Specifically, mashing is the process of extracting soluble materials from the grains with water and enzymatically converting them into a form the yeast can use, while lautering refers to the separation of the liquid and solid portions of the finished mash. So mashing is an enzymatic/chemical process, and lautering is basically physical.
In big operations, a ...
You might consider using a length of copper tubing with slits cut in it, instead of a false bottom. My mash tun came with a false bottom which was always a bit of a pain to get nicely into place. One day I replaced it with the copper tube thing and I love it! I have since replaced my mash tun with a larger one, but I'm still using the same ...
I think you have the right idea about sealing the rim of your false bottom. The common method is to use a length of vinyl tubing slit lengthwise. The false bottom fits into the slit as you wrap the tubing around it.
Most of the heat is usually lost through the lid in coolers. Cooler lids are not well insulated. The bodies are. This is because they are meant to keep things cold not hot. Heat rises and a cooler lid isn't designed to actually handle it. Some coolers are better than others. I have used several and found wide differences.
I found that if I covered the ...
There are many mail-order or online places to get these components, but local hardware stores will typically not have everything you need.
There might be a specialty plumbing store near you or a Grainger Industrial Supply type store near you.
If that does not work, you can order online from sites like bargainfittings.com or fittingsandadapters.com.
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.
Many people use propane turkey fryer setups, consisting of a large propane burner and kettle. The kettle is usually around 6.5-7 gal. so it's barely big enough for a 5 gal. batch, but it works. I won awards for beer made with one. The kettles are often AL, but don't let that throw you. It's perfectly fine and safe.
I think your over whether 'BIAB can achieve the wonders of a mash tun brewing' is only commonly understood as well as questions like 'do I need a starter'? or 'Can I possibly make beer without pure oxygen aeration?' (The answer being: If it works for you then that is your answer)
The Mash tun, or BIAB, or partial mash (or even extract), question is not if ...
You can use my method. Take a look at www.dennybrew.com. I've used it for 17 years and 475 batches and it works perfectly. You use a minikeg bung and a nylon valve. I've found it much easier to build and more effective to use than a bulkhead.
You could do either.
If you leave it at 144, you should definitely let it sit longer. Even a difference of 5 degrees F. can make a significant impact on how long it takes starch to break down (it could take twice as long, or more). It will definitely still convert at 144, and will give you a more fermentable wort (and the resulting beer will be drier). ...
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 ...
They could be the same container, it seems that most people do it that way.
If you mashed in one container, and then transferred to another to separate the grains & wort, then you would have a mash tun and a lauter tun. I've used a small 2 vessel pro system set up this way, where the mash was done in the boil kettle and then pumped over to the lauter ...
John Palmer covers this in his How to Brew book. An old version is available online, and the equations you want can be found at:
I have used a cooler for 466 batches over the last 17 years. I have tried using a pot to mash in and found I preferred the cooler because it held the temp so well. I seldom find a need to do step mashes and in fact question their value. But when I want to do one, it's a simple matter to simply infuse boiling water until I get to the temp step I'm going ...
Cooler as Mash Tun
Pros: Relatively cheap and easy to modify with a bulkhead fitting and ball valve. Holds a steady temperature very well. Lighter weight, and therefore easier to clean.
Cons: Cannot be direct-fired, so any step mashing has to be done with additional infusions or by decoction - step infusions will increase your mash's water-to-grist ratio. ...
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.
You want too look into the design of of a "weldless bulkhead". The instruction/installation guide (PDF) has a great breakaway view of the approach: using nipples, couplers, washers, orings and a locknut to compress the orings against the cooler walls to create a watertight seal. The trick is to get all the pieces appropriately sized, and to use a locknut ...
You can add all the hot water you want as long as you don't go over the full volume of the water for your batch of beer. Many people do full volume mashes using the full volume of water they will need for the boil. Look up water ratios doing Brew in a bag or full volume mash in google. The other option is do do a decoction mash, pull out a portion of the ...
It would be interesting as a comparision on efficiency and ease of brewday.
As for the final beer. You can achieve the same results in the quality of beer with both methods.
A mash tun has a lot of advantages, mainly larger batch volume, less lifting, better rinse etc.
BIAB can get amazing efficiency, mainly because you can mill grain really fine that ...
I personally would not use an aluminum kettle for a mash tun.
Aluminum transfers heat too well. While that's great for a boil kettle or hlt, a mash tun needs to hold heat. Even if well insulated it will lose much more heat than its stainless steel counter part and way more than a cooler style tun.
I have tried this and the Biggest Con:
Cleaning the coil - for me a complete PITA, never gets fully clean.
Hot spots - read takes more of your time to stir the mash and disrupt the grain bed.
Put that coil in the HLT and buy a pump to recirculate if you have a choice. You will not regret it.
Here's the pros and cons I see.
Pros (coil in mash)
could be configured as a two vessel system, the boil tank can double as hlt for batch sparge allowing step mash. But then lose ability to fly sparge.
no need to vorlauf (set grain bed) for step mash
could use a small heat souce and small volume of thermal liquid in a closed system, allowing the use of ...
One of the mayor advantages of using the "classic" HERMS is that you will get circulation on the mash, whilst heating it. So the advantage with this might be that you will not get stuck mashes, you will also have to stir in order to get an even heat-exchange since there will be no cirulation of the liquid inside the mash-tun.
If you were to add circulation ...
144 is at the low end of the saccharification range, so you've still got conversion. You might have a little less dextrin, and a little more fermentables than the recipe intended, but if you're using US/CA/AU 2 row, you've probably have so much enzyme in there that 144 or 149 will give same result.
I would definitely recommend a different cooler. I find rectangular coolers are much easier to use and I've never had trouble holding temp in one. I have 48, 70, and 152 qt. coolers and never lose more than 1-2F over the course of the mash.
Your local brewery store may have a small selection of fittings, but your best bet for selection and pricing is going to be online. I manage Sanitary Fittings where we sell a wide variety of fittings for home and commercial brewers alike. If you need any help please let me know.
If you want to build a mash tun with hardware store parts, you typically won't find stainless steel and your options will usually be limited to "plumbing" parts (copper/brass, garden hose fittings, etc). That doesn't mean you can't do it, but in my experience, it's about the same money (or more if you make some mistakes) and you end up with brass, especially ...