Author Topic: Mash Tun Question  (Read 14694 times)

Offline mterm

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Mash Tun Question
« on: February 10, 2010, 12:38:34 PM »
I am looking into making a mash tun from a rubbermaid  cott style cooler (the tall round kind). My question is what is the most popular size to use 5 or 10 gallon. I would hate to make a 5 gallon one and find that what i should have used is a 10 gallon.

Thanks for the help,
Mark

Offline Berkyjay

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Re: Mash Tun Question
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2010, 02:02:27 PM »
I am looking into making a mash tun from a rubbermaid  cott style cooler (the tall round kind). My question is what is the most popular size to use 5 or 10 gallon. I would hate to make a 5 gallon one and find that what i should have used is a 10 gallon.

Thanks for the help,
Mark

Definitely go with 10 gallon.  5 gallons would be much too small.

Offline sickbrew

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Re: Mash Tun Question
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2010, 08:28:25 PM »
I use a 10 gallon got and it has worked out fine.  Hind site is 20/20 but if i could do it over, I'd go straight to a 15.5 Sanke for a mash tun. A 10 gallon got cooler will serve you well, it just has limitations. Quick example, oh crap my mash temperature is only 145 when it is supposed to be 152.  Got cooler - add more hot water skewing your water/grain ratio...etc....etc..chain reaction other issues ensues from issue X to Y vs. several minutes under the burner...duh!  It could also increase your effeciency..  You can save water that would have been used for a mash out for sparging.

If it's an option, use a stainless mash tun!

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Mash Tun Question
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2010, 08:05:43 AM »
I have 3 kegs and was planning on using one for the MT. What do you have yours wrapped in? I have seen people use the foil looking thermal wrap.

Just curious.

Cheers
Preston
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Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Mash Tun Question
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2010, 06:57:51 PM »
I have two Polarware 10 gallon pots for the MLT and HLT.  I wrapped both in a foam sleeping-bag pad that I cut to fit.  And I cut a circle of 3/4" pink foam board to cover the top.  And a smaller circle sits on top of the mash to reduce the air space. 

That was OK, and then I added the foil/bubble wrap around the MLT, also making a cap of bubble wrap, and that's been great.  I recently mashed at 150F for 70+ mins in ~40F weather and it didn't move. 

The pic shows the nice fit of the pink foam top inside the blue foam wrap, and the foam and bubble underneath each.  To lauter, I got more pink foam and made a simple copper T-shaped sparge arm and poked it thru two pieces of foam. 

Offline CR

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Re: Mash Tun Question
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2010, 01:24:37 PM »
if you go with a 5 gallon tun you'll eventually find that it's not big enough.

 I use a 5 gallon tun, I pack it to the gills and  end up running a lot of water through it and recirculating the runnings manually to keep the enzyme quantum up.. It's a total PITA~!!!
 Honest to god I say don't get a 10 gallon one.  Get a bigger one.  Get a coffin cooler.
Eventually you'll be brewing 10 gallon  batches.
And then even the ten gallon one won't be big enough.

Get  cooler like this.
Coleman 6262a748 Xtreme Wheeled Cooler 62qt Blue   $44.00
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&hs=9cB&q=cooler&oq=&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=15084804099716194119&ei=NVB8S6bOE9OUtgfyyeywBQ&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CCcQ8wIwAg#ps-sellers





Offline mterm

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Re: Mash Tun Question
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2010, 05:03:08 AM »
Thanks for all of the input. I am still a little unsure of with way to go. I will not use anything small than a 10 gallon cooler, but I thought I read somewhere that it is better to use a cooler or pot that is round and tall as apposed to short and rectangular. I remember it had something to due with more water passes through the grain bed of a round tall mash tun than the grain bed of a short flat mash tun. I guess the grain bed in the round mash tun is more compact and the more sparge water comes in contact with more of the grain and that increases efficiency. I see alot of round and coffin style mash tun out there and was wondering what you guys think.

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Mash Tun Question
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2010, 07:34:23 AM »
Here is more than you will ever want to know about Flow Dynamics and how they relate to your Mash Tun from one of the best sources on the internet... It goes into detail with computer generated models and gives specifics about how to build yours. I used this as a reference when building my own.

http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter17-2.html
http://www.howtobrew.com/appendices/appendixD-2.html

Cheers
Preston
« Last Edit: February 18, 2010, 08:02:38 AM by UselessBrewing »
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Offline mterm

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Re: Mash Tun Question
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2010, 09:20:54 AM »
Preston,
Thanks for the link I will check it out. What did you end up building?

Mark

Offline robininski

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Re: Mash Tun Question
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2010, 09:59:35 AM »
Rubber Maid Coolers do not retain heat as well as Igloo coolers. Coolers of any sort have a tendency to pull up from the bottom against the the false bottom screen, stopping flow. This can be corrected with a 1/4" (1/2"OD) reinforced tubing cut to the inside circumference of the chosen  cooler & placing the false bottom on top.
If using a plastic cooler for a mash tun to MAX capacity and your mash temperature gets too low, you can simply do a decoction to raise the temperature. This will not add to the volume, only to the flavor.
All in All I think a 15 gallon BoilMaker would be the ultimate.

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Mash Tun Question
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2010, 12:52:54 PM »
Preston,
Thanks for the link I will check it out. What did you end up building?
I ended up with one of the square Igloo Cubes, with a copper manifold in the bottom. Nothing fancy just your basic MT.

Cheers
Preston
The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Mash Tun Question
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2010, 01:22:19 PM »
I plan on getting a 5gal igloo with a false bottom from Adventures in Hombrewing.
Here's a link: http://www.homebrewing.org/5-Gallon-Converted-Igloo-Cooler-Mash-Tun-with-False-Bottom-_p_1005.html

I brew 6gal batches, bottle a few and keg the rest in a corny.  Being that my average batch uses 12lbs of grain, a 5gal cooler will be more than adequate for my needs. 
If you plan to do larger batches, or recipes that use lots of grain (Imperials for example), then definitely go with a larger container.

-John
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline stevemwazup

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Re: Mash Tun Question
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2010, 11:38:02 PM »
Thanks for all of the input. I am still a little unsure of with way to go. I will not use anything small than a 10 gallon cooler, but I thought I read somewhere that it is better to use a cooler or pot that is round and tall as apposed to short and rectangular. I remember it had something to due with more water passes through the grain bed of a round tall mash tun than the grain bed of a short flat mash tun. I guess the grain bed in the round mash tun is more compact and the more sparge water comes in contact with more of the grain and that increases efficiency. I see alot of round and coffin style mash tun out there and was wondering what you guys think.

     Batch Sparging would help with the rinsing of the grains, whether you use a tall, round mash tun or a short rectangular mash tun.

Also my buddy at  the local beer club once used a smaller mash tun that was pretty full, and he said that the mash tun started to swell up at the seams because of the weight of the larger grain bill.
So he recommended a larger mashtun.
So I got the extream 72 quart cooler and dialed it into beersmith,

 

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