The cooler came with a plastic spigot, but that one isn't very useful for any brewing purposes. So, I ended up getting hold of a weldless cooler conversion kit from Homebrew Heaven. The conversion kit is called Weld-B-Gone Deluxe Kettle Conversion Kit. Unfortunately the wall in this particluar cooler is about 2 cm thick, so I had to extend the nipple in the bulkhead with a longer one from Morebeer. Even this one was a tight fit.
Here you see the new converted cooler with the lid closed. The spigot can be seen on the left side. The cooler holds 52 quarts or 49.2 liters. This will allow me to do mashes of up to 15 kilos, which should be more than enough for my 25 liter batches. You'll see some big beers coming soon.
On my first attempt at installing the conversion kit I had quite a bit of problems getting everything watertight. No matter how hard I secured the spigot and the o-rings there was always some water escaping down onto the floor. Not good. The solution was to use silicone sealant. Silicone worked nicely, and on my second attempt everything was watertight. I've also used teflon tape on all threads. If you look closely at the photo above you can see the mashtun full of water. It didn't spill a drop of water. Let's hope that it continues that way when I do my first real mash.
The spigot includes a security lock that prevents it from being opened inadvertently. Click on the images to see more details.
On the inside I've connected a Bazooka Screen to the bulkhead fitting. This one works as the strainer, so that the wort can be separated from the grains. The screen is made from stainless steel and feels quite sturdy, so I think it should be able to hold a full mashtun without collapsing.
Here the Bazooka screen can be seen in more detail. There are 1/2" threads on it, so it can be screwed onto the bulkhead without problems. One of the nicer things about this cooler is that there is a lowered area at the bottom that drains the liquid down towards the spigot. This is great as the screen fits right into it. When I drained the water only 1.5 dl was left(!). That is incredibly little remaining liquid, so I can look forward to extracting pretty much all the wort in the mash tun (except the liquid absorbed by the grains, of course).
|Weld-B-Gone™ Deluxe Kettle Conversion Kit
|The Bazooka Screen™
|H612 : Stainless Nipple - 1/2" x 1.5'' Threaded
Total cost: USD 57.80 (plus shipping and VAT)