I've decided to ease into all-grain brewing by starting with a couple of partial mash brews. In order to mash my grains I needed a mash tun, which I built for about fifteen bucks from a 5 gal. rubbermaid beverage cooler that I already had. When I finally make the jump to all-grain I'll probably need a larger mash tun, and the beauty with this is I can move it all to a 10 gal. cooler when needed.
The parts I used were:
5 gal. Rubbermaid round beverage cooler
2 stainless steel 1/4'' hose clamps
brass square head plug (Watts A-737)
1/2'' x 12'' braided stainless steel supply hose (a longer one would have worked fine)
3/8'' female barb adapter (Watts A-298)
2 5/8''stainless steel fender washers (other may need more for a tight fit)
3/8'' MIP x 1 1/2'' brass nipple (Watts A-786)
plastic spigot seal from the cooler
5/8'' ID O-ring
3/8'' threaded ball valve
3/8'' male barb adapter (Watts A-294)
Here's how I made it:
1. Using a pair of channel locks, I unscrewed the nut on the inside of the cooler and removed the plastic spigot.
2. I cut the ends off of the braided supply with a pair of snips.
3. Using needle nose pliers, I pushed the metal braid off of the plastic hose.
4. I put the brass plug in the end of the braid and secured with a hose clamp.
5. I wrapped both sides of the brass nipple with teflon tape.
6. I slipped one of the washers onto the nipple and screwed the female barb adapter tightly onto the nipple.
7. I inserted the spigot seal on the inside of the cooler and inserted the nipple with the washer, and barb adapter on the inside of the cooler.
8. I pulled the brass nipple all the way through the hole and (on the outside of the cooler) inserted the O-ring over the nipple.
9. I added fender washers as spacers so that I had a tight fit (it only took one washer for me).
10. I tightened the ball valve onto the nipple.
11. I put teflon tape on the male barb connector and attached it to the ball valve.
12. Finally I slid the open end of the braid onto the barb inside the cooler and tightened with a hose clamp.
That's my mash tun and it worked like a champ in its first time out.