The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Aluminum Mash Tun?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 10-09-2012, 08:04 PM   #1
Nightbiker
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Nightbiker's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Dover, FL
Posts: 561
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default Aluminum Mash Tun?

I need a bigger MLT (mine is only a 9gallon stainless) and after getting over the shock from the cost of stainless 'tuns (not to mention those big round coolers -boy are they PROUD of their product!) I ran across some (very) large aluminum cooking pots that my local 'mostly mexican' grocery store keeps in stock -these things are pretty inexpensive and built LARGE (I guess their clientele must have some really large families, or they cook for a lot of people).
I know the ongoing debate about aluminum boil kettles (and I've never had a problem with them, I used to use one until I get a keg converted) -but a mash tun could be an animal of a different color. My interest in the pots is that they are a bit wider than the usual converted keg -so the mash wouldn't be as deep, and I'd expect it would have a more even consistency in the mash (and a bit easier to clean) -but I know mash PH tends to get down to just above 5, which is reasonably acidic -and wondered if that might cause my beer to have a 'metallic' flavoring -which I don't find desirable in the slightest). Has anyone made their MLT out of aluminum? If you did, how did it work out? My rig is an HERMIS so no direct heat to the mash tun, but the water recirculates continuously. My heat exchanger is in my HLT, and all the piping is (as usual) copper with brass fittings.
The false bottom would probably be made from stainless, however. But before pricing that out, I wanted some advice regarding the 'tun.

__________________

GOT BEER?
FERMENTING:
LAGERING/CONDITIONING:Simply Sweet Mead
Kegged: Big Bad Brown Ale (Brown Ale and Porter blend).
Bottled:

Plans: Oak-Smoked Porter, Honey Brown Ale.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaybird View Post
we do it for the love of beer! Not for the love of money! We can all make great BEER! Not so much when it comes to money!
Nightbiker is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-10-2012, 03:44 AM   #2
earwig
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
earwig's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 827
Liked 22 Times on 20 Posts
Likes Given: 23

Default

Maybe check out Craigs list for a used cooler? I got a great cooler at a 4H rummage sale for 5 bux. I can't comment on the aluminum subject, I know nothing about it sorry.

__________________
earwig is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-10-2012, 03:50 AM   #3
Transamguy77
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Quakertown, Pa
Posts: 698
Liked 36 Times on 34 Posts
Likes Given: 10

Default

When I started AG I was doing BIAB in a 7.5 gallon aluminum turkey fryer and have no off flavors at all, you will be fine. I would still be doing it that way if I had not gotten a good deal on kegs and converted them.

__________________
Transamguy77 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-10-2012, 02:05 PM   #4
Nightbiker
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Nightbiker's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Dover, FL
Posts: 561
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Thanks for the input! If anyone does have experience using aluminum for a mash tun, please speak up! If I (finally) break down and just do it, I'll post results (and pray to the Beer Gods that I don't regret the conversion) -I did get (the other day) a donor half-keg from a friend who found it in a yard sale (you would think they would have just turned it back in for the deposit money -worth more than they got for it -but their loss is my potential gain). I'd really like a wider, shorter 'can' though -but I'll have to have a few beers and think it through. Those buggers are tough to cut through (I don't have any friends with plasma torches).

__________________

GOT BEER?
FERMENTING:
LAGERING/CONDITIONING:Simply Sweet Mead
Kegged: Big Bad Brown Ale (Brown Ale and Porter blend).
Bottled:

Plans: Oak-Smoked Porter, Honey Brown Ale.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaybird View Post
we do it for the love of beer! Not for the love of money! We can all make great BEER! Not so much when it comes to money!
Nightbiker is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-11-2012, 12:21 AM   #5
Transamguy77
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Quakertown, Pa
Posts: 698
Liked 36 Times on 34 Posts
Likes Given: 10

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightbiker
Thanks for the input! If anyone does have experience using aluminum for a mash tun, please speak up! If I (finally) break down and just do it, I'll post results (and pray to the Beer Gods that I don't regret the conversion) -I did get (the other day) a donor half-keg from a friend who found it in a yard sale (you would think they would have just turned it back in for the deposit money -worth more than they got for it -but their loss is my potential gain). I'd really like a wider, shorter 'can' though -but I'll have to have a few beers and think it through. Those buggers are tough to cut through (I don't have any friends with plasma torches).
A grinder or a air powered cut off tool works too, I used the air tool to cut off all 3 tops. If you have that you could make that into your mash tun and not worry about using an aluminum one.
__________________
Transamguy77 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-11-2012, 12:31 AM   #6
helibrewer
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
helibrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 3,069
Liked 171 Times on 155 Posts
Likes Given: 39

Default

If an aluminum kettle is ok (which it is), then an aluminum MLT will be fine too. Contact time is about the same and the temperature is lower. Would you be concerned about simmering stew for a few hours on your stove in an aluminum pot?

__________________
Something is always fermenting....
"It's Bahl Hornin'"

Primary:
Brite Tank/Lagering:
Kegged: Hefeweizen, Chocolate Hazelnut Porter, Kumquat Saison, Tart Cherry Cider, Belgian Tripel, Maibock Bock, Ommegang Abbey Ale Clone, Belgian Golden Strong, German Pils (WLP830)
Bottled: Belgian Quad (Grand Reserve), Derangement (Belgian Dark Strong)
On Deck:
My Site: www.restlesscellars.com
helibrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-11-2012, 12:00 PM   #7
brewguyver
Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
brewguyver's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 1,071
Liked 129 Times on 95 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightbiker
Thanks for the input! If anyone does have experience using aluminum for a mash tun, please speak up!
The only negative I can see is that aluminum is more conductive than stainless, so you'd lose temps faster during the mash. However, since you're doing HERMS you can insulate the hell out of it so it shouldn't matter.
__________________

Brewguyver - the man who does everything wrong so you won't have to!

brewguyver is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-11-2012, 01:41 PM   #8
Ezekielsays
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Moorhead, mn
Posts: 104
Liked 10 Times on 5 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

I've been using an aluminum mash tun for about a year and a half now, and haven't noticed any metallic off flavors from it. I've been pretty happy with it overall.

As stated, they don't hold heat as well add some other materials. I made a double layer reflectix "jacket"for mine, held on with Velcro strips so it is easily removable for cleaning. I have no issues with losing heat (usually 1 degree drop through the mash time) though during winter brews I usually add an old blanket. MN can get cold sometimes.

__________________

------------------------------------------------------
Originally Posted by Rcole
Our system isn't broken- we're allowing it to rust out.

Ezekielsays is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Aluminum Stock Pot as Mash Tun Brew-boy Equipment/Sanitation 12 04-25-2012 09:06 PM
Aluminum Mash Paddle! deezy Equipment/Sanitation 9 04-13-2011 01:50 PM
Aluminum stock pot for mash tun goswell Equipment/Sanitation 6 12-11-2010 12:31 PM
Using a old aluminum pot Marsdude Equipment/Sanitation 7 05-22-2010 03:29 AM
Aluminum HLT? Battery_BreweryNJ Equipment/Sanitation 13 04-04-2009 01:10 AM