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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: yeastmaster on February 09, 2011, 02:11:41 AM

Title: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: yeastmaster on February 09, 2011, 02:11:41 AM
Can't wait!  I just ordered a 70 qt coleman xtreme cooler to upgrade my mash tun.  I've been using a 10 gallon round cooler for years now with reasonable success but have always had problems getting the efficiency up as high as I'd like.  I think a big part of the problem is that I end up leaving too much of the wort in the bottom of my tun when I drain it off.  I really like the channel in the bottom of coleman cooler that lets everything drain out instead of leaving a bunch of wort behind.  Plus I love all the extra space I'm going to have for making really big beers  ::)
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: tygo on February 09, 2011, 02:18:42 AM
Nice.  You'll really like the 70 qt xtreme.  You'll still leave some wort behind though.  Not as much but there's still room beneath the drain.  It helps if you prop up the back end of the cooler before you start the vorlauf.  I use a little ceramic flower pot that used to belong to my wife.  She was going to reclaim it until I told her it was now part of my brewing system.  I'll leave it to your imagination the look I got for that one.

You've probably already seen it but this is the site I followed when I converted mine:

http://brewing.lustreking.com/gear/mashtun.html

And it is really nice to have all that room in the mash tun for the bigguns.
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: oscarvan on February 09, 2011, 03:22:04 AM
The 70QE ROCKS! Very, very little is left behind.
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: bluesman on February 09, 2011, 03:30:33 AM
You should be very happy with the new addition. I have a 58qt Ultimate Extreme that works like a charm.  ;)
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: Hokerer on February 09, 2011, 03:38:16 AM
36 qt Extreme here and it works absolutely great.  You'll love yours.
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: euge on February 09, 2011, 05:31:11 AM
I've had mine about two years now? Anyway there's practically no deadspace at all. And I just shoved the tubing through the existing drain. That's particular to my setup and it doesn't leak. Discovered this feature when installing a ball-valve.

Honestly I think the Coleman Extreme keeps things cold better than warm because I get a good 4 degree temp drop in a 60 minute mash. However, to me that isn't a big deal and I still think it makes a great tun. Mine doubles as a cooler and it'll keep stuff frozen for days.

Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: tschmidlin on February 09, 2011, 07:35:21 AM
Honestly I think the Coleman Extreme keeps things cold better than warm because I get a good 4 degree temp drop in a 60 minute mash. However, to me that isn't a big deal and I still think it makes a great tun. Mine doubles as a cooler and it'll keep stuff frozen for days.
Heat should move the same either way, but for what it's worth there are two main things in play.  You've got a mash at ~150F and an ambient that is somewhere around what, 70F?  80F?  It's the temperature differential that makes a difference there.  Plus, because of the phase transition, it takes more energy moving across the barrier to move ice at 31F to water at 33F than it takes to move water from 150F to water at 148F. ;)

I still haven't bothered to make a mash tun out of my 70qt Xtreme, the keggle with false bottom is working just fine.  I might try it though, for a really big mash some time.  Right now it is a cooler :)
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: dbarber on February 09, 2011, 01:45:45 PM
I've got a 36 and a 54 qt CE, both have performed exceptionally.
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: theDarkSide on February 09, 2011, 01:54:26 PM
Honestly I think the Coleman Extreme keeps things cold better than warm because I get a good 4 degree temp drop in a 60 minute mash.
You must not have the Blue one then  ;)

I have the same setup the tygo referenced above. On my last beer, I inadvertantly upped my water to grain ration to 1.7 qts per pound and got 80% efficiency.  May have been a fluke and I generally don't like to go this high on the ratio.  I'm going to try it again at 1.5 q/lb and see what I get ( normally I do 1.33 )
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: Hokerer on February 09, 2011, 03:40:30 PM
I have the same setup the tygo referenced above. On my last beer, I inadvertantly upped my water to grain ration to 1.7 qts per pound and got 80% efficiency.  May have been a fluke and I generally don't like to go this high on the ratio.  I'm going to try it again at 1.5 q/g and see what I get ( normally I do 1.33 )

