I built a mash tun today. I originally decided to use the directions here. However, those directions are pretty hard to follow since they seem to be written for mechanically inclined people. It also requires non-standard washers which were not available in any hardware store in my area (the author says to just expand a smaller one, but I have yet to talk to someone who knows how to do that).
I instead used the directions here, which were both easier and required fewer parts. I have:
- 5 gallon round Rubbermaid cooler ($22)
- 1/2' of 1/2" copper tubing ($1)
- a small rubber stopper ($1)
- a stainless steel mesh taken from a supply line ($5)
- a square head plug (Watts part A-737)
- 1/2" hose clamps
Most of this is straightforward. However, the supply line needs the ends to be sawed off. You then pull the hose from the center. I asked the guy at Fetch Lumber to help me saw off the ends of the supply line and he did with relative ease. I used needlenose pliers to pull the hose out and it took about 5 minutes.
Next, I would wash the mesh in some alcohol to get the oil off.
- I unscrewed the plastic spigot from the cooler.
- I jammed the stopper in from inside out. Make sure to go this direction so it can withstand the pressure. This took me 5 minutes of strenuous work. If it isn't hard to do, you may have a stopper which is too small, and will not get a good seal.
- I pushed the copper through the hole in the stopper. This was by far the most difficult task and took me about 10 minutes of pushing. I was drenched in sweat by the end
- I attached the head plug to the mesh using a hose clamp
- I attached the mesh to the copper using a hose clamp.
- I attached the vinyl tubing to the copper on the outside of the cooler
Here's a picture: