conversion to mash tun?  (Read 7203 times)

Offline golfgod04

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Re: Coleman 52 quart conversion to mash tun?
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2017, 04:30:18 pm »
Since it's blue and not red, it will make crummy beer ;)

In seriousness, this cooler has been used by many and should not disappoint. As for the screen/filter I found a good steal on a stainless steel braided hose made for water heaters. It worked much better and was a lot cheaper than the SS ones made for toilets etc. Don't be afraid to ask and look around, I think I made my mash tun for $30 including cooler, line and ball valve.

How did you do that?  So  far I can get the cooler for $22, the bulkhead and extra pieces for $30 and then the bazooka screen for $8

I got my cooler, a 44 Qt Coleman, on sale for 18.99, the SS braid (large water heater style) was clearance for $3, and I use a brass ball valve/nipple which was around 5-6 bucks. If you wanted to go all stainless, Check out Bargainfittings.com, they always have super low prices on SS fitting for all sorts of brewing needs, but you'll have to account for shipping. It was really just a matter of shopping around local hardware and big box stores for deals/coupons etc.

Denny's system would probably be even cheaper, especially if you don't want to bother with building a bulkhead style system for a metal ball valve as it's really not necessary.

can you show me hat bulkhead and brass parts you used?  I have some spare brass parts that I already own and could use.

Offline BrewArk

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Re: Coleman 52 quart conversion to mash tun?
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2017, 11:17:14 am »
That's a great price for that cooler.  I have one and love it.  I also got a 70qt which I find bigger than most of my needs.  The 52 is my go to.
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Offline denny

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Re: Coleman 52 quart conversion to mash tun?
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2017, 11:21:05 am »
I get much better draining without a bulkhead.  I urge you to try it that way first before you spring for a bulkhead
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Offline golfgod04

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Re: Coleman 52 quart conversion to mash tun?
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2017, 10:41:49 am »
I already have the brass 1/2" ball valve and the brass barb for the outside. So I need the rod (I don't know what you call it) that goes into the cooler. I need a washer for the outside, a gasket/oring for the inside, and a locking nut for the inside. A friend has a spare coupler and bazooka screen.

Offline Sam G

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Re: Coleman 52 quart conversion to mash tun?
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2017, 11:10:22 am »
I have that same cooler and have been using it for years with a bulkhead conversion and a stainless steel toilet line braid.

It has worked very well.

Paul

If the OP really wants to save money, he can skip the bulkhead.  Not only is my method less expensive, I found it works better than a bulkhead.  I used one for a few brews then went back to the bung/valve setup.

I can't disagree.

I built mine with a bulkhead and have never tried using it with anything else.

The bulkhead can cause the inner liner of the cooler to crack if over tightened.  You also may get a very small amount of leakage around the seals that I have never found a permanent way to fix.  I've never seen more than a teaspoon on any given brew day (I've had cars that leak more oil daily than that  :) ).

All in all it works but isn't perfect. 

Paul
For my build on a different Coleman cooler, I ended up buying a piece of PVC pipe, cut it to length, used a dremel to increase the drain hole to fit the pipe, then used food grade silicone to seal either end. My bulkhead grips down on the pipe rather than the crushing insulation. Zero leaks and a nice tight fit for the bulkhead.

narvin

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Re: Coleman 52 quart conversion to mash tun?
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2017, 11:29:55 am »
I get much better draining without a bulkhead.  I urge you to try it that way first before you spring for a bulkhead

Interesting, they're both 3/8in ID right?  I don't see why it would make a difference.

Offline denny

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Re: Coleman 52 quart conversion to mash tun?
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2017, 11:59:41 am »
I get much better draining without a bulkhead.  I urge you to try it that way first before you spring for a bulkhead

Interesting, they're both 3/8in ID right?  I don't see why it would make a difference.

The bulkhead held the braid up off the floor of the cooler, resulting in poorer draining.  By attaching the braid to a piece of flexible vinyl tubing, it not only lies flat on the bottom of the cooler, the tubing forms a siphon to aid draining.  Another situation where fancier and more expensive is not necessarily better.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Coleman 52 quart conversion to mash tun?
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2017, 12:32:36 pm »
I have that same cooler and have been using it for years with a bulkhead conversion and a stainless steel toilet line braid.

It has worked very well.

Paul

If the OP really wants to save money, he can skip the bulkhead.  Not only is my method less expensive, I found it works better than a bulkhead.  I used one for a few brews then went back to the bung/valve setup.

I can't disagree.

I built mine with a bulkhead and have never tried using it with anything else.

The bulkhead can cause the inner liner of the cooler to crack if over tightened.  You also may get a very small amount of leakage around the seals that I have never found a permanent way to fix.  I've never seen more than a teaspoon on any given brew day (I've had cars that leak more oil daily than that  :) ).

All in all it works but isn't perfect. 

Paul
For my build on a different Coleman cooler, I ended up buying a piece of PVC pipe, cut it to length, used a dremel to increase the drain hole to fit the pipe, then used food grade silicone to seal either end. My bulkhead grips down on the pipe rather than the crushing insulation. Zero leaks and a nice tight fit for the bulkhead.

Nice idea.  I'll keep it in mind the next time I disassemble it.

Thanks!

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

narvin

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Re: Coleman 52 quart conversion to mash tun?
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2017, 12:55:13 pm »
I get much better draining without a bulkhead.  I urge you to try it that way first before you spring for a bulkhead

Interesting, they're both 3/8in ID right?  I don't see why it would make a difference.

