For the past 5 years or so I’ve mashed using my 10-gallon Gott cooler with one of Northern Brewer’s bulkhead kits. I never was perfectly happy with the bulkhead as it would occasionally leak and it is insecure/wobbly by nature because it’s trying to sandwich two pieces of plastic separated by foam. And you if think about a leak on this bulkhead design your wort is going in between the cooler walls, gross.
So today I cut out the outer shell leaving just the inner liner, and I redid the bulkhead to only sandwich that inner liner. It’s much sturdier now. Photos and descriptions follow.
Here is how much shell I dremel’d away. In retrospective I should have cut away some more to make getting my fingers around the locknut easier.
I’m using a fully-close nipple instead of the almost-closed nipple that came with the original kit. That slight reduction in length lets me clamp down on the inner shell.
Here is a chunk of the wort-soaked foam from in between the cooler walls. Thankfully the expanding foam they use forms a good seal along the walls so my wort leaks didn’t seep very far in.
To be able to get a better clamp on the wall I’m using a big 1/2″ silicone washer.
And the finished product. The ball valve had enough thread to get a good seal and a leak test passed.