Making a mashtun

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Mackem-masher, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. Mackem-masher

    Mackem-masher New Member

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    im looking at building a mash tun but not sure what size cooler box to use. My boiler is a 25L fermeter tub.
    Also when mashing in how much water do you add is it 1.5L per kg or malt?
     
  2. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Take my advice with a grain of barley but my water/grist ratio is like 6lt/1kg:). Reasons are
    1. Larger mash volume is more temp stable.
    2. Thinner mash = easy on the mash stirrer (me).
    3. Just how i started and havnt seen reason to change.

    My recipe grists are around the 4kg mark if you look at recipe i drukenly put together last night https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/692814/bobeck-pale
    Youll see mash water around 25lt but t
    I usually check water requirements see total water volume needed then take my 5lt sparge water off that and this is my mash water easy peasy.
    Also why not mash in your brew kettle...o_O your going to transfer it all in the boil kettle anyhow so make clean up easier with just one vessal:rolleyes:. With our 20lt batch scale the beauty is we can do it all in the one container mash-boil-chill- even sour if we want you could even take it one step further like Snookys done and then ferment in ths same vessal:).

    Good luck youll get plenty ideas for how you want to go main thing is is having a go.
     
  3. Mackem-masher

    Mackem-masher New Member

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    it's all a bit bewildering for me at the min so does it not matter how much water you put in to begin with? Say 10L to 5kg leave to sit for an hr drain out then sprge though to increase the water volume in the boiler to 25L so after boil you get 21L (e.g). And if the gravity is low, boil more if it's high add more water?
     
  4. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Mine is about 65L and that works for doing a 42L batch sparge brew or a 21L no sparge. I do about 3L per KG when batch sparging. It's just a big Coleman chest cooler.

    Your observation about the gravity is about right. Once you have a good idea how much water boils off in the the time frame you'll have a better idea how much water you need for the mash.
     
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  5. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    I'm with Hawk ...I got a big Coleman cooler to do 5 gallon batches that i fly sparge...I made the drain manifold and a spage arm from high tempature pvc pipe..sorry too early to do the math... but it holds the heat just fine and cleans up easy
     
  6. Michael_biab

    Michael_biab Member

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    I'll throw in another perspective, jumping on board from Trialben's comments above. I mash in my kettle with Brew In a Bag or BIAB setup. If you've not heard of this, it's basically like a big tea bag. Some people sparge a little, but I don't sparge at all. The mash is pretty thin and easy to stir because all the water is in there from the start. You don't worry about the water to grist ratio. You mash and then lift up (or hoist if you want to) the bag and toss the grains away and you're ready to boil. Easy and faster. If you're worried that your conversion efficiency will suffer, you can up it by milling grain a little more finely and/or throwing in another lb or two of base grain.
     
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  7. sn00ky

    sn00ky Active Member

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    Op, I started with a brew bucket i was given as a gift. Then I learned how important insulation was, so I bought some. Then i learned how important capacity was , so I spent more $$$, then i learned...
    Point is, it is worth the investment, even if you don't yet think it is. I am yet to read of anyone with problems of "too much mash tun".
    Just seconding everyone's response really...

    BIAB is pretty sweet too, seen @Hawkbox 's rig with cooler in action, pretty sweet and very time efficient.

    @Trialben I have done a few batches now in the kettle. Pretty convenient for when I have no brew days planned for a few weeks, kettle to keg, so many skipped cleanings!
     
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  8. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I've actually ordered a Jaded Hydra to replace my 25' IC cause I can't get it cool enough, not enough surface area. Otherwise it's working pretty well.
     
  9. Vallka

    Vallka Well-Known Member

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    I also use a Coleman cooler as a mash tun, 48q I think. I built a manifold out of copper pipe. What I have done different than most is instead of using the cooler drain hole, I drilled a hole through the bottom of the cooler. This allows me to have virtually no dead space in my mash tun, The only liquid I lose it to green absor, The only liquid I lose it to grain absorption.
     
  10. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I prop one end up and pull the brew bag out so I end up with maybe 1/2 litre of loss if I'm being agressive.
     

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