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Old 03-08-2005, 04:26 AM   #1
hawktrap74
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Default mashing equipment

i dont have alot of money but good with the hands. i was wondering if i could make myself a mashing unit. what could i use. also i want to learn more about mashing, but i have gone endless places on the net and cant find anything to enlighten me about it. i would love to learn as much about it before jumping right in.ive done a few kits but its not what i want. i want beer that jumps out at me .

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Old 03-08-2005, 02:45 PM   #2
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All-grain will definitely improve the quality of your beer.

Personally, I'd get one of the homebrew books that teach all-grain and read that, but there's probably good stuff on the web.

In short, mashing is just holding water and grains at about 150 degrees for about an hour and then, without disturbing them at all, slowly rinsing them of the sugar they have created.

So, you need a vessel that can hold heat for a mash tun. A cooler is many people's first step. I like those big orange Gott coolers you see at job sites. They make a 10 gallon one that's nice to have for bigger/stronger batches.

You also need a way to pull the wort out of the bottom. Many people use a false bottom, which is just a perforated circle of stainless that the grain sits on and you draw liquid out from below it. I prefer to make a loop of tubing (copper, cpvc, etc), cut some holes in the bottom side of it and plumb that into the outlet of the mash tun. No matter what, you need a valve of some sort at the bottom of your tun. Those Gott coolers are easy to dismantle and refit the plastic valve with whatever you want.

There's a picture of my converted keg mash tun on here somewhere (a converted keg is much nicer than a cooler because it's stainless). It shows my cpvc manifold at the bottom too.

I make and have made all my brew gear for a long time. Let me know if you have any other questions. It's all real do-able once you know what you're shooting for. Cheers!

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Old 03-08-2005, 03:49 PM   #3
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I made my mash tun out of a 10 gal rubbermaid cooler, a length of stainles faucet supply hose (fittings cut off and hose pulled out) a 4 inch piece of 3/8" OD copper tubing, a clamp, a rubber stopper (the right size for the hole where the cooler's tap was), a plastic inline valve and a few feet of 3/8" ID food grade tubing. Pretty simple and cheap, the most expenseive item was getting the cooler, and if you can find a used one, even that should be cheap. Basic assembly: SS hose screen clamped to the copper pipe and crimped on the other end, pipe through stopper, stopper in hole, tubing and valve on outside end of pipe, voila! Worked like a charm, even was able to draw off wort after the grain bed had packed down onto the filter (I've heard this can be a problem for false bottom or other designs).

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Old 03-09-2005, 03:20 AM   #4
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I would definitly go stainless on the mash tun. You should be able to pick up a used half barrel for not much money. I like the stainless because you can add heat directly. You will probaly have difficulty on your first several batches with hitting your target mash temp. Cooling it is pretty easy with cold/ice water. Adding heat is more difficult/time consuming. It's a lot easier if you can just turn the burner on low and stir till you're there. I've done 100's of batches and occasionally still have to adjust. I suppose it just depends on how much homebrew you're enjoying while you're brewing.
However you do it, all grain is the way to go.

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Old 03-09-2005, 04:50 AM   #5
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Default mashing equipment

well cool guys i think i might have the equip down but i need to read up on the whole process of mashing, i need something i can revert back to if i have problems, can anyone lead to a place if not web or a book that i can buy. i just comprehend the process everybody keeps talking about unless iread it myself. and thanks for the help fellas

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Old 03-09-2005, 04:47 PM   #6
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Here ya go:

http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/index.html

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Old 03-09-2005, 07:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawktrap74
well cool guys i think i might have the equip down but i need to read up on the whole process of mashing, i need something i can revert back to if i have problems, can anyone lead to a place if not web or a book that i can buy. i just comprehend the process everybody keeps talking about unless iread it myself. and thanks for the help fellas
hey, try http://cruisenews.net/brewing/index.php
he has pic's that go along with each step of his brewing. plus he has a good index of links to get info. he has pics and parts of the cooler mash/lauter tun that d-brewmeister was talking about too.

Cheers!
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Old 03-11-2005, 06:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeRoux's Broux
hey, try http://cruisenews.net/brewing/index.php
he has pic's that go along with each step of his brewing. plus he has a good index of links to get info. he has pics and parts of the cooler mash/lauter tun that d-brewmeister was talking about too.

Cheers!
DeRoux's Broux
thanks deroux very helpful in seeing the set-up. one more question if i used a bucket instead of one of those gott coolers would it be a problem. i mean all i see that would change would be at keeping the water up to temp[/QUOTE]
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Old 03-11-2005, 02:30 PM   #9
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Yeah, but holding the water at the proper temp is important to mashing. Something insulated will definitely make your life easier, especially if you're only doing 5 gallon batches.

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Old 03-11-2005, 03:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawktrap74
thanks deroux very helpful in seeing the set-up. one more question if i used a bucket instead of one of those gott coolers would it be a problem. i mean all i see that would change would be at keeping the water up to temp
[/QUOTE]

Janx is right. You can use a bucket, but you'll lose alot of heat. I think I spent a tota lof $29 on my mash/lauter tank cooler converson. The Rubbermaid cooler was the most expensive part ($18 @ Wal-Mart). Works like a charm too. My temps were dead-on through the mash and sparge.
Take the jump! The water's fine

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