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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: glitterbug on November 20, 2009, 10:47:02 PM

Title: General mash tun advice
Post by: glitterbug on November 20, 2009, 10:47:02 PM
I have a burner and a kettle. Now all I need is a mash tun and I will ready for all grain.  :)

I've read denny's instructions and it seems dead simple. Are there any tricks or tips you wished you had known before building one?
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: BrewingRover on November 20, 2009, 10:51:56 PM
I have a burner and a kettle. Now all I need is a mash tun and I will ready for all grain.  :)

I've read denny's instructions and it seems dead simple. Are there any tricks or tips you wished you had known before building one?
Home Depot doesn't sell stainless steel braids ;D
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: mtbrewer on November 20, 2009, 11:16:44 PM
Get one big enough to do ten gallon batches.
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: Hokerer on November 21, 2009, 02:21:24 AM
The cooler should be blue, of course
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: deepsouth on November 21, 2009, 03:57:13 AM
damn, i just bought the 10 gallon AGS from northernbrewer and it comes with red coolers.....  am i doomed to make s***ty beer?
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: pashusa on November 21, 2009, 04:47:14 AM

damn, i just bought the 10 gallon AGS from northernbrewer and it comes with red coolers.....  am i doomed to make s***ty beer?
No matter what you do your beer will taste like Miller Lite.
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: bluesman on November 21, 2009, 04:50:37 AM
What size batches do you plan on making?

I would get a Coleman Extreme with a stainless braid to start with...they're reasonably priced and very practical.
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: slimsparty on November 21, 2009, 04:53:29 AM
Quote
No matter what you do your beer will taste like Miller Lite.

I didn't know it tasted like anything.  It is like gatorade with barley.
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: rep on November 21, 2009, 01:02:50 PM
What size batches do you plan on making?

I would get a Coleman Extreme with a stainless braid to start with...they're reasonably priced and very practical.

I am currently seeing them for $39.00 at Walmart to $44.00 at Fleet Farm.

As you build your brewery always look to the future so you do not end up buying twice.
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: denny on November 21, 2009, 04:47:42 PM
I have a burner and a kettle. Now all I need is a mash tun and I will ready for all grain.  :)

I've read denny's instructions and it seems dead simple. Are there any tricks or tips you wished you had known before building one?

It is dead simple...if it wasn't, I couldn't do it!  My tip would be to make sure you get a cooler with a drain hole near the bottom.  Some are a couple inches off the bottom.  I use a cheapo Rubbermaid 12 qt. cooler.  If I was to do it again, I'd go for a 70 qt.  And coolers that have names like "Extreme" or "MaxCold" retain heat no better than my cheapo.
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: uisgue on November 21, 2009, 04:54:54 PM
One of the advantages of the Coleman Extreme (70 qt., anyway) is that it has a trough/groove slightly lower than the bottom level that allows maximum drainage.  The 70 qt. is also large enough to do reasonably big 10 gallon batches.
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: denny on November 21, 2009, 05:25:03 PM
That's the perfect kind of cooler design, Doug.  I'm waiting for my current cooler to disintegrate, then I'm gonna get one of those.
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: woody on November 22, 2009, 06:20:07 PM
One of the advantages of the Coleman Extreme (70 qt., anyway) is that it has a trough/groove slightly lower than the bottom level that allows maximum drainage.  The 70 qt. is also large enough to do reasonably big 10 gallon batches.
+1 to the 70qt coleman!   gotta love the channel for the drain.   Plus it can do 10 gallon batches.   When I went all grain, I bought a small cooler (5 gallon I think?) did 3 or 4 batches then bought the 70 qt so I could do 10 gallons.   Should have done it in the first place....
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: wilypig on November 23, 2009, 02:20:34 PM
I have an Igloo cube cooler 60 qt that I built a copper slotted manifold for. The drain is about and 1.5 inches above the bottom  but I work around that with having all the fittings going to the outlet soldered to allow for a siphon to be set up with the manifold. All other fittings are slip fit to allow for a complete break down for cleaning. I also feel that having an outer ring and inner run of the manifold allows for better efficiencies. I generally see efficiencies in the 80 to 88% range with no issues of stuck runoff. I built 2 similar systems for friends with rectangular coolers with great results. One of the systems is used almost exclusively to make wheat beer with no issues of stuck runoff. I don't know how to get a photo on the forum or I would post one as a reference.
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: jrskjei on December 04, 2009, 03:16:52 PM
What are people's experience with using 10 gallon Rubbermaid water coolers?  What is the maximun capacity for those coolers?  I have figured that about 24lb of grain with a ratio of 1.33 qt/lb is about the max, but some discussion I have read seem to indicate that more can be used (with a lower water to grain ratio, I would assume).  I've never maxed it out, but I plan on doing so soon.
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: a10t2 on December 04, 2009, 04:22:47 PM
I have an Igloo cube cooler 60 qt that I built a copper slotted manifold for. The drain is about and 1.5 inches above the bottom

