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Old 09-28-2007, 05:27 AM   #1
NateKerx
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Default Makeshift mini-mash tun ok for AG?

So today I finally made use of the 38 quart igloo wheelie that came with my girlfriends apartment. I had purchased a 3/8" ball valve and a braided SS cable and assorted hardware with the intention of buying a cooler of some sort for an AG system. I ended up finding this cooler in her backyard and after bleaching it senseless, decided it was at least worth using for mini mash.

Question is, has anybody used this cooler as a MT? it seems a little thin but i was thinking with preheating it might hold a temp ok? Worst case scenario this cooler goes back to the oblivion from whence it came.

Assuming this MT is ok all i need is a ball valve for my keggle and then you people will have some serious newbie AG questions on your hands.

Its not much to look at, but I'll post pics tomorrow for the hell of it.

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Old 09-28-2007, 05:42 AM   #2
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Wondering how it turns out.

I'm caught somewhere between "ready" and "confused" when it comes to AG brewing.
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Old 09-28-2007, 06:11 AM   #3
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oh dont worry Kevin i'm right there with you. Get your haphazard and probably amazingly inefficient AG rig together and lets get to the bottom of this!

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Old 09-28-2007, 09:15 AM   #4
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I am moving to AG soon as well, but I have an approach that is really helping to ease the stress.

I have brewed a number of partial mash beers, and am treating my move to AG as simply a 'bigger' partial mash.

I plan to have some extract on hand for the first number of brews, and will do a gravity reading of my AG wort. After some simple calculations I will know whether I need to add any extract to hit my target gravity.

This is the same approach I use to my partial mash brews, so moving to AG is not really a change at all.

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Old 09-28-2007, 12:17 PM   #5
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I would say to preheat the cooler with some hot water, dump it out and then add 2 gallons of 155 degree water. Check it every 15 minutes and see if it holds heat. If it does, you've got the makings of an MLT!

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Old 09-28-2007, 03:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper Chick
I would say to preheat the cooler with some hot water, dump it out and then add 2 gallons of 155 degree water. Check it every 15 minutes and see if it holds heat. If it does, you've got the makings of an MLT!
+1 on this advice. And to add to it, even if you lose a few degrees over an hour, that isn't ideal but it will still work fine. Just try it before you go to the work of installing the ball valve, bulkhead and braid, just in case. Oh, that is also a nice size of cooler for 5 gal batches.

Anyways, I bet it works perfectly well. Definitely worth a quick water temp test to see.
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Old 09-28-2007, 04:00 PM   #7
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Just to offer an alternative to preheat and dump: I always infuse my target volume at a higher temp, like 175. I close the lid and wait 10 minutes (while I mill my grain or whatever). The temp drops down to my calculated infusion temp and I'm good to go. No water or energy wasted. You can try the same with say 165F and let it sit for 10 minutes. Note the temp, then close it back up for another 60 minutes, note the new temp.

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Old 09-28-2007, 05:30 PM   #8
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yeah I saw that you preheat in your AG vid (very well done by the way) and that seems like a great way to heat the thing up. I'm going to do the two mini mashes I have lined up and the end of October will hopefully see me taking a crack at AG.

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Old 09-29-2007, 11:08 PM   #9
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I both preheat and use a water temp higher than what I want. Just cover the bottom to the top of your lautering grid. My grid is 3/8" which I've real narrow slits. I pour in boiling water than drain to get the air bubbles out and then cover with rice hulls. put your grain in and infuse with water about 10 to 15 higher than you want. If you temps fall you can add water to adjust. I have found if you start wanting to mash at 155 and hit 160 intially it over 90 minutes might drop to 150 before you get conversion. I make dark ales of fair strength and they have been
good. However, don't get hung up on poor effiency. If you wanted 1090 and hit 1080, Next time add more grain. After all the next way is a $200 SS Pot.

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