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Old 11-12-2012, 10:56 PM   #1
BudzAndSudz
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Default Is my Mash-Tun TOO big?

Hey all,

so I've come across the option to have a 25 gallon mash tun in my single-tier electric stand for the same price as a 20 gallon mash tun. I usually do 10 or 15 gallon batches, since my BK is 25 gallons and my HLT is 20, just so you know. My debate here is whether or not there's a drawback to your MLT being TOO big. I'd still like to do 5 gallon batches occasionally just for testing purposes on a new recipe, or weird brews I'm not sure I'll like.... will a 25 gallon MLT spread the grain bed too thin, to the point where I get poor lautering efficiency?




That one in the middle there. It's supposed to be 20 but it's only 18. Trade in for a bigger one? Or keep that hoser?

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Old 11-13-2012, 12:28 AM   #2
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Hey all,

so I've come across the option to have a 25 gallon mash tun in my single-tier electric stand for the same price as a 20 gallon mash tun. I usually do 10 or 15 gallon batches, since my BK is 25 gallons and my HLT is 20, just so you know. My debate here is whether or not there's a drawback to your MLT being TOO big. I'd still like to do 5 gallon batches occasionally just for testing purposes on a new recipe, or weird brews I'm not sure I'll like.... will a 25 gallon MLT spread the grain bed too thin, to the point where I get poor lautering efficiency?




That one in the middle there. It's supposed to be 20 but it's only 18. Trade in for a bigger one? Or keep that hoser?
Maybe you could scale down your test batches to less than 5 gal, say one or two, and just do them stovetop style in a regular pot?
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:44 AM   #3
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I read somewhere that short & fat was actually better for luatering. the problem would be keeping the temp right I think

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Old 11-13-2012, 12:51 AM   #4
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I had considered that, but the temperature regulation ability I have with my brewing controller is really nice, and I feel it would sort of negate the purpose of a test batch to mash it with almost no temperature control on my stove top. Any results I found, positive or negative, would be negated by the lack of repeatability.

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Old 11-13-2012, 12:52 AM   #5
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I read somewhere that short & fat was actually better for luatering. the problem would be keeping the temp right I think
How so? It's a HERMS system, so I would assume it would be regulated just as well as usual, but I'm definitely open to thoughts on problem shooting.
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:03 AM   #6
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How so? It's a HERMS system, so I would assume it would be regulated just as well as usual, but I'm definitely open to thoughts on problem shooting.
I'm guessing the how so is related to the temp issue? I missed that it is HERMS and so the temp issue isn't really an issue then. What is your wort return like, can you get it so it doesn't "drop" from high up in the MLT.
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:21 AM   #7
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It was about the temp control, but I'm down to discuss how it's better with a short grain column as well. Never say no to learning!

I have a fully adjustable sparge arm (Which I ordered from Brew Hardware and it's AWESOME, for the record) so I can get it to not be falling from too high, but then it'll be coming in basically vertical so it might make a "divot" in the grain bed....

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Old 11-13-2012, 09:34 PM   #8
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I've got a 25g cooler mash tun and the only couple times I've done a 5g batch on it I had trouble with temp loss, not efficiency loss. I think "bigger is better" is the general rule, and I don't think this case is an exception.

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Old 11-13-2012, 10:36 PM   #9
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I've got a 25g cooler mash tun and the only couple times I've done a 5g batch on it I had trouble with temp loss, not efficiency loss. I think "bigger is better" is the general rule, and I don't think this case is an exception.
But were you using a rims or herms type setup or just filling the MLT with strike water and leaving it for an hour.
The temp drop issue is due to the heat loss to the space above the mash, with a full mash tun it is like having a blacket wrapped all around you. With a very empty mash tun it is like holding a blacket against you back but having the front open, you are not going to stay warm like that unless you have a heater placed infront of you
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:10 PM   #10
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So how is the huge mash tun better?

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