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6

I converted my plastic fermenter into a mash tun/fermenter a few months ago and it works really well. Here are some pics showing how I did it: http://picasaweb.google.com/halite1977/MashTunFermenter?authkey=Gv1sRgCOW-2ufb-fT7rwE# In terms of heat loss, the heat loss from the water test earlier is a bit misleading because the water will lose temperature a ...


5

I'd say get the brew kettle. You can use it on your stove (I hardly ever use the propane burner). You can't do partial boils going all grain, so you'd have to do little batches, which is annoying since all-grain takes a bit longer. Also, it's just after thanksgiving, I bet you could find a good deal on a turkey fryer, they come with both the brew kettle ...


4

I went to the thread and the chart is there. Are you referring to a different chart? If you make 5 gallon batches typically under 1.060 OG you mash tun only needs to be a little over 4.5 gallons in size. I got to this figure assuming 12lbs 2-row at 70% efficiency to get 6 gallons of 1.060 wort (preboil). If you then assume that you may on occasion want ...


3

In theory you can do it, but there are drawbacks. The thing I'd worry about most is getting it clean and sanitary enough after using it as a mash tun. Grain is a notorious carrier of lactobacillus, so you'd need to be absolutely certain that you had cleaned and sanitized it well enough. If there is a spigot on it, that would be the really hard part.


3

Yes you could do this. Just be sure that the tubing in use can be used at temperatures up to 170F. I actually did this for a time when I was doing two batches simultaneously and only had a single tun. I used the silver "bubble wrap" insulation I got at a home improvement store. What are the advantages of having separate ones? Insulation is of prime ...


3

John Palmer says Deeper grainbeds have more uniform rinsing, all else being equal. An more uniform rinsing can mean increased yield, so then shape does have some impact. As Denny says, taller is better since there is more chance for the water to rinse the grains when fly sparging. (But, up to a point, if the grain bed is very deep then it might become ...


2

As an extract brewer planning to start going all-grain sometime soon, I can't answer from experience. But my plan is to start by buying a cooler to use as a mash tun. You can use a bucket, but without any insulation you'll have a hard time maintaining the 150-158F required for a good mash. I plan to build mine from one of those big job site drink coolers ...


2

Assuming that this is for a standard 5-gallon batch, and assuming typical mash thickness, you need 1.25 quarts of water for every pound of grain, so the upper limit would theoretically be 25 lbs. (1.25*25 = 31.25 quarts = 7.81 gallons of strike water). The 7.81 gallons of water is displaced by the weight of the grains, so further compensation is needed for ...


2

I would say that you would get immediate use out of the burner and would probably invest in that first. You will need an 8+ gallon pot for all grain and this may be too big to use effectively on your stove but would be a good investment after the burner. The cooler would be the last piece of the puzzle. Although you should keep your eye open for close ...


2

The difference is so small, that I would NOT expect a change in efficiency. Efficiency with a bottom like that is more dependent upon how well your dip tube continues to pull wort off the bottom of the tun. If you are just using a tube connected to a bard on the false bottom then there should really be no noticeable change in efficiency with a false bottom ...


2

I used CPVC to build mine. I chose this because it was cheaper than copper with the current copper prices sky-high. I read that you can get away without gluing the manifold together, but I found that the pieces don't fit tightly enough to ensure 100% against coming apart when stirring the mash, so I glued it. I have a good bit of home plumbing experience ...


2

The principle of the false bottom is that it makes the distance to the drain and the effort needed by the liquid to get there more uniform compared to other designs, such as a hand made manfold or a bazooka screen. This is mainly a concern if you are fly sparging. I use the blichmann false bottom, which looks very similar. Compared to my old brewery with a ...


2

I also use a converted keg for my mash-tun and swear by Reflectix foil coated bubble insulation. This stuff comes in rolls from the big box hardware stores, isn't too expensive and the 24" roll is exactly the right width to be wrapped around the keg multiple times. I cut slits in it to account for the thermometers and valves and also have a couple of disks ...


2

Compaction is a function of speed during draining and resistance of the "filter". A perforated false bottom offers less restriction than the slotted one. But the compaction is just a function of how hard you are pulling out of it, which is entirely managable with the valve out of the tun (or off the pump if that's your thing. I recently upgrades to a ...


2

That size will be fine, especially if you batch sparge. If you fly sparge, you may find the grain bed depth a bit shallow, which could negatively impact your efficiency. If you batch sparge, you don't have that problem. Holding temp shouldn't be too big a problem and if it is you can wrap your cooler in a blanket or sleeping bag to help hold the temp.


1

I do a single step mash, heating the water on a propane burner and adding it to the cooler then waiting the appropriate amount of time. I then do a two step batch sparge. In this case the size of the mash tun will simply make it more difficult to maintain the mash temperature, but it's still do-able. Coolers tend to hold their temp very well, but the ...


1

It might be their mill, or it might be that your system isn't capable of dealing with properly milled grain. What kind of efficiency were you getting from the other shop that milled your grain? If it was good, then I'd say the mill at the new shop may be set too fine. If you were getting low efficiency before, you might want to consider changing your ...


1

To really verify their crush, you'd need some kind of sizing screen. For a quick check, though, I'd just dump a cup of milled grain into a sandwich bag and shake it a bit. You should be able to see how much flour or really fine particles are in there. If you've got a lot of small stuff, then their mill is too tightly gapped. Doesn't sound like they're ...


1

I don't think it's an appreciable difference between slots and holes, but the slots let a slightly lower volume of liquid through, since there's less surface area opened up. If you're doing a recirc system, that might not be desirable as it could restrict your flow, but if you are fly sparging, that might be ideal. In theory, if less liquid volume passes ...


1

I have been using a copper manifold for several years now and have found no problems with it. It was a great investment and continues to allow wort to flow even with gluten heavy mashes. It was simple to assemble since there was not soldering or sweating needed. The pieces just fit together in the tun. Cutting the copper was the hardest part.


1

If you buy the cooler (mash tun) first, you can start smaller-batches of all grain now. If you buy the full-size kettle now, you can use it right away in your existing batches even if you don't do a full boil. If you get your burner now, well, you can use it right away, I suppose. You can also probably find both the kettle and burner for a cheaper price. ...


1

EDIT Okay, so the question is really about how to keep the temperature steady using a plastic bucket, so I'm reposting an alternate answer here, with my original response below. Charlie Papazian's book also has an answer for this too. He suggests taking a large carboard box big enough to contain the bucket, and then placing the bucket inside the box and ...


1

You can get a whole bunch of armaflex and wrap it around the mash tun. http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1xgy/R-100539553/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053 I think the stuff looks cool to and plan I using it for my hot liquor tank.



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