7

So I have been dabbling with the use of my sous vide immersion heater for maintaining a perfect mash temperature (it's pretty unbelievable how efficient and accurate these guys are). I have only been doing smaller batches (~3 gallons) up until now. As I have looked to go bigger I have tried to find polycarbonate food bath containers that are large enough, but without much luck. Then it hit me...my MoreBeer Buckets are food grade up to 180 degrees!

So, my plan is to mash in there and then move to two 6 gallon kettles for a split boil (working with an electric glass stove top that won't allow me to achieve a boil on a full 5+ gallons of wort).

Question is, do you think the spigots are also food grade? If not, I can always just use my bucket that does not have a hole/spigot, but it would be much easier to transfer the mashed liquid into the two kettles with the spigot vs. pouring straight from the bucket or siphoning.

Thoughts?

Thanks!

  • 1
    I'd assume spigots are food grade as well. What's the point of selling non food grade spigots in a home brew supply store? – Robert Apr 9 '17 at 17:09
1

Yes! The spigots will be able to support your desires to mash. That being said: to maintain efficiency - because single walled vessels lose heat via conduction more easily than double walled vessels. The other point is that your mash is bound to get stuck in the spigot. The other downside is that it involves more parts to clean that can house bacteria and mess up your batch. It will work - but - cleanliness is key/king/whatever that phrase actually is.

You might consider something like this for a mashing vessel. You can view the steps for free and it is the same thing as the downloaded PDF, just... not in PDF form. Having the false bottom will prevent as much "sticking" while the double wall insulated vessel will help you maintain temperature.

  • Thanks Bryce. To be clear, I will be doing BIAB and my spigot has a sediment catch for any minimal amount of grain that may escape the grain bag. As for heat loss, I am thinking I will insulate the bucket with heavy towels/blankets to minimize heat loss and the immersion circulator should keep up with any heat loss as well. As for cleanliness, my thinking here is that this is just pre-boil. I will sanitize the bucket and spigot, as well as the sous vide machine, but ultimately this is just for the mash so any contaminants will be killed off in the boil right? – Cooper Apr 11 '17 at 18:29
  • Oh. In that case, your nutshell answer is, "yes! But keep the parts clean and don't over tighten the spigot. Over tightening plastic threads and rubber washers is bad." – BryceH Apr 11 '17 at 18:33
  • I have used my Ale Pales as mash tuns before, with BIAB, and they do work well. Put a towel or blanket around it and secure with a belt, and you will lose minimal heat. – jsolarski Apr 19 '17 at 14:40
0

Yes. The valves / spigots on a food grade container will also be food grade.

However not all food grade containers are intended for heat and can release chemicals when heated. BPA for example.

You may want to rethink your whole process given your boil capacity. A lot of pressure on homebrewing is to "go all grain". But if you can't utilize it's advantages for specific sugars then there's little point. Basically if you're struggling to mash and hold a 154° temp, you're only gaining an "All Grain" label and worked much harder than just using extract.

I would wait until you can boil 5+ gallons. Then use an ice chest or something insulated for a mash tun.

  • Just curious: isn't an ice chest also made from plastic? How do you know that the ice chest would not release anything or, given it's an ice chest, can take high temperatures? – Robert Apr 23 '17 at 20:26
  • @Robert I was trying to be generic for internationals that may not recognize USA brands, usually what's used is igloo beverage cooler which are designed for hot beverages too. Mainly when you use them for a mash tun the spigots are replaced by stainless valves. – Evil Zymurgist Apr 24 '17 at 1:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.