There are many ways of building a mash tun but to me this way provides a robust and simple method for making a mash tun that will last. There are perhaps cheaper ways of doing it (the AHA has one posted on their website) but I like to use parts that I know are going to hold up for years to come. This design is very similar to Denny Conn’s design…which you can Google.
I sourced almost all my parts from Lowe’s. I’ve included part numbers when I could.
You have to supply your own cooler. I recommend using a Coleman Extreme Cooler or an Igloo MaxCold Cooler. But almost anything will work. You can brew almost any 5 gallon batch in 40 to 70 quart cooler. Just for reference: a 40 quart cooler is good for 10 gallons of 1.050 beer or for 5 gallons of a 1.100 beer.
If you save the hardware from the cooler you can always put the cooler back together again and use it as it was intended. On the same note you can upgrade to a larger mash tun with the existing parts listed below!
Store the mash tun with the lid slightly cracked open…or it will smell due to things growing from remaining moisture.
Total cost of this build (minus the cooler): ~$30.
This is the site I used to build my Mash Tun. It has great Instructions and Pictures to follow along.
You can see the AHA website has a slightly different variation of the build. I prefer the brass parts to the plastic tubing and valve.
Here is another build (click here to download PDF)