• Welcome to the new forum! We upgraded our forum software with a host of new boards, capabilities and features. It is also more secure.
    Jump in and join the conversation! You can learn more about the upgrade and new features here.

Mash Tun Construction

K_Rock55

Apprentice
Joined
Aug 31, 2017
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Thinking of building mash tun to go to all grain.

Should I use rectangular cooler or one of those cylindrical igloo coolers?

Would there be any advantages of one shape over the other with regards to efficiency?
( Or any other reasons)

Thanks
 

Oginme

Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Mar 16, 2013
Messages
3,182
Reaction score
23
Location
New Hampshire, US
Are you going to fly sparge or batch sparge? 

If you go with a cylindrical cooler, you will have a higher grain bed depth to surface area ratio which can lead to stuck mashes more often.  That can be controlled by your grind or the addition of rice hulls.  I think it worked better for fly sparge when I did that early on before switching over to batch sparging.

The rectangular mash tuns have a smaller grain bed depth and it is easier to get channeling of your sparge water if you fly sparge.  There are also corners that can be stagnant and not drained well if you have a poor grain filter set up.  If you batch sparge this is not an issue at all. 

I do mostly BIAB, but do have a cylindrical cooler mash tun that I use a couple of times a year.  If I were to start over again, I would still get the same cooler, but would get a grain bag to fit it and use that instead of a braid filter on the bottom.  That greatly reduces any issues with stuck sparges and makes them easier to deal with (just lift the bag).

 

K_Rock55

Apprentice
Joined
Aug 31, 2017
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Thanks for the advice.

I've only done extract so far but I can already see I am going to move to full grain very soon.
 

Oginme

Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Mar 16, 2013
Messages
3,182
Reaction score
23
Location
New Hampshire, US
If I were to do it all over again, I would start with BIAB, and probably would have stayed there.  It is a good way to step into all-grain and get to understand the fundamentals.  And you can produce some very good beers using this method comparable to any other method of making wort.

Plus it is a lot easier to clean up after.

 

jtoots

Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Mar 28, 2014
Messages
471
Reaction score
0
Location
Waltham, MA
I'm a fly sparger and use the cylinder.  Works great but hasn't handled the heat well over the years.  I've got a bulge on the inside that's almost a crack, and will soon have to be replaced.  I hear I'm not alone, so would maybe suggest the rectangular cooler.  Plus I do 10 gallon batches and can't do more than about 1.070 SG with a 10 gallon cooler, and the cylinders don't go any bigger.
 

Ck27

Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Jul 21, 2017
Messages
529
Reaction score
0
jtoots said:
I'm a fly sparger and use the cylinder.  Works great but hasn't handled the heat well over the years.  I've got a bulge on the inside that's almost a crack, and will soon have to be replaced.  I hear I'm not alone, so would maybe suggest the rectangular cooler.  Plus I do 10 gallon batches and can't do more than about 1.070 SG with a 10 gallon cooler, and the cylinders don't go any bigger.

Don't need much more than 1.070 lol. But I don't use coolers I use my robobrew which is simple easy and makes good beer. If I didn't I would have a cooler setup.

Highest gravity beer I can make in my robobrew is about 1.090.
 

K_Rock55

Apprentice
Joined
Aug 31, 2017
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
I've got a few extra picnic coolers in my cellar that I shall sacrifice.

Just a thought: cone shaped MT?

Thanks Everyone
 
Top