New Mash Tun

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New Mash Tun

Postby StLBeer » Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:54 pm

I'm going to start doing all-grain brewing.

After doing all the research and getting some friendly advice, here is my first attempt at a mash tun. It's a 60qt Igloo Ice Cube with wheels. The drain is on an angle which throws things off a bit. The barbed nipple with hose attached touches the ground, but when the MT is up in it's normal location, it won't matter.

It is whats inside I'm a little worried about. I wanted to use a SS braid because I thought it would be the most efficient. I have read about folks using these vs false bottoms. It seems these are as effective - plus they do not clog as easily. I guess I am going to find out. The braid is 4 feet long. I'm worried I'm going to leave behind too much wort. The pipe is 1/2 inch copper and when the wort level is less than that the draining will stop. Has anyone had any experience with this kind of a MT? Most cubes that I read about do not have the wheels and as such, no slant in the bottom.

Inside of MT. There is a 90* elbow coming out of the back of the valve. This takes the intake right to the bottom.


Valve
This pic shows the valve. The barbed nipple almost touches the ground. In operation it will be on a table so it will not be a problem.
Image

Image

Image

Image


It has not be broken in yet, but hopefully in a week or so, Gary B. and I will do so.
Last edited by StLBeer on Mon May 16, 2016 9:10 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Benjamin R » Tue May 01, 2007 7:27 am

Nicely done!
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Postby Konertjm » Tue May 01, 2007 7:35 am

Well Done! :)
What was the source for your braid?
I have 2 mash tuns. One has braid, the other has stainless false bottom. I don't notice any difference in filtering efficiency between them. As far as leaving wort behind, that is going to happen no matter which filtering method you use. Just be sure and allow for the amount left behind. If you use ProMash, you can program that amount in so that the correct amount of water is computed. After a few uses you will get a feel for what it takes to get the proper amount of pre-boil wort.
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In Beer there is strength,
In water there is bacteria!
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Postby StLBeer » Tue May 01, 2007 8:34 am

What was the source for your braid?

I used a washing machine hose from Lowes. I think the cost was $11.00. Removing the braid was a lot easier than I thought it would be!

Thanks for the comments!
Paul
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Postby ericburnley » Tue May 01, 2007 9:33 am

Looks great! I'm actually going through this myself soon- picked out a 48-qt rectangular cooler, and will be looking at hose braids this week.

How'd you do the drain plug? A rubber stopper or what?
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Mach Tun

Postby StLBeer » Tue May 01, 2007 4:36 pm

ericburnley wrote:Looks great! I'm actually going through this myself soon- picked out a 48-qt rectangular cooler, and will be looking at hose braids this week.

How'd you do the drain plug? A rubber stopper or what?


I simply unscrewed the drain plug then used a weldless SS ball valve setup. There's an O-ring on either side of the hole. The plastic on this cooler is not very thick at the drain - i.e. there is no insulation between the outer and inner walls.

The copper pickup is what was challenging. I'll pull it out then take a picture of it and post it here in a little while. That way you can see all the parts.
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Postby ericburnley » Tue May 01, 2007 5:54 pm

That'd be great, thanks! I was at Lowes today looking at ball valves and picked up a SS hose braid to start working on.
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MT Pictures

Postby StLBeer » Tue May 01, 2007 8:30 pm

Ok, here are the pics

1) Drain hole in cooler. It's higher than the cooler floor. This is not a good picture. I was trying to show the thin nature of this part of the cooler.

Image

2) Drain valve and Fittings. I got this one off of Brewboard.com from MixnMatch for $26.00 w/o barbed fitting.

Image

3) Siphon and braid.

Image

4) Drain valve, fittings, siphon, & braid all put together outside of MT.
Imagine a bulkhead at a 45* angle. When I lose the siphon it's game over.

Image

Hope this helps!
Paul
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Postby blksabbath » Wed May 02, 2007 11:16 am

Nice work Paul! As far as losing a siphon goes, just make sure that you have a hose on the nipple and that it's lower than your cooler.
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Postby StLBeer » Wed May 02, 2007 11:15 pm

Thanks Dan!

You and Gary are my inspiration....
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Postby JE » Thu May 03, 2007 7:47 am

I think after the Big Brew I will definitely be making the jump to all grain...what all will I need to purchase / manufacture in order to do this? I just bought a mill a few weeks ago, so that part is taken care of...

Any ideas, suggestions and what-not would be appreciated!

Thanks, all!
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Postby blksabbath » Thu May 03, 2007 8:10 am

Here's an easy way to jump in the fire:
http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/
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Postby StLBeer » Thu May 03, 2007 8:21 am

I reviewed the dennybrew site about 5 times while coming up with a design. This guy explains the process in an easy to understand fashion.

The pics are nice too.

But there's nothing like learning from your friends first hand.
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Postby StLBeer » Thu May 03, 2007 11:50 pm

I got to put the new MT into action tonight. The brew was California Steamer. Grain bill was 18lb 2row and1lb Crystal 60. Started the mash at 172*F - aiming for 155*F. We hit the 155*F and in the 75 minutes that followed only dropped 1*F!!

The vorlauf cleared in 2 quarts, but did 3 anyway. It did not stick at all and I certainly could have drained the grain bed very quickly - but did not.

All in all, I'm quite impressed with the performance.
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Postby ericburnley » Fri May 04, 2007 12:01 am

Josh, i'm currently doing the same. I've been studying Denny's rig for a while and just bought (yesterday) the cooler and hose braid. I've looked at brass ball valves and will be shopping for fittings on Saturday probably (after stopping by WW for a bit). So maybe we could touch base on finishing these.

StlBeer, sounds like a success. Congrats!
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