Don't worry about it.  Anything up to about 2 qt/lb is fine.
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: beersk on February 09, 2011, 05:40:03 PM
I think this will be my next brewing upgrade!  I currently use a 10 gallon Rubbermaid, and it works pretty good, but someday I'm sure I'll want to do 10 gallon batches, and this cooler would be a good choice.  Thanks for the link tygo.
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: morticaixavier on February 09, 2011, 05:56:19 PM
I've got my new 70 qt extreme in teh back seat of my car. going to the hardware store this weekend to get the rest of the stuff to convert it per the link from tygo. And yes it's the blue one.
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: yeastmaster on February 09, 2011, 08:02:03 PM
I think this will be my next brewing upgrade!  I currently use a 10 gallon Rubbermaid, and it works pretty good, but someday I'm sure I'll want to do 10 gallon batches, and this cooler would be a good choice.  Thanks for the link tygo.

I'll be sad to retire the rubbermaid but am also thinking of 10 gallon batches which will be a lot easier with the 70 qt xtreme.  That being said, I was able to do a 10 gallon batch of 1.10+ braggot using the trusty 10 gallon round rubbermaid.  Boy, that was one full mashtun!
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: yeastmaster on February 16, 2011, 04:54:16 AM
Nice.  You'll really like the 70 qt xtreme.  You'll still leave some wort behind though.  Not as much but there's still room beneath the drain.  It helps if you prop up the back end of the cooler before you start the vorlauf.  I use a little ceramic flower pot that used to belong to my wife.  She was going to reclaim it until I told her it was now part of my brewing system.  I'll leave it to your imagination the look I got for that one.

You've probably already seen it but this is the site I followed when I converted mine:

http://brewing.lustreking.com/gear/mashtun.html

And it is really nice to have all that room in the mash tun for the bigguns.
I just got my order from Amazon ($40 with free shipping!) and put it together tonight!  Leak testing it now, everything looks great!  Can't wait to use it for a Begian Quadrupel this weekend.  Getting the 20 pounds of grain into and out of this should be a lot easier than the round rubbermaid.  I think the hosebraid should help me get a much better runoff than the bazzooka screen I've been using too.

Best of all....Its a blue one  ::)
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: Mark G on February 16, 2011, 03:21:29 PM
Nice.  You'll really like the 70 qt xtreme.  You'll still leave some wort behind though.  Not as much but there's still room beneath the drain.  It helps if you prop up the back end of the cooler before you start the vorlauf.  I use a little ceramic flower pot that used to belong to my wife.  She was going to reclaim it until I told her it was now part of my brewing system.  I'll leave it to your imagination the look I got for that one.

You've probably already seen it but this is the site I followed when I converted mine:

http://brewing.lustreking.com/gear/mashtun.html

And it is really nice to have all that room in the mash tun for the bigguns.
I just got my order from Amazon ($40 with free shipping!) and put it together tonight!  Leak testing it now, everything looks great!  Can't wait to use it for a Begian Quadrupel this weekend.  Getting the 20 pounds of grain into and out of this should be a lot easier than the round rubbermaid.  I think the hosebraid should help me get a much better runoff than the bazzooka screen I've been using too.

