Tagged ‘copper manifold‘

Coleman Extreme Manifold

This is the hopefully last of the updates to my 52 quart Coleman Extreme manifold. Part One dealt with swapping my brass valve and bulkhead parts for a sweet stainless kit from, while Part Two covered the new manifold layout and the thinking that went into it.

I said in my last post that I was going to use a Dremel to cut the manifold slots, but that ended up not working out. I couldn’t find a cut-off wheel that was large enough to let me cut straight slots in the longer tubes. I did use it for the short runs near the bulkhead:

Mash Tun Manifold Slots With Dremel

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Mash Tun Manifold Progress

Since fitting my new mash tun bulkhead, I’ve been needing to rebuild my copper manifold, but just haven’t really had the motivation. Today, I had 2 batches worth of grain, hops, and yeast arrived via FedEx, and I’m planning on brewing over Easter weekend, so it’s time to get serious.

The cooler I use was picked for a reason. Well, several. But primarily, because the drain sits partially below the floor of the cooler interior, which helps eliminate dead space. It also means that I need to find a way to connect a bulkhead and a manifold that aren’t parallel. Most commonly, I’ve seen barbed fittings on both the manifold and the bulkhead with hi-temp tubing connecting the two. I’m leery of that approach, because I’m just careless enough to know I’d somehow pop the hose loose, or pop the manifold apart. So, I again opted to crudely bend a piece of tubing in order to connect the 12” cup → NPT fitting to the T-fitting on the manifold, which angles down slightly to meet the tubing.

Manifold Fittings

Once the bulkhead-to-manifold connection was figured out, the rest of the layout went pretty quick. I learned from past mistakes and didn’t put the long runners against the sidewalls, so if I had any channeling there before, I shouldn’t with this new setup. I also cut my pieces so that both ends butt up against the cooler walls. Having to actually lift the manifold to separate it from the bulkhead lets me dough in with impunity. Should be no worries about the manifold coming apart while stirring the mash.

Copper Mash Tun Manifold

The last dilemma I  have to solve is cutting slots. The first time I did this, I used a hacksaw, and it was straight up hell. I’m no stranger to a hacksaw, but it’s not my tool of choice for cutting copper. I’d planned on using my angle grinder with a cut-off wheel, but after cutting a few slots in scrap tonight, I’m not pleased with the results. Easy to work with, but arguably the slots seem too wide for me, even though the wheel is paper thin.

Mash Tun - Manifold Slots

Top pipe is my old manifold (hacksaw slots), bottom was done with an angle grinder and cutoff wheel.

After I snapped this pic, I went back out to the garage and threw a fiberglass-reinforced cutting wheel in the Dremel, and I think that’s the best of the 3 options, assuming I can find a wheel large enough in diameter to work.

Stay tuned! I’ll hopefully have more updates this weekend.