Mash Tun Size Issue

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Craigerrr, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    The kids all went together and got me a 15 gallon kettle so I can do 10 gallon batches. My first batch was 29lbs of grist. Mash tun is an 11.7 gallon capacity Mash King. I ended up having to mash pretty thick, and do two batch sparges. Next batch is 24 lbs, so I will be able to mash thinner, and maybe do one batch sparge, but will have to jump out that window when I get there.

    My questions:

    Is this the way it will be for me with 10g batches? I don't see a bigger cooler type mash tun on the market, and don't really want to spend $500 on a stainless insulated 15 gallon unit.

    Is mashing thick, and doing two batch sparges a good practice?

    Thanks in advance,
    Craigerrr
     
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  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    you can brew normal beers say 1050 with that size but it's best to have twice the size kettle for the batch of beer your brewing otherwise use defoamer in the boil kettle
     
  3. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    You might look into a big cooler and make yourself a manifold. Much cheaper than getting a stainless mash tun. Or possibly splitting your mash into two tuns that way each one only needs one sparge.
     
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  4. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Have you thought of trying BIAB? With a 15 gallon kettle you'd need to sparge, but that's no problem.
    Another possibility is doing 2 mashes, no sparge. You lose a few points in efficiency, but it looks like you need to make some kind f a tradeoff of you want to do 10 gallon batches with your existing equipment.
     
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  5. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    I have been brewing 10gal batches with an 11gal mash tun for quite a while. If done right a double batch sparge does well efficiency wise. You could also consider fly sparging. A gravity drained 3rd vessel such as a cheap cooler should do the trick.
    About 25# of grain is where I max out at. Can still brew in the 1.050 to 1.060 range. You can use 2 mash tuns also, then split your water and grain accordingly for bigger beers. Chico Brewer did this recently for a Narwhal clone I believe. Of all the options just double batch sparging is probably the simplest if you have a third vessel to hold water. If you have to have a bigger beer then just cut back the batch to 8 gal into fermenter.
     
  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Man, that's a lot of malt for a 10-gallon batch. Are you going for a 1.080+ beer or is your efficiency so low that you need that much to get to a lower gravity beer?
     
  7. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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  8. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    A 70 quart Coleman Xtreme cooler would easily hold enough grain for 10 gallon batches. Batch sparge ftw!
     
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  9. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Thanks
    I had no issue with kettle volume for the boil. I heated mash water in 15g kettle, then drained first runnings into my old 10 gallon kettle while I heated up sparge water in the 15g kettle.
     
  10. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Thank you
     
  11. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Bob, I use to do BIAB, not really interested in going back to that.
     
  12. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input!
     
  13. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Thanks TW, I think this is the way I will go, my next batch calls for 23lbs with a 1056 OG, so current mash tun will handle that nicely.
     
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  14. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I do 11 gallon batches to insure 2 full kegs. Your method for the stronger batches seems pretty sound. Did your efficiency number come out at 75% in the end or higher or lower?
    It's the same issue I run into with my 15 gallon set up doing15+ gallon batches to fill my half barrel fermenter. I've decided that for now I'll just stick to lower gravity beers for the bigger batches (which is fine since I don't really want 3 full kegs of stronger beer on hand) and do 11 gallon batches for higher gravity beers.
     
  15. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    JA
    According to the brew session my actual efficiency worked out to 72%, definitely need more rice hulls next time I brew this one.
     
  16. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Unless you got a stuck sparge, you shouldn't need more rice hulls. I don't find that flaked stuff is as bad as malted wheat or maybe rye.
    Efficiency of 72% doesn't seem too bad with that much adjunct. You only have 58% base malt. The Naked Oats may not bring much extra diastatic power to convert the other stuff so it falls to your Maris Otter. I'd try a similar sized recipe with less adjunct and see what your efficiency is.
     
  17. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    All three runnings were like molasses in January, definitely need more hulls!
    It was my first 10 gallon batch, so definitely need to do some fine tuning, thanks for the feedback!
     
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