Author Topic: building vs. buying mash tun  (Read 3500 times)

Offline markcrum

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building vs. buying mash tun
« on: July 25, 2012, 03:15:33 PM »
I was given the basic home brew kit as a present for Xmas and have been brewing kits. Feel its time to step up to the all-grain side of the art of brewing. Been looking at mash tuns online and they seem very expensive. Seems I could build one a lot more economically, however, I'm not the most mechanically inclined person. Looking for thoughts on building vs. buying and best coolers to use (ie: round vs. square)

Offline thebigbaker

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Re: building vs. buying mash tun
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2012, 03:41:49 PM »
I was given the basic home brew kit as a present for Xmas and have been brewing kits. Feel its time to step up to the all-grain side of the art of brewing. Been looking at mash tuns online and they seem very expensive. Seems I could build one a lot more economically, however, I'm not the most mechanically inclined person. Looking for thoughts on building vs. buying and best coolers to use (ie: round vs. square)

Building one is very easy and you can find several sources online to show you how to build one.  I found a 48qt rectangular cooler on Craigslist for $10.  I made mine with a stainless braid and ball valve and found everything I needed at the local hardware store for about $20 and I'm sure you could probably do it cheaper.
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Offline sparkleberry

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Re: building vs. buying mash tun
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2012, 03:51:52 PM »
cheers.

rpl
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Offline markcrum

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Re: building vs. buying mash tun
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2012, 04:30:59 PM »
Thanks for the link, appears cost-effective and simple -- everything I was looking for!

Offline sparkleberry

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Re: building vs. buying mash tun
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2012, 04:38:50 PM »
that's the Denny way.
cheers.

rpl
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Offline denny

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Re: building vs. buying mash tun
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2012, 09:28:11 AM »
Thanks for the link, appears cost-effective and simple -- everything I was looking for!

I've used it for 425 batches and it still works great!
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Offline garc_mall

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Re: building vs. buying mash tun
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2012, 12:51:12 PM »
My only recommendation is to look at the cooler you are getting, and make sure that the drain port is very low on the side of the cooler. The cooler I am using currently (it was a cooler I wasn't using) has a rather high drain port, and the dead space is currently reducing my efficiency.
In a Keg: Flanders Red Ale, Rye Altbier, Cascade/Topaz Pale
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Offline weithman5

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Re: building vs. buying mash tun
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2012, 01:44:26 PM »
i have both blue rectangular cooler and igloo. i switched to the igloo when switched to smaller batches. i have yet to move over the braid. i have just been using a grain sack to hold the grain during the mash and works pretty well.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: building vs. buying mash tun
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2012, 03:10:18 PM »
http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/

The above is a good design for batch sparging.  The manifold for fly sparging is a more complicated.  The pros and cons of batch vs fly is the subject of many threads here.

As you are just beginning to get into all-grain, it is probably easier for you to start with batch sparging.  I have a three tier system indoors that I fly sparge with.  When I brew outside, I do batch sparge. 
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 03:21:27 PM by kramerog »
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Offline kgs

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Re: building vs. buying mash tun
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2012, 05:35:52 AM »
It's a tiny bit more, but I'm very happy with the hardware sold by bargainfittings.com. I am rebuilding* my mash tun and just put a valve in my kettle, and I like the three-part stainless steel ball valves I can break down and clean as needed. Plus they sell the plumbing supply lines converted for use. But I started with the bare minimum (when we were a one-job household) and it still made beer!

* Going from 5 gallon to 9 gallon, cylindrical to rectangular
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: building vs. buying mash tun
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2012, 05:46:03 AM »
I built this one 4 years ago and it works great:

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

The only modification I've made is adding a Bazooka screen instead of the SS mesh from a supply line for the manifold.  Holds temperature very well ( 1-2 F drop over an hour )
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Offline Upstate Dan

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Re: building vs. buying mash tun
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2012, 06:15:18 AM »
Just to give you a confidence boost - I am mechanically inept and was able to build a mash tun like the ones in the links with ease!