The bulkhead held the braid up off the floor of the cooler, resulting in poorer draining.  By attaching the braid to a piece of flexible vinyl tubing, it not only lies flat on the bottom of the cooler, the tubing forms a siphon to aid draining.  Another situation where fancier and more expensive is not necessarily better.

Ah, makes sense.

Offline Sam G

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Re: Coleman 52 quart conversion to mash tun?
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2017, 03:47:31 pm »
I have that same cooler and have been using it for years with a bulkhead conversion and a stainless steel toilet line braid.

It has worked very well.

Paul

If the OP really wants to save money, he can skip the bulkhead.  Not only is my method less expensive, I found it works better than a bulkhead.  I used one for a few brews then went back to the bung/valve setup.

I can't disagree.

I built mine with a bulkhead and have never tried using it with anything else.

The bulkhead can cause the inner liner of the cooler to crack if over tightened.  You also may get a very small amount of leakage around the seals that I have never found a permanent way to fix.  I've never seen more than a teaspoon on any given brew day (I've had cars that leak more oil daily than that  :) ).

All in all it works but isn't perfect. 

Paul
For my build on a different Coleman cooler, I ended up buying a piece of PVC pipe, cut it to length, used a dremel to increase the drain hole to fit the pipe, then used food grade silicone to seal either end. My bulkhead grips down on the pipe rather than the crushing insulation. Zero leaks and a nice tight fit for the bulkhead.

Nice idea.  I'll keep it in mind the next time I disassemble it.

Thanks!

Paul
Note: Denny's setup is far easier and way less on the wallet. For my setup, I wented Stainless steel and Camlock connections for everything.

Below is what I did for my mash tun so I can have a SS 2-way ball valve with Camlock connection, while not crushing the insulation. Most people don't need to go this route. I wanted to give a bit clearer directions so you won't run into issues if you opt for adding the PVC pipe for stability.

Don't cut into the inner wall of the cooler. Leaving the inner wall allows you to use the stock rubber gasket that came with the cooler so you don't lose waterproofing. The bulkhead should fit through the stock washer.

1. Center the PVC pipe over the outer drain hole
2. Draw the outer diameter of the pipe with marker on the outside cooler wall at the drain hole, as tight as possible to the edge of the pipe. I'd recommend using a fine tip marker
3. Use a dremel or similar tool to cut along the inside of the marked circle. You can always trim away, but cannot put back!
4. Cut away the outer cooler wall's plastic and begin to sculpt out the insulation foam to match the diameter. Don't go through inner cooler wall!
5. Do a test fit, and adjust accordingly.
6. Once satisfied with a snug fit, use the marker on the PVC pipe where you need to cut so that the pipe length will be flush with the outer cooler wall.
7. Cut PVC pipe along the inside of the mark from Step 6. Again, better off erring on the side of cut less initially.
8. Do a test fit, and adjust accordingly.
9. Test fit the pipe, bulkhead with outer rubber gasket/o-ring, stock inner wall rubber gasket that came with the cooler.
10. Confirm everything fits nicely and doesn't leak. For good measure, disassemble & toss some food grade/aquarium grade silicon around the PVC pipe, and then reassemble.

This took me all of 20 minutes once I gathered all parts and tools. Tip: Get the longer bulkhead for coolers.

Offline BrewBama

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Coleman 52 quart conversion to mash tun?
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2017, 06:56:48 am »
I agree: Denny's setup is far easier and way less on the wallet.

I use a bulkhead, bazooka tube, and three piece ball valve. It's a pain to clean so I may replace it with a two piece ball valve. I get very nearly all the wort from the grain because I tilt the cooler by resting it on a 2x4 and also use a brew bag I lift when the lauter is nearly complete.


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« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 07:00:09 am by BrewBama »

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Coleman 52 quart conversion to mash tun?
« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2017, 07:03:17 am »
I use a bulkhead, bazooka tube, and three piece ball valve. It's a pain to clean so I may replace it with a two piece ball valve. I get very nearly all the wort from the grain because I tilt the cooler by resting it on a 2x4 and also use a brew bag I lift when the lauter is nearly complete.


I put a brew bag in mine, too. Really liking the results - the wort is definitely clearer vs the braid. FWIW I took the braid out of my cooler. The bag is already a much finer filter than a braid or bazooka.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Coleman 52 quart conversion to mash tun?
« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2017, 08:48:43 am »
im brewing on a budget and i cant afford the bag too at this point.

If money's that tight, why not buy just the bag and hold off on making a mash tun?
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Offline larsmm

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Re: Coleman 52 quart conversion to mash tun?
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2017, 10:00:21 am »
I already have the brass 1/2" ball valve and the brass barb for the outside. So I need the rod (I don't know what you call it) that goes into the cooler. I need a washer for the outside, a gasket/oring for the inside, and a locking nut for the inside. A friend has a spare coupler and bazooka screen.

I have that pretty cooler, a stainless steel toilet line braid attached to a 12 mm silicone pipe, which gets tight enough in the drain hole (rubber mini-keg bung is not necessary) and a nylon valve. It works really well.

Offline denny

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Re: Coleman 52 quart conversion to mash tun?
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2017, 12:44:27 pm »
I use a bulkhead, bazooka tube, and three piece ball valve. It's a pain to clean so I may replace it with a two piece ball valve. I get very nearly all the wort from the grain because I tilt the cooler by resting it on a 2x4 and also use a brew bag I lift when the lauter is nearly complete.


I put a brew bag in mine, too. Really liking the results - the wort is definitely clearer vs the braid. FWIW I took the braid out of my cooler. The bag is already a much finer filter than a braid or bazooka.

Yes, but that clarity from the mash makes no difference to the finished beer.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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