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Old 08-30-2012, 01:24 PM   #1
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Default 23# of mash in an uninsulated keg

I am weary of doing a big 23# mash in my 10 gallon Gott cooler, so I'm throwing together a short notice mash tun made from a 50L keg. I don't have anything more than a blanket available for insulation. I am wondering if 23# of grain + water will have a decent thermal mass to maintain 152F in a 85F environment without insulation. My LHBS's crush has been giving me consistent conversion after 35-45 minutes, so I don't see me needing to go any longer. Can this big grain bill hold temp for that duration?

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Old 08-30-2012, 01:27 PM   #2
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When I make beers this big in my 10gal cooler I just max out the cooler and use DME for the remainder. With that much grain you wont notice a little DME

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Old 08-30-2012, 01:32 PM   #3
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I'm using a keg for a MLT and if you preheat the MLT with some hot water (say, 180), and let it drop to strike temperature, I think you'll be fine with 23 pounds of grain. I was actually surprised at how well the keg holds temps, after seeing how others insulate theirs. I think a small grainbill might be an issue but with 23 pounds of grain, and 8.6 gallons of water (assuming 1.5 quarts/pound), I think you'll hold heat just fine.

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Old 08-30-2012, 01:35 PM   #4
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I had a ton of trouble with maintaining themp in a keg for a mashtun with 27# of grain for a barleywine. That was the one and only time I used it because it was such a PITA but then again, that was February in Minnesota.

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Old 08-30-2012, 01:45 PM   #5
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Just did an IS with 24 lbs in a 15.5 with a blanket and didn't drop one degree in 45 minutes. It was about 95 outside.

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Old 08-30-2012, 01:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inhousebrew
but then again, that was February in Minnesota.
Should be a little different during August in Georgia.
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:49 PM   #7
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14# of grain and 9 gal water in a keggle wrapped with a sleeping bag typically drops @ 2 degrees over 60-90 minutes (I'm a BIAB'er). I would think that the additional thermal mass of the larger volume mash would sustain temp at least as well.

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Old 08-30-2012, 02:53 PM   #8
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My keg mash tun drops a few degrees over a 60 minute mash. I just did a 23# grain bill and it held temps with a re-circ about halfway through.

Another bit of advice, preheat with over temp strike water then add half the grain. Wait for the grain to absorb some water and then add the rest of your grain. You are pretty much max'd out with 23# @ 1.33 qts/lb.

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Old 11-19-2012, 08:52 PM   #9
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What about the other direction? Smaller mashes? I am thinking about converting to a keg mash tun for future growth (larger grain bills, direct fire mash). Right now my average gain bill is 12 - 12.5 pounds. Will the mash be large enough for the keg or will I not have a deep enough grain bed? Right now I am using a 10 gallon gott cooler.

Thanks for any advice

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Old 11-19-2012, 09:03 PM   #10
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I do up to 26 lbs in my Rubbermaid 10 gallons cooler. Just need to mash a little thicker (~1 qt/lb) and then it usually takes 2 or 3 batch sparges depending on my preboil volume. This is for 10 gallon batches, if you were planning on doing 5 gallon batch it would only take one batch sparge.

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