mash tun options

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mash tun options

Postby bredmakr » Wed Jan 29, 2003 4:37 am

Once my tax return arrives (thanks kids!) I will have the funding to acquire a mash tun for the 10 gallon system that I have been tinkering with for the last six months. Ideally I will be able to easily clean the mash tun, have good insulative properties, and be able to set up a recirculating mash with my pump and a hot liquor tank. Right now I have a 14 gallon kettle and need to upgrade the mash tun and hot liquor tank to bring me up to speed for 10 gallon all grain. Money is an option but not a limiting factor. I want to get some feedback on your experiences with the following types of mash tuns.
- modified coolers
- modified kegs
- modified kettles
- specific mash/lauter tuns like the minimash products.
Most interesting to me is investing for the long term. I have already resolved myself to limiting my home production to 10 gallon batches. However, I will be doing this for a very long time so I'll spend more or less if it means the equipment will last forever.
Thanks in advance!
Mike
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Love My Keg

Postby Gravity Thrills » Wed Jan 29, 2003 8:08 am

I use a converted 15.5 gallon SS keg with a false bottom for my mash tun and it works great. I usually mash enough grains (20-24 pounds) to collect 16 gallons of standard gravity (ca. 1045-1060) runnings, and boil that down as 2 separate beers with an ending volume of 6.5 gallons each. I have not come close to filling the tun to capacity with grain, and I'm sure I can get 30+ pounds plus hot liquor in there if I wanted to (although the bed depth might not be ideal).

My tun is insulated with several layers of foam and sealed with that greatest of all inventions, duct tape. I use a metal pizza pan cut to size with aviator snips as a lid. I do almost exclusively single infusions with no external heating of the tun. Unless it is a really cold day, I only lose about 2-3 degrees of heat during a 90 minute mash with the amount of grain I use.

I have gotten > 80-85% efficiency out of this setup since the first day I brewed with it and have no plans for switching any time soon.

Cheers,
Jim
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