Best of all....Its a blue one  ::)
Since you got the blue one, make sure you adjust your recipe to compensate for the 110% efficiency you're going to get. The blue goes up to 11!  ;)
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: denny on February 16, 2011, 04:00:06 PM
Since you got the blue one, make sure you adjust your recipe to compensate for the 110% efficiency you're going to get. The blue goes up to 11!  ;)

David St. Hubbins approves of blue coolers!
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: dcbc on February 16, 2011, 05:03:03 PM
If I can offer some advice on the conversion.  You will want to use a longer pipe nipple than the one in the lustreking link.  I think it's 1.5".  Also, I would suggest using the white gasket on the coleman xtreme cooler rather than a red silicone ring.  I have never had the red rings seal well on this brand of cooler.  The white gasket on the coleman, however, works like a charm.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: denny on February 16, 2011, 05:07:47 PM
I'd suggest not using a bulkhead at all and simply running apiece of tubing through the cooler wall like I do.  I've found that, at least with my cooler, it works far better than a bulkhead.
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: morticaixavier on February 16, 2011, 05:29:43 PM
I'd suggest not using a bulkhead at all and simply running apiece of tubing through the cooler wall like I do.  I've found that, at least with my cooler, it works far better than a bulkhead.

what do you use to keep it from draining while mashing? do you just raise the end above the liquid level? a hose clamp?
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: Hokerer on February 16, 2011, 06:06:23 PM
what do you use to keep it from draining while mashing? do you just raise the end above the liquid level? a hose clamp?

I go for the ultimate in simplicity and just raise the end above the liquid.  Cooler handle works perfectly for holding it up.
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: denny on February 16, 2011, 06:10:22 PM
what do you use to keep it from draining while mashing? do you just raise the end above the liquid level? a hose clamp?

An inline nylon valve...

(http://hbd.org/clubs/cascade/public_html/dennybrew/valve.jpg)
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: dcbc on February 17, 2011, 05:40:50 PM
Different setups work better for different people.  For me, the bulkhead was easy.  The parts on weldlessfittings.com are reasonably cheap, too.  I have a quick disconnect on my ball valve that allows me to swap hoses easily whether I need them in another part of the brewery or to clean them. 
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: denny on February 17, 2011, 06:15:52 PM
The problem I had with a bulkhead was that it held the braid off the floor of the cooler, and I didn't get a siphon to empty out all the wort.  But I assume different coolers will work in different ways.
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: yeastmaster on February 17, 2011, 06:52:55 PM
I just tested mine this morning with water.  With a braid and a bulkhead installed when drained on a level surface about a pint of water was left behind.  It looked like a good portion of that would have been recovered if I angled the cooler.  Either way it is a big improvement over what is left behind in my round cooler with a bazooka-T.

Can't wait to mash in it this weekend
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: dcbc on February 17, 2011, 07:07:01 PM
The problem I had with a bulkhead was that it held the braid off the floor of the cooler, and I didn't get a siphon to empty out all the wort.  But I assume different coolers will work in different ways.

Not much dead space in a Coleman Xtreme.  I tried the braid for a few batches, but ultimately switched to a bazooka screen.  I know you tried both and reached the opposite result. 
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: yeastmaster on February 17, 2011, 07:51:35 PM
The problem I had with a bulkhead was that it held the braid off the floor of the cooler, and I didn't get a siphon to empty out all the wort.  But I assume different coolers will work in different ways.

Not much dead space in a Coleman Xtreme.  I tried the braid for a few batches, but ultimately switched to a bazooka screen.  I know you tried both and reached the opposite result. 

Well the bazooka screen is in my round cooler and I think the problem isn't the screen but just that the drain is positioned higher than in the extreme so its been leaving more behind.  The braid just seemed easier for me to set up in the xtreme than trying to adapt my bazooka-T set up to fit in.  I decided to leave all the fittings in my round cooler so I can pull it out and mash in that if I ever want to.  I'll see how well it works this weekend.
Title: Re: Building a new mashtun!
Post by: yeastmaster on February 25, 2011, 01:27:01 AM
Brewed with the new mashtun last weekend.  What a great set up.  Way easier to mash in and great at holding the temperature.  The batch sparge was much faster and easier than my old setup.  I got clear wort almost right away with the braid in there and only had to recirculate a tiny amount.  On my old set up I would start getting clear wort but when I opened up the valve all the way it would get cloudy again.  No problem like that with this new set up.  Thanks to everyone else for advice and inspiration!