Over Thanksgiving I cut slots in the remaining three pipes for the lauter manifold, and cut and assembled the pieces for the sparge manifold. The long pipes for the sparge manifold will need to be cut a bit shorter, so that it’ll fit in the recess in the cooler’s lid, and I need to find an appropriate way to cut a hole in the lid for the end pipe to stick up through, so I’ll have a way to pour in the sparge water.
The spigot that came in the cooler turned out to simply unscrew, leaving a plain hole; the valve piece I have fits through the hole with only a little space around it, so I’m thinking that just sticking it in there and caulking it around with silicone or something will suffice. My only concern is that this will mean there’s a bit of a gap between one end of the lauter manifold and the floor of the cooler, but I’m not quite sure what to do about that. Probably the answer is “decide it’s not that big a deal,” but even when that’s the right answer, it’s not a very satisfying one, especially if you’ve got something of an engineering bent. But zymurgy isn’t a precise science, except perhaps if you’re Anheuser-Busch, and who wants that?
Finding time to work on the project continues to be a problem.