20l Is It Enough?

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Well i just got burnt on E-Bay. I bought a 20L "urn" to be my HLT for AG, it turned up today, and turned out to be not an urn, but an insulated tank. So no element.

But it's bloody well insulated, so i'm wondering if it is big enough to be a mash tun?

I've got a 55L esky i was going to use, but otherwise i've just blown my money (and it's shiny SS so it looks better than plastic)
Is that the one I posted a link to in the ebay section a while back? Basically looks exactly like an urn but has a slightly domed lid and is all stainless steel? Like this:


If so I would have thought it would make a great mash tun and yes 20L is big enough. Or you could still use it for a HLT by just making a heat stick or buying an immersion heater (I know that wasn't the idea though).

Find a heat stick here: http://www.bodensatz.com/gallery/album12

Cheers. justin
IMO 20L is not really big enough matey... i use a 55L esky and the mash fills that about halfway....

U can track down an element for it quite easily...either hang one in from the top (like on the grain and grape website)....or bust out the drill and install one through the side wall.....put a ball valve in while u are at it and I reckon u are on a winner....

It would make an awesome mash tun for 25 litre batches...
I used a 5 gal Industrial Igloo cooler (slightly less than 20l) happily for my old 25 litre batch system. I used to use a liquor/grist ratio of 2.5:1 and efficiency of ~75%.

Asher for now
for most brews 20l as a mash tun would be OK. I use a 5 galllon igloo and this has been fine for the 20 or so AG that I have done. Perfect for enough to do corny size batches.

However I do wish I had a 10 gallon one so I could do bigger batches or heavier beers.

Same same. I use a 19L beverage cooler for 25-27L batches and a ratio of 3:1 most of the time. On a bigger beer I might drop back to 2.5:1 but 20L is big enough. However I will increase in the near future to do double batches and round out the system with a nice 3rd keg to match the other two. :D
Thanks for the opinions guys. Guess i'll give it a go, and revert to the 55L esky if i have trouble.

As for adding a tap, the tap on it came off and has a standard 1/2" BSP thread, so i've already got a ball valve on there :)

Now i've got to figure out how to put in a manifold though, but really, for batch sparging is the design that important?

What's more annoying is that i just missed out on a 40L urn in the paper as didn't bother ringing up last week. Went yesterday :-(

Oh, and Justin, that's the one.
I wouldn't stress too much about the design. John Palmers site is a good starting point http://www.howtobrew.com/appendices/appendixD-1.html

But there are plenty of web sites with designs using either copper manifolds or CPVC. I did a simple copper manifold, albeit for a circular igloo. I don't the channelling effect is too much of an issue. Just follow the general principles and you'll be fine.

Good luck.
Yeah thanks for that, i already have 2 manifolds made up for the esky, just had no idea to attach them as the inside of the tap hole is just a hole, no thread.

I jsut discovered though,that it gives a perfect snug fit for a standard piece of copper pipe.

The night just gets better :)
I nearly put some bids on that specifically to use as a mash tun.
I have used them as hot/cold water urns with work and they are extremely well insulated.
Not a bad buy I reckon.
What does the inside look like jg?
If it is nice and clean and shiny it would be good as a stainless fermentor!
just a thought
the one I used was really shiny inside and worked well as a fermenter for my ginger beer :chug:
Yeah that's not a bad idea, but this thing probably has such good thermal properties it's probably much better than my esky as a mash tun. (I hope).
I have had a lot of experience with E-bay and if i buy an item that i am not happy with i just list it myself on Ebay and sell it on the the next unlucky sap. Just this time don't call it an urn. Maybe u wont get all your dough back but u might get a few bucks for it. And i use a 55 litre esky for AG's and would not use anything less. As i like to do big OG beers with final vol's of about 25 litres i use a fair bit of the 55 litre esky.
Anyway mate E-bay is not too bad just be carefull.

Well I used it today for the first time as a mash tun. I had around 3.3KG of grain in there, which when mashed came up to around 3/4 of the way full, so i reckon 6KG would be pushing it.

How well does that braid work as a filter though? I ran the first running into a jug to recirculate it, but it was spotless.

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