DIY Igloo Cooler Mash Tun Conversion for All Grain Brewing
The below step by step procedure should give you all the information you need to build a cheap mash tun for all grain brewing.
- 10 Gallon Igloo Cooler - You can get these coolers many places. I got the one I used significantly cheaper on eBay but many other coolers can be substituted to build an effective Mash Tun. I opted to used a round cooler but rectangle coolers can work well too.
- Cooler Bulkhead - I have seen other tutorials online with cheaper options but I have not had much success stopping the cooler from leaking with those so I spent the extra money and got a bulkhead that works really well. Not only did it stop the leaking problem it also helped keep the mash from loosing temperature. In previous designs I was typically loosing about 4 degrees during the hour mashing process.
- Brass Barb x MIP Adapter (2) – You will need 2 of these for use inside of the cooler to connect to the Braided Stainless Steel (step 4) that will be used to filter the wort as it drains through the grain bed.
- Stainless-Steel Braided Faucet Supply Line - I bought the 16 inch length so I had extra to use in the event I made any mistakes or needed to make any repairs. During initial construction you will only need about half.
- Brass Square-Head Plug - This will be used secure to one end of the stainless-steel braided faucet supply line.
- Wire Ties (2) – These will be used to secure the steel braid (item 4) to brass barb MIP adapter (item 3) and to the brass plug (item 5).
- Teflon Tape – This will be used to wrap around the threads of the brass barb MIP adapter (item 3) that will be screwed into the cooler bulkhead (item 2).
- Ball Valve (1/2 inch) – This will be used to stop the flow of wort out of the cooler easily.
Step 7: Wrap the other end of the cooler bulkhead with teflon tape and then from the outside of the cooler secure the bulkhead with larger rubber gasket and nut. Be sure to make sure the rubber gasket is against the cooler.
Step 8: Screw ball lock valve onto end of bulkhead.
Fairly simple process that yields great results. I’m sure there are cheaper ways of building something comparable so if you have any better options for parts listed above feel free to add a comment below or send me an email. Enjoy your new mash tun and more importantly your homebrew!