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Stainless Stockpot Or Esky For Mash Tun?

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thermo_47

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Hi all,

I currently have the luxury of a few options for my new 3V system. A mate gave me a 55L esky, but I also recently snagged a bargain on a set of 5 stockpots (cheap Chinese imports) ranging in sizes from around 20L to 100L. I'm planning on using the big pot for a boil kettle but I'm undecided on whether to use the esky or stockpot for a mash tun... opinions?

I have a stainless false bottom & ball valve etc which I could use in either setup, but my main concern is the plastic vs stainless debate. I know plenty of people use eskies no worries without imparting flavours into beer, but I'm struggling to pass up the opportunity to have an all-stainless system. Temp control is another issue, but I'd be happy to invest into some insulation for the stainless pot. I just got a pump so will be heading towards HERMS in the future.

*sigh* As I said, it's a luxurious dilemma... ;)
 

Wolfy

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I think setting up the stainless pot would be a better long term investment, especially if you aim to go to a HERMS setup in the future.
Nothing wrong with an esky, but if you have the choice, use the stainless pot and just wrap something around it for insulation until you have the HERMS gear.
 

manticle

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No plastic flavours imparted ever from using two different types of esky for a tun over the last few years.

Put that one to bed, completely.

I'm thinking of buying a good quality 50 L alu pot for a tun just because a 50 L esky is heavy and awkward. I'm also thinking of changing my kettle to alu instead of keggle for the same reason. However, not having actually done it yet, I can't offer comparison between round pot type tun and oblong esky tun.

Essentially the tun is just a vessel with a tap and some kind of manifold so you could make a tun from both and see what performs better/suits your future HERMS better. I don't think you'd have trouble getting rid of either if they are well fabricated. Pot tun can easily become an HLT or kettle if you decide the esky is the best.

One other advantage of having two vessels that do the same thing is that if anything were to go wrong with one part way through a brew day (stuck sparge is one possibility), you can easily switch between. I've done that a few times and the cheap aluminium Chinese pot I used to use as an HLT didn't last too long (corroded out where the tap was, luckily not full of 80 degree water) so having both is insurance.
 

thermo_47

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Yeah cheers.

I think I'm heading towards the stainless pot, only possibly rethinking because they're not real awesome quality - thin pots, 18/10.. See how we go. I'll keep the esky on the side, build the pot and can always re-use the falsie etc if things don't work out with the pot.

Is there a particular size you need for a HERMS vessel? Technically as long as you can get a coil in there... I guess.
 

donburke

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the one major benefit of a ss mash tun i see is that it can be direct fired to change and or maintain temperatures

a plastic mash tun, whilst being better insulated, can only be adjusted with hot water infusions
 

bignath

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a plastic mash tun, whilst being better insulated, can only be adjusted with hot water infusions
Or an immersion element if available. Requires some stirring whilst applying the heat, but very possible.
 

manticle

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Or an immersion element which is what I use.

Nath got in before me.
 

Wolfy

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[quote name='Jon's Brew' post='909138' date='May 7 2012, 06:31 PM']Is there a particular size you need for a HERMS vessel? Technically as long as you can get a coil in there... I guess.[/quote]
As long as you can coil the tube inside it, its good, quite a few people are now using 1.7L kettles with a small coil inside.
But if you're going to coil the tube yourself you might need something a bit bigger.
 

DKS

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Just reading another thread on pots and urns and agree with the main point said time and time again. You get what you pay for. Cheap Chinese imports you say. Good luck.
Daz
 

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