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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Blichmann Boilermaker as sole mash tun, boiling kettle?
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:03 PM   #1
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Default Blichmann Boilermaker as sole mash tun, boiling kettle?

Hey, all. I'm looking to build an AG setup, and am considering using a 10-gallon Blichmann Boilermaker as both a mash tun and boiling kettle.

My reason for this is mainly space-oriented...if I can do without a 10-gallon Rubbermaid cooler around for a mash-tun, I'd love to.

Does anyone have any experience or suggestions. I realize insulation will be an issue, does anyone have suggestions for that?

My idea is that I would sparge and lauter into my fermenting buckets, siphon or pour back into the Blichmann, and boil away.

Any thoughts?

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Old 02-13-2009, 11:06 PM   #2
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It's going to be a PITA and you'll find out real quick that you wish you would have spend the money on the cooler. Seriously, find the space to keep the cooler.

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Old 02-13-2009, 11:09 PM   #3
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It's going to be a PITA and you'll find out real quick that you wish you would have spend the money on the cooler. Seriously, find the space to keep the cooler.
Thanks...can you elaborate?
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:11 PM   #4
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Will certainly work if you want to do it that way...for me I would get a rubbermaid 48 qt rectangular for like 18 bucks...then you can heat the runnings while sparging to save some time.

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Old 02-13-2009, 11:14 PM   #5
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I just see it as being excessively time consuming.

You perform your mash, and drain it into a bucket. Then you have to get all the grain out of the pot, which will take up more time. You also have to have fermenting buckets capable of withstanding the heat of the mash (150 deg) and the sparge water (up to 190 deg).

Not saying it's not doable, but it's going to take some dedication.

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Old 02-14-2009, 12:14 AM   #6
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Will certainly work if you want to do it that way...for me I would get a rubbermaid 48 qt rectangular for like 18 bucks...then you can heat the runnings while sparging to save some time.
Sorry, can you explain how that would work? All grain noob here.
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Old 02-14-2009, 01:19 AM   #7
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I can see a few problems with this.
1. You will have some temp. loss issues during your mash in a Boilermaker. These are meant to be used in a recirculating or direct fired system to maintain temps. Coolers are insulated and will maintain temps without an outside heat source.
2. While you are sparging, you can be heating up your runnings on the burner to get a head start towards a boil. Without a separate MLT and BK, you won't be able to do that.

Spend the money and get yourself a coleman extreme 52 quart cooler, a conversion kit from greatbargains.net, and a stainless hose assembly and follow flyguy's conversion. It will run you about 40-50 bucks and will be well worth the money. When you aren't using the cooler, you can store some of your all grain in it. I typically store my thermometers, cleaning brushes, and other brew day gear in my MLT cooler when it's not in use.

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Old 02-14-2009, 01:58 AM   #8
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One reason I like my 10 gal round Rubbermaid cooler is that my brew kettle fits nicely inside when I store it. Saves a lot of space.

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Old 02-14-2009, 02:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony_Lopez View Post
I can see a few problems with this.
1. You will have some temp. loss issues during your mash in a Boilermaker. These are meant to be used in a recirculating or direct fired system to maintain temps. Coolers are insulated and will maintain temps without an outside heat source.
2. While you are sparging, you can be heating up your runnings on the burner to get a head start towards a boil. Without a separate MLT and BK, you won't be able to do that.

Spend the money and get yourself a coleman extreme 52 quart cooler, a conversion kit from greatbargains.net, and a stainless hose assembly and follow flyguy's conversion. It will run you about 40-50 bucks and will be well worth the money. When you aren't using the cooler, you can store some of your all grain in it. I typically store my thermometers, cleaning brushes, and other brew day gear in my MLT cooler when it's not in use.

Okay. Well, I can keep the Boilermaker on the stove, I have no problem with that. I also still have my 5 gallon kettle, so I can use that to heat the runnings.

I should have said, I've been doing a lot of extract, partial mash, and mini-mash brewing. So I have a bunch of buckets, carboys, etc.

So, FlyGuy, adding a 10 gallon cooler to my collection wouldn't give me storage space I don't have, but rather give me something else to store. It's a 3D jigsaw puzzle in my brew closet as it is.

Please, guys, keep this coming. This is my one shot at getting this equipment buy right.
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Old 02-14-2009, 02:15 AM   #10
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I dont think there is anything else for us to tell you if you don't want to listen to us... You will never keep your mash temperatures perfect with a direct fire system without a temp. controller. Using a mash tun that will keep the heat from escaping is what you should be looking at if you want to get it right without spending tons of cash. Judging by your other post about the gear your sister got you, you dont' need all the best things to make good beer.

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