Horizontal vs. Vertical MLT. . .Pro's & Con's???
I am getting ready to step up to all grain brewing and I'm planning my brewing system out now. I have 3 15.5 gallon sanke kegs that I plan on converting, but I was curious as to whether there was any advantage of using a vertical vs. a horizontal mash tun (or vise versa).
Being new to all grain I don't have the experience to draw from to see any potential drawback to using a horizontal MLT other than it would require my brew stand to be longer. . .the flip side of that coin would be lower height making it easier to fill and empy the MLT and it could potentially make a pivoting MLT for emptying the spent grain much easier as well.
I could see a potential loss in useable volume if I ran the keg horizontally vs. vertically and insulating it would be slightly more work, but it also might look pretty cool if done correctly (I'm thinking along the steam punk lines here).
I'm not afraid of fab work so that's not an issue. . .I went to school for welding, have my own MIG & TIG welders and I'm a tool & die maker by day so I have access to lathes and mills as well so fabrication is not going to be a problem for me.
Thanks for any tips and advice!
I am assuming that, by Horizontal, you would be laying your keg on its side and would have some legs to keep it from rolling. The big disadvantage that I see is that your grain bed would not be a uniform depth. This might not be a problem if you batch sparge, but it would be a huge problem if you fly sparge, because the curvature of the mash tun would cause the sparge water to channel through the grain bed, which is what you want to avoid.
If I were to use a keg for a mash tun, I would use it in a vertical position only.
This is my two-cents worth. Mark
As far as efficiency there is no difference in the homebrew scale, the rest is your own preference.
I have a 1BBL mash tun that is vertical, I need a step stool to mash in but when it's time to dump I just grab it and tip it into a trash can. I couldn't do that if it was horizontal.
Thanks guys. . .
. . .good point LuiInIdaho; I had not thought of that and probably wouldn't have though of it until someone else pointed it out and I felt like a dumy.
Greatly appreciated. . .looks like I will stick with vertical.
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