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Old 04-04-2011, 01:25 PM   #1
rhoop
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Default Mashtun design

Hey, I've been doing all grain batches for a while, and have a nice big cooler for my mash, but I have yet to put a drain system in, I just use the built in drain on the end. This doesn't result in the best efficiency, and I'm sure I'm throwing out tons of good stuff because it doesn't drain properly. I've read up a lot on a bunch of different ways to drain it, and I'm leaning toward putting a network of slotted PVC into the bottom so I can take it apart to clean and store, but I have one nagging question I can't find the answer to. If I have a bunch of slotted PVC in the bottom, even if the slots are on the bottom of the mashtun, it seems to me that a bunch of liquid still won't be able to drain. Am I right about this? Is it alright? Is there a way to remedy it if it's not?

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Old 04-04-2011, 01:28 PM   #2
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Yeah, couple of extra holes on the bottom of the end closer to the spigot. When your almost done draining, employ a phonebook or 2 at the other end.

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Old 04-04-2011, 01:34 PM   #3
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I just account for the water loss in the mash tun when calculating how much water I need to hit my targets. Same thing for the brew kettle. Overall, I lose about .6 gallons due to deadspace in my system that I can't drain during the brewing process.

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Old 04-04-2011, 01:36 PM   #4
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You are right. However it is perfectly acceptable to tip the mash tun to get more of the liquid out of the dead space.

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Old 04-04-2011, 01:39 PM   #5
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That's dead space in the mlt. I have bottom slotted CPVC and leave about a quart. I compensate in the BeerSmith calculations.

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Old 04-04-2011, 01:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o4_srt View Post
I just account for the water loss in the mash tun when calculating how much water I need to hit my targets. Same thing for the brew kettle. Overall, I lose about .6 gallons due to deadspace in my system that I can't drain during the brewing process.
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You are right. However it is perfectly acceptable to tip the mash tun to get more of the liquid out of the dead space.
+1 to all the above. When you are doing your calculations, you should account for the "dead space" in the mash tun. An easy way to do this would be to fill it with water, then tip it while draining. Whatever is left over should be accounted for as the "dead space".

Additionally, whether you go SS braid or PVC/copper manifold, you will need to test your end design as described above to figure out the dead space.

As an example, using an SS braid and tipping my Coleman cooler during the mash/sparges, I only leave 2.5 cups behind. So I know that I need to include an extra 2.5 cups in my strike water amount to account for this dead space.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:08 PM   #7
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If you have a manifold at the bottom and employ a fly sparge technique, it wont matter how much is left over. Just sparge until you have your boil volume...

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Old 04-04-2011, 11:17 PM   #8
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Perfect, thanks a ton!

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