Is a Rubbermaid tub a suitable mash vessel?

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Is a Rubbermaid tub a suitable mash vessel?

Postby jayhawk » Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:58 am

My local hardware store has some very inexpensive 70L "Rubbermaid" type plastic tubs that I think would make excellent mashing vessels. Would these be suitable for mashing, or would they impart plastic flavours?
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possible temperature problems

Postby stumpwater » Tue Aug 20, 2002 1:22 pm

When using non-food grade plastic, the biggest problem will be how it handles hot water temperatures. Many containers lose all their rigidity when warmed up and may even break or bend out of shape enough to cause spillage. Check with rubbermaid customer service to see if the plastic will handle mash water temperatures.
Something you may want to check into is local brew your owns. I got a food grade 120 litre barrel from my local brew your own for $10 as they are what the malt extract gets shipped in. The barrel is very cool, though I have not used it yet as I wish to use it as a primary and haven't the boil kettle nor mash tun big enough to compare.
Good Luck!
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I agree

Postby andytv » Wed Aug 21, 2002 2:39 am

I agree w/ stumpwater, If the plastic is not food grade, it may distort, or break down. I use an old coleman cooler for a mash tun. They are not that expensive, and they hold temp so well that you can mash in, and go back to sleep for an hour (I start my brewday really early). I've been using the same rig for 20+ batches, and it's just beginning to show signs of wear; the plastic walls are starting to bubble a little bit from the i ntense heat cycles. If you need ideas on cooler-mash tun conversin. let me know; I have a pretty simple effective system.

Andy
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please share design

Postby bredmakr » Wed Aug 21, 2002 7:37 am

i think several of us would be interested in your design.
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Cooler Mash Tun

Postby andytv » Wed Aug 21, 2002 9:44 am

I got the idea from a device that is available for sell, I think it was called "easymasher". Basically, I installed a cheap plastic spigot by enlarging the existing drain hole on the cooler, installing the spigot, and using a little RTV to seal. Using plastic fittings, I adapted the inside end of the spigot to accept 1/2NPT female thread. I then bought a four foot faucet hookup hose; the kind with the braided SS cover and a 1/2 NPT female end. I cut off the other end (non 1/2NPT) and discarded. I then compressed the braiding at the other end, took a very small thin blade, and cut & removed the rubber tubing that is inside the SS braid (w/o damaging the braid). Now I have a 4ft piece of SS braid with a fitting at one end. I used a little SS safety wire and wired the one end closed, and attached the other end to the spigot fitting. When empty, it looks like a long snake is coiled inside my cooler-tun. Note that I told a lie to simplify this procedure; I actually had to use two 2ft pieces of braid, which I joined together.

As far as performance goes, the SS braid lets hot wort through with no grain pieces or husks..period. I have never had a stuck mash, nor have I had any problems w/ mash efficiency.

I'm not sure what advantages a false bottom system has over mine, I have had really good luck with this method. I'll bet you will too.
If further detail is required, gimme your email address, I can send PICs.

Andy
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Cooler capacity

Postby jayhawk » Wed Aug 21, 2002 2:35 pm

What is the capacity of your cooler? Is it adequate for 10gal all grain bathces?
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Capacity

Postby andytv » Thu Aug 22, 2002 3:38 am

Measured capacity is 11.5 gallons. It's good for standard - medium high gravity 10 gallon single temp infusion batches (actaully I brew 11.5 gal because I like to leave a gallon in my coni, and I remove about 1/2 gal of trub). For single temp infusions, I've used as much as 25 lbs of grain, but by the time you add enough water to reach mashout temp, its full (no matter, I've never had a stuck mash). I've used it once for a step mash, and almost overflowed because of the hot water added. I'd go as big as possible; If you got a 15-20 galon cooler, you may be able to do 10 gal "no sparge batches", but don't get me wrong, I've used this setup to produce 20+ batches of great beer. As for step mashing; I use the same type of filter concept, except its hookup up to the valve on my brewpot.

Prosit

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