That's interesting; my Cube (the 50 qt) has a depression at one end where the drain would go, but no drain actually installed. I installed the valve slightly below the bottom of the cooler, so there's literally no dead space.
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: denny on December 04, 2009, 05:00:47 PM
If you're talking about the round 10 gal. coolers, my experience is that they're pricey for the limited volume they have.  Also, they're harder to use than rectangular coolers since the opening is smaller.
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: yeastmaster on December 08, 2009, 02:05:51 AM
What are people's experience with using 10 gallon Rubbermaid water coolers?  What is the maximun capacity for those coolers?  I have figured that about 24lb of grain with a ratio of 1.33 qt/lb is about the max, but some discussion I have read seem to indicate that more can be used (with a lower water to grain ratio, I would assume).  I've never maxed it out, but I plan on doing so soon.

I just mashed 24# in my 10 gal rubbermaid cooler at 1.25 qts/lb and it was pretty darn full.  Worked great though!

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2716/4167341101_affcee9dcf.jpg)
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: weazletoe on December 08, 2009, 02:56:20 AM
  And coolers that have names like "Extreme" or "MaxCold" retain heat no better than my cheapo.

  You come brew 5 gallons with me. I'll show you why they call them "X-Treme".  ;D
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: central_wa_brewing on December 08, 2009, 04:11:01 AM
I have a burner and a kettle. Now all I need is a mash tun and I will ready for all grain.  :)

I've read denny's instructions and it seems dead simple. Are there any tricks or tips you wished you had known before building one?

I first installed a brass ball valve(lead) then switched it with S/S.
+ a few more on prepping for 10 gallon.
I also dump in about 3 gallons of hot water to the tun then empty before adding my grain bill and mash water to help offset huge temp drops.
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: denny on December 08, 2009, 04:40:11 PM
  And coolers that have names like "Extreme" or "MaxCold" retain heat no better than my cheapo.

  You come brew 5 gallons with me. I'll show you why they call them "X-Treme".  ;D

weaze, you and me brewing together might be classified as "too much fun"!  ;)
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: wilypig on December 08, 2009, 07:33:19 PM
I usually just add my strike water at about 10 degrees above the temp required and allow it to temper the mash tun that way. Depending on the time of year I can hit my desired temp by waiting about 5 minutes.
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: Hokerer on December 08, 2009, 07:35:29 PM
I usually just add my strike water at about 10 degrees above the temp required and allow it to temper the mash tun that way. Depending on the time of year I can hit my desired temp by waiting about 5 minutes.

+1, my procedure too
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: weazletoe on December 09, 2009, 02:47:18 AM
  And coolers that have names like "Extreme" or "MaxCold" retain heat no better than my cheapo.

  You come brew 5 gallons with me. I'll show you why they call them "X-Treme".  ;D

weaze, you and me brewing together might be classified as "too much fun"!  ;)

  You realize,  you are the only reason I'm excited to move out west.  8)
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: slimsparty on December 09, 2009, 04:08:04 PM
Quote
I usually just add my strike water at about 10 degrees above the temp required and allow it to temper the mash tun that way. Depending on the time of year I can hit my desired temp by waiting about 5 minutes.

+2  I have been tinkering with BeerSmith to make this come out correctly, but since Illinois has 90+ temperature swings, I probably need 4 seasonal equipment profiles.  It is just easier to wing it.
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: denny on December 09, 2009, 04:30:57 PM
 And coolers that have names like "Extreme" or "MaxCold" retain heat no better than my cheapo.

  You come brew 5 gallons with me. I'll show you why they call them "X-Treme".  ;D

weaze, you and me brewing together might be classified as "too much fun"!  ;)

  You realize,  you are the only reason I'm excited to move out west.  8)

Man, I'm sorry.....;)
Title: Re: General mash tun advice
Post by: gail on December 09, 2009, 10:22:18 PM
Quote
I usually just add my strike water at about 10 degrees above the temp required and allow it to temper the mash tun that way. Depending on the time of year I can hit my desired temp by waiting about 5 minutes.

+2  I have been tinkering with BeerSmith to make this come out correctly, but since Illinois has 90+ temperature swings, I probably need 4 seasonal equipment profiles.  It is just easier to wing it.

I generally preheat my mash tun (it's white, sorry) with about a gallon of very hot water from the tap and add about a quart or two of almost boiling water to that, let it sit while my mash water is heating, dump it and then BeerSmith's temps are right on the money for me.  In Michigan, we have those same huge temp swings and I do it the same during each season--works great each time.  I haven't had to do any tinkering this way.
Gail