Author Topic: Chapman ThermoBarrel Insulated Stainless Mash Tun | Product Review  (Read 3926 times)

Offline brulosopher

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A recent survey indicated nearly 47% of homebrewers use the batch sparge method to make all grain beer, which I believe is due in part to the popularity of using a plastic cooler as a mash tun. Looking to provide homebrewers with a more durable mashing solution at a reasonable price, Chapman Equipment recently began producing a line of insulated stainless mash tuns they call the ThermoBarrel. We got our hands on a couple to review, here's what we think!

http://brulosophy.com/2015/12/10/chapman-thermobarrel-insulated-stainless-mash-tun-product-review/

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Chapman ThermoBarrel Insulated Stainless Mash Tun | Product Review
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2015, 01:53:12 PM »
I'd love to see a test of temp stability. For example, 14 pounds of grain at 1.5 qpp, 150F. Then two digital thermometers in the mash, one near the wall, one in the middle. Maybe 32 degrees ambient to really give it a work out. How long till the lowest temp hits 145 and the difference between middle and the wall.

For me, if its not heatable, it needs to hold temps in some pretty extreme situations. If it would hold 150-148 for 90 min at freezing ambient,  I might be a buyer.

Offline yso191

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Re: Chapman ThermoBarrel Insulated Stainless Mash Tun | Product Review
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2015, 02:50:06 PM »
I bought one during the Kickstarter phase of their business.  I really like it.  On a recent cold brew day here (in the upper 20's but in my garage, so mid thirties?) it held temperature quite well only dropping 2-3 degrees over the hour.  This is just by the single thermometer that comes with the unit.
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Offline denny

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Re: Chapman ThermoBarrel Insulated Stainless Mash Tun | Product Review
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2015, 03:51:16 PM »
A recent survey indicated nearly 47% of homebrewers use the batch sparge method to make all grain beer, which I believe is due in part to the popularity of using a plastic cooler as a mash tun. Looking to provide homebrewers with a more durable mashing solution at a reasonable price, Chapman Equipment recently began producing a line of insulated stainless mash tuns they call the ThermoBarrel. We got our hands on a couple to review, here's what we think!

http://brulosophy.com/2015/12/10/chapman-thermobarrel-insulated-stainless-mash-tun-product-review/

More durable than 490 batches in a regular cooler?  ;)
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Offline denny

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Re: Chapman ThermoBarrel Insulated Stainless Mash Tun | Product Review
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2015, 03:53:12 PM »
I'd love to see a test of temp stability. For example, 14 pounds of grain at 1.5 qpp, 150F. Then two digital thermometers in the mash, one near the wall, one in the middle. Maybe 32 degrees ambient to really give it a work out. How long till the lowest temp hits 145 and the difference between middle and the wall.

For me, if its not heatable, it needs to hold temps in some pretty extreme situations. If it would hold 150-148 for 90 min at freezing ambient,  I might be a buyer.

Once I get the temp evenly distributed, my 48 qt. Rubbermaid cooler will hold it to within 1-2F for at least 90 min.  I wonder if the Chapman mash tun is a solution looking for a problem?  Do others have trouble holding temp in a cooler or with their coolers not being durable?
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline denny

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Re: Chapman ThermoBarrel Insulated Stainless Mash Tun | Product Review
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2015, 03:54:56 PM »
I bought one during the Kickstarter phase of their business.  I really like it.  On a recent cold brew day here (in the upper 20's but in my garage, so mid thirties?) it held temperature quite well only dropping 2-3 degrees over the hour.  This is just by the single thermometer that comes with the unit.

Which is the same performance I get with my 15 year old cooler!  I'm sure it's a very nice mash tun, but I have to take a bit of exception to the claims that it solves problems with coolers that, at least for me, don't exist.
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Re: Chapman ThermoBarrel Insulated Stainless Mash Tun | Product Review
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2015, 04:21:18 PM »
Once I get the temp evenly distributed, my 48 qt. Rubbermaid cooler will hold it to within 1-2F for at least 90 min.  I wonder if the Chapman mash tun is a solution looking for a problem?  Do others have trouble holding temp in a cooler or with their coolers not being durable?

I have zero problems with the durability and temp-holding capabilities of my Coleman Xtreme.  Granted, it's only 4 or 5 years old, but that's a decent amount of time and I typically get 14-20 batches per year out of it.  Honestly the only reason I'm considering retiring it in the next year or so is that I am looking to go electric and plan to re-purpose my current HLT into a MT and get a bigger HLT with coil.  I'm likely going to wind up with a 30-20-30 setup.

Offline goschman

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Re: Chapman ThermoBarrel Insulated Stainless Mash Tun | Product Review
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2015, 04:35:04 PM »
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Similar to others, my 10 gallon round Rubbermaid maintains temps very well over the course of the mash. This equipment looks nice but $40 vs over $300 is a big difference.

EDIT: well I guess my cooler cost is probably closer to $100 total with false bottom, harware, etc but it still is a significant difference...
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Chapman ThermoBarrel Insulated Stainless Mash Tun | Product Review
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2015, 04:43:24 PM »
I have zero problems with the durability and temp-holding capabilities of my Coleman Xtreme.

+1.  None at all. Just can't come up with a reason to change. To each his own, definitely.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Chapman ThermoBarrel Insulated Stainless Mash Tun | Product Review
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2015, 05:00:15 PM »
Obviously stainless is more durable compared to plastics, but I'm looking for a 5-10 year life, not 100. They are very pretty.

Offline pete b

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Re: Chapman ThermoBarrel Insulated Stainless Mash Tun | Product Review
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2015, 05:06:46 PM »
The one advantage the SS has is we just don't know the long term effect of mashing in plastic. I'm not saying its something I'm worried about, but it does cross my mind from time to time.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Chapman ThermoBarrel Insulated Stainless Mash Tun | Product Review
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2015, 05:17:31 PM »
The one advantage the SS has is we just don't know the long term effect of mashing in plastic. I'm not saying its something I'm worried about, but it does cross my mind from time to time.


I shared that concern for a while - it's definitely valid. But there have been enough podcasts and presentations by experts (including one @ the last NHC) recently to satisfy my concerns.
Jon H.

Offline denny

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Re: Chapman ThermoBarrel Insulated Stainless Mash Tun | Product Review
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2015, 05:32:54 PM »
The one advantage the SS has is we just don't know the long term effect of mashing in plastic. I'm not saying its something I'm worried about, but it does cross my mind from time to time.

we also don't know if pigs will be able to fly someday....;)
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Re: Chapman ThermoBarrel Insulated Stainless Mash Tun | Product Review
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2015, 06:37:42 PM »
The one advantage the SS has is we just don't know the long term effect of mashing in plastic. I'm not saying its something I'm worried about, but it does cross my mind from time to time.

The long term effects of ethanol are really the major concern with beer.  Sweet, sweet ethanol.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Chapman ThermoBarrel Insulated Stainless Mash Tun | Product Review
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2015, 06:43:59 PM »
The one advantage the SS has is we just don't know the long term effect of mashing in plastic. I'm not saying its something I'm worried about, but it does cross my mind from time to time.

The long term effects of ethanol are really the major concern with beer.  Sweet, sweet ethanol.


That was my takeaway from all the toxicology presentations. Sweet ethanol.
Jon H.