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Mash Tun Size Advice?

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mobrien

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After seeing the AG brew happen at the Brisbane Brew Day, I've gotta do it too - yes Hoops, I'm converted!

I've been thinking about my setup and setup-to-be - and I want to make sure I do it correctly from the outset.

I already have my wort boiler - a 60L stainless drum with two 1380 watt elements in it. Its very pretty - I'll attach a photo. I'm very proud of it!

Anyway, given the volume I have there, I want to ensure I have a mash tun of enough volume. I like the idea of a round esky, but can't seem to find a 40L version - the largest I can find is 23L (campcraft in Brissy - thanks Ross and Sluggerdog).

So the question - is this too small given my capabilities? I don't really want to have to buy more stuff in 3 months time....

If it is too small, where else/what else can I try? I don't want a square esky as I'm no good at stirring around corners! :D :D

Matt

matt_drumelementsin.jpg
 

ozbrewer

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where did you ge tthe elements, and how $$$


Round Eskys are hard to get up here, but, maybe conseder a normal 40ltr rectangle one, you dont want to have a huge weight of grist sitting on your manifold, F/B or whatever....if you realy want rounf, what about an insulated beer keg, or a pot the same as you have, get some insulation from clark rubber and away you go.

as for size, how long is a peice of string, are you making high grav beers?, then you want 80ltrs, mild ales, 30ltr will do it.

what you need to be carefull of , if you have a lot of unused space inside your tun, you will have problems holding in the heat, if you have a large tun, and are only making a small beer, you will need a way to keep the temp even and stable, if you fill it up and have a high Liquor to Grist ratio, you will have a hell of a time with pH




so to answer your question.....your tun needs to be the size that your system will alow, if you are going to run a rims/herms get a big one, ...if you want to direct heat youe tun, get a big one, if you cant do this, get a 40ltr and if you make a big beer you mayhave to mash twice or have a low mash ratio.
 

ozbrewer

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im loving that kettle, tell us more about it, what is the boiler made from?
 

mobrien

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Hmmmm - so I'll probably end up needing a couple of different sizes of mash tun - so maybe a small one will be OK to start with.

As far as the boiler goes - I made it a couple of years ago and its actually for another purpose, but can be used for both.

The boiler itself is a food grain 60L stainless steel drum commonly used for export of foodstuffs and olive oils - I bought it from Visy packaging in Brisbane for around $140, but I gather they are around 170 or so now.

The elements are from a home brew store - they are replacement elements for a still spirts still - again I bought them a couple of years ago, and they were around $35 each. You need to ensure that you buy the aluminium nut and power cord when you buy them though!

I mounted the elements through a correct sized hole which I made with a clamp drill bit, and its sealed with washers that came with the kit.

I hope that helps!

Matt
 

GMK

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With a 60ltr Kettle - i would go for a 50ltr Mash Tun....

eg a keep cold round insulated or another drum or a keg....
 

big d

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personally i would go for a larger mash tun as sooner or later you will want to do bigger gravity beers that will need the extra space.or you may want to do a double batch.at the end of the day you can still do smaller mashes in the larger tun and it will save on an extra purchase down the track.

cheers
big d
 

Darren

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I agree with Big D.
Go the big tun. You can never have too big a mash tun. Once you move to bigger beers such as tripels and barleywines youu won't regret the big capacity.
D
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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Saw an 80L Keepcold cooler for $100 at Glynde Mitre10 last week, surely Qld Mitre 10s would have the same coolers?

Jovial Monk
 

sluggerdog

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Jovial_Monk said:
Saw an 80L Keepcold cooler for $100 at Glynde Mitre10 last week, surely Qld Mitre 10s would have the same coolers?

Jovial Monk
[post="58346"][/post]​
You would think so but I went to 2 different Mitre 10's on the weekend and both didn't have any keep cold coolers....
 

johnno

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Yep. Get as big a one as possible. If you are going AG you will one day need it.

cheers
johnno
 

warrenlw63

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Perfect! :super: 57lts is good. Mine is 38lt. Good for 10gal batches of average strength, but not much more. That size you will have no such restrictions.

Bigger the better. :)

Warren -
 

mobrien

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I'll give the manufacturer a call after work today - I found the Brisbane branch number. How many Brissy people would be interested in one? Will see about bulk pricing....

Matt
 

mobrien

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Heres the scoop guys - I've got pricing, but will start another thread: Brisbane Mash Tun Bulk Purchase?

Matt
 

Kai

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Just watch your temps doing a small mash in a big tun, with the increased surface area to mass ratio you might find the temp dropping over the course of the mash.
 

PostModern

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You could float a couple of layers of cut-to-size bubble wrap on top of the grist. Would also reduce HSA. :)
 

Guest Lurker

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Kai said:
Just watch your temps doing a small mash in a big tun, with the increased surface area to mass ratio you might find the temp dropping over the course of the mash.
[post="58398"][/post]​
I use between 4 and 14 kg of grain in a 44 l thin walled esky depending on what og and batch size I aim at. Once I get above 7 kg of grain the temp holds stable for an hour even though there is a fair head space. At 4 kg (single batch mild, big, thin mash layer, large surface area, big head space) I lose about 1 degree in the middle of the mash over an hour.

So it is an effect to consider when doing a small mash, but not major enough to drive you to small tun I dont think. I find the combination of 50 l HLT, 44 L tun, 80 L boiler to be just about perfect for a range of batch sizes and gravities. Although the tun would be better a little bigger, esp for batch sparging.
 

mobrien

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I'm actually wondering if with the larger Tun I could actually make an adapter to make th elid expand down to near the surface of the liquid/grain - just an internal fiberglass covered foam section that clips on/into or screws on/into/below the main lid.

I don't think I'll be going smaller - the heat loss is something I'll overcome!

So at this stage it looks like 30/40L hot water source (although how that abreviates to HLT I have no idea!); 57L tun; 60L boiler

M
 

Torsion

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mobrien said:
...although how that abreviates to HLT I have no idea!...
[post="58426"][/post]​
hehehe, that one confused me for a while too. HTL = Hot Liqour Tun/Tank
 

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