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Vossy's Thermopot Mash Tun 2

The job

The first thing to do was to place the tun on a surface and ensure it was level using a spirit level. I put some masking tape at the top of the tun, roughly where I thought the centre of the tun was. I also put some masking tape on the bottom of the tun directly under the top piece of masking tape. I measured the distance between the 2 handles on the tun and marked the point on the masking tape half way between the 2. Using the spirit level vertically I marked the vertical position for the ball valve on the bottom piece of masking tape.

mash tun with masking tape on side detail of mash tun with masking tape on side mash tun with masking tape on base

Before I could mark the point at which to drill the hole for the ball valve, I needed to know where the inner skins base sat, in relation to the outer skin of the tun. To do this, I used a tape measure to measure the height of the inner skin from the top lip of the thermo box. I then measured the height of the outer skin and subtracted one from the other to give me a rough idea of the position of the base of the inner skin, making sure to factor in the height difference between the two skins. It just so happened to be in line with the recess at the base of the outer skin.

Next I flipped the tun upside down so I could measure the centre point of the base of the tun. I then masked of the area of the base which I would need to remove in order to attach the bottom outlet and associated fittings. I drilled though the centre hole from the outside of the tun, through both inner and outer skins using the 6mm hole saw bit, the idea being I would then drill the main outlet hole from within the tun avoiding burrs. I flipped the tun back upright and got the first surprise. The centre hole on the outside of the tun did not match up with the centre of the inner skin, it was at least 10mm out. To make sure the take off was central in the tun I re marked the central point of the inner skin, and using a 20mm hole saw, drilled a new hole, which luckily meant the previously drilled hole was removed with the core taken out...phew.

hole drilled in base of mash tun grinding skin from mash tun base with angle grinder 1 grinding skin from mash tun base with angle grinder 2

The next stage was to remove the outer skin from the base of the tun, so there would be room to attach the fittings for the take off tube and the ball valve....break out the angle grinder and safety glasses. The angle grinder did a great job of removing the bulk but it was necessary to use a dremmel type tool to finish the cuts at the right angles and near the lip of the tun. To remove the foam insulation I used a knife to cut it back to the inner skin, then the foam came out really easily, it was quite well insulated.

removing skin from mash tun base with dremmel peeling away thermopot skin peeling away thermopot insulation
measuring slot size in thermopot base finished slot in thermopot base elbow for thermopot base
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