Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Filling Headspace - Mash Tun
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 03-27-2012, 02:46 PM   #1
FensterBos
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Waltham, MA
Posts: 495
Liked 10 Times on 10 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default Filling Headspace - Mash Tun

I built a mash tun out of a 52 quart rectangular cooler. For many, many batches I was getting HORRIBLE temperature control and it was really hurting my efficiency. I have a lot of headspace when I do average gravity beers and I lose a lot of heat because of it.
What are some options or methods you have used to control temperatures with coolers that have a lot of headspace? Thanks!

__________________

Fermenting:
15 Gallons of New England Hard Cider - Four yeasts: Ale yeast, two cider yeasts, and a champagne yeast.

Kegged:
Helliday Ale and Chocolate Nitro Stout

FensterBos is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-27-2012, 02:57 PM   #2
michaeltrego
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Amherst, NH
Posts: 434
Liked 14 Times on 13 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Are you preheating your tun before mashing in? If not, put several gallons of the hottest tap water in there while you are heating your strike water. Is your cooler lid insulated? If not, you can drill small holes and fill it with Great Stuff foam. I have a 50 quart square cooler, and I don't worry about the headspace, but by using those two techniques my mash stays within one degree for the whole mash.

__________________
michaeltrego is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-27-2012, 04:46 PM   #3
audger
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: ., Connecticut
Posts: 1,497
Liked 40 Times on 40 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

probably not worth it for such small scale, but worth a mention... when you have a large open tank of hot water, you can reduce your evaporation rate and heat loss considerably by adding some plastic insulation balls to it. they form a blanket over the top of the liquid.

like:
http://www.eccllc.us/applications_advantages.php

__________________
audger is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-03-2012, 04:46 PM   #4
FensterBos
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Waltham, MA
Posts: 495
Liked 10 Times on 10 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

As you can see I haven't checked this in a while.
I've tried preheating the tun the last time I mashed; I heated up my strike water about 20 degrees hotter than what I would normally and added to the cooler. Once the temperature reduced to my target temperature then I added the grain to reach my target mash temperature. I still saw significant loss in temperature, though.
The lid is pretty hollow so I'll try using your foam insulation idea next.

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeltrego View Post
Are you preheating your tun before mashing in? If not, put several gallons of the hottest tap water in there while you are heating your strike water. Is your cooler lid insulated? If not, you can drill small holes and fill it with Great Stuff foam. I have a 50 quart square cooler, and I don't worry about the headspace, but by using those two techniques my mash stays within one degree for the whole mash.
__________________

Fermenting:
15 Gallons of New England Hard Cider - Four yeasts: Ale yeast, two cider yeasts, and a champagne yeast.

Kegged:
Helliday Ale and Chocolate Nitro Stout

FensterBos is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-03-2012, 04:55 PM   #5
TyTanium
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 3,949
Liked 549 Times on 387 Posts
Likes Given: 418

Default

Cover & wrap with a blanket. And I always bring my tun inside where there's no wind.
I lose maybe a degree or two over an hour.

__________________
TyTanium is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-03-2012, 05:08 PM   #6
ekjohns
Feedback Score: 3 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: St Louis, MO
Posts: 1,382
Liked 20 Times on 19 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

I have tried the great stuff on 2 separate lids and every time the foam just collapses and I don't get that nice thick foam in there. I am not sure if I am adding to much but I can never get it to work. Any advice on my 3rd attempt? What I have been doing so far is using some insulation board cut to rest on top of the liquid which gives me zero head space. The only problem with this is it has to be wrapped in saran wrap to keep it from directly contacting the mash.

__________________
ekjohns is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-03-2012, 05:15 PM   #7
TyTanium
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 3,949
Liked 549 Times on 387 Posts
Likes Given: 418

Default

Greatstuff needs air/moisture to activate & expand...if you're pushing into a small, relatively sealed space, it's not much different than staying in the can. Some guys have cut the top off their lid, filled with foam, cut it down, then put the lid back on.

But again, I just use a blanket. Don't overthink it or create more work for yourself, IMO.

__________________
TyTanium is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-27-2012, 03:19 AM   #8
royale
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 19
Default

ekjohns,

When you rest your pad on top of the mash, did you manage to cut your heat loss? I have a 5 gallon rubbermaid cooler tun and I am losing heat like crazy, 7-8 degrees in an hour. I even double wrapped the outside of the tun using Reflectix from HD but It's not helping much. The lid of the cooler got really hot and I know that they are hollow so it is the only culprit I can think of.

__________________
royale is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-27-2012, 03:29 AM   #9
kh54s10
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tiverton, Rhode Island
Posts: 6,707
Liked 608 Times on 515 Posts
Likes Given: 164

Default

I saw a thread where someone took sheets of Styrofoam and cut to the shape of the tun and covered them with tape or something then just filled the headspace with these. They float on the top of the mash.

__________________
kh54s10 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-27-2012, 03:32 AM   #10
kh54s10
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tiverton, Rhode Island
Posts: 6,707
Liked 608 Times on 515 Posts
Likes Given: 164

Default

For filling the lid of the tun with Great Stuff, you could drill some holes then squirt in a little foam as far out to the ends as possible, let that set, then add more and let it set. Go in small additions until the lid is filled.

__________________
kh54s10 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
Filling mash tun lid with insulation JonM Equipment/Sanitation 12 04-02-2011 02:05 AM
5g batches, 10g MLT Too much headspace? Brewing Clamper Equipment/Sanitation 8 10-19-2008 02:51 AM
MLT Headspace Brutus Brewer Equipment/Sanitation 1 09-15-2008 06:08 PM
filling conical oscareyes Equipment/Sanitation 4 09-28-2007 12:57 AM
Filling Co2 Cylinder voodoochild7 Equipment/Sanitation 9 06-20-2006 05:28 PM