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Mash Tun Advise

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SJW

As you must brew, so you must drink
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I have decided that my 15 lire esky is far too small so i am going to use my 55 litre esky as a mash tun. My problem is should i make up a false bottom or make a BAZOOKA type screen up? what works the best and what do u guys use?
i just got back from the local security screen place and he gave me a big sheet of S/S one way fly screen mesh. I am a bit concerned about making a full false bottom as the esky is so big it may not work as well a the Bazooka.
And before u ask i do batch ;) sparge.
any advise would be very helpfull
 

Green Iguana

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Make up a bazooka screen....very easy...hold it together with stainless steel o-clamps....i have found this manifold really simple to use(especially for batch sparging)...never get stuck sparges and produces 70% efficientcy without much effort or fine tuning....A full false bottom will be hard to make with such a large area....
 

AndrewQLD

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SJW

I have a stainless steel mesh false bottom on my esky, it is just a single sheet of mesh cut to the exact size of the esky just above the drainage hole, on brew day I just drop a small piece of copper pipe into each corner of the esky and one in the middle then place the s/s sheet on top ( it is a reasonably tight fit), when I have finished mashing I tip out the grains and everything else comes out with it. I usually achieve 75-82% eff.
if you want to see a pic check out Sosmans brewiki site, last time I looked it was in there.
 

SJW

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Andrew, i did a test last night and i would have 4 litres of water under my screen. Is this an excessive amount of extra water to be adding to my mash tun? Maybe the bazzoka system would be better?
Also if i went the full false bottom how tight a fit do i need? as i have a sheet of very stiff black powder coated S/S and a sheet of pretty floppy powder coated aluminium.
 

AndrewQLD

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Hi SJW,

I have about 2 lt of dead space under my screen, however if you use a beer program like Beersmith or Promash when you setup your equipment profile within the program the extra 2lt or 4lt in your case is automatically calculated into your brew water requirements, so it is not a problem, and you won't end up with "extra" water in your mash tun or boiler.

However the real issue you have is with the powder coated mesh. This is NOT suitable for mashing, as the powder coating will begin to degrade when in contact with the hot wort.

The stiff mesh would be best if not powder coated, and a tight enough fit that there is no movement when it is dropped into the esky. My one I have to push down the last few mls and that seems to lock it in place.

I did originally use a copper manifold but I was never happy with my efficiency or the fact that occasionally it would dislodge from the tap.

I am sure that my way is not the best or most efficient but it makes my day a lot easier.

Regards
Andrew
 

SJW

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OH POO, Well in that case i am back to being stuffed, as both products i have are powder coated.
I may have to make up a copper pipe manifold.
 

SJW

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Good point Andrew,
I just phoned a local hose fitter and asked if he had any of the S/S hose braiding. After a bit of uming & aring he asked what i wanted it for.
Is'nt it amazing how helpful people are when u tell them u need something for beer making purposes.
Anyway he was more than happy to liberate 1m, at no coat as he said it was a good cause.
I also got a brand new 50l keg from a local pub after explainging what i was doing with it, and it is at a local fabricators as we speak getting a SS 1/2" socket welded into it, also for free.
I have also got a couple of brews to put down for all these kind people as soon as i get all my AG stuff back.
But yes the braided hose will be the way to go.
 

Batz

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Justin

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You can also see mine in the gallery section Justin's Brewery.
I just clamped the mesh straight onto the back of the 1/2" pipe thread with a hose clamp. I use another hose clamp in the middle to stop it unrolling and finally one on the end, in which is a black plastic 1/2" bolt out of the irrigator fittings section of bunnings.
 

sosman

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... that brewiki manifold gallery link is

brewiki manifold gallery

The second pic is my current setup, 44 litre rubbermaid cooler and very long easy hooker style strainer. I have brewed three times using this mashtun. Batch sparging each time I have got 90% efficiency so I am not planning to dick around with it too much.

My previous setup used much shorter braid fixed at only one end and I didn't get anywhere near that efficiency (although other parts of the equipment have also changed).

Also what is not shown in that pic is the outside - I use a "pushin" fitting rather than a barb, it allows much freer wort flow (if you fly sparge you may not want that) which helps cut down on the overall time.
 

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