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Old 03-02-2012, 11:47 PM   #1
thisgoestoeleven
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Default bucket as mash tun?

I've heard of this being done before, but I'm curious to know if there are any modifications that need to be done. I'm assuming a large grain bag will work in lieu of a false bottom, but how do I go about insulating the bucket while mashing? Also, how does sparging work with this method? Any help would be appreciated. I'd love to start doing all-grain, but space is at a bit of a premium at my apartment. This would be a good way to get into all grain without the investment in buying and modifying a cooler that I don't have the space or money for.

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Old 03-02-2012, 11:55 PM   #2
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Yup, it's been done before. Google Papazian zapap. (yes, seriously...zapap)

http://brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue6.5/depiro.html

It's an old methodology, but it would work.

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Old 03-03-2012, 12:00 AM   #3
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Is there a way to do it without drilling holes in one of my buckets? I'm thinking about wrapping it in packing insulation or reflective foil. Would that work?

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Old 03-03-2012, 12:04 AM   #4
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Well you need to strain the grain from the wort somehow. That's what the holes are for in the zapap system. You could also do a variant of BIAB where you stick a bag in a bucket and mash there. Or, if you've got a spigot, I suppose you could also do a stainless braid, manifold, or false bottom in the bucket, too.

You would definitely need some kind of insulation, I'd think. Even a sleeping bag or similar ought to work fairly well, I'd think. Also, you'd want to preheat your bucket or put your strike water in there a bit hot to warm it up to mash temps first.

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Old 03-03-2012, 11:59 AM   #5
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I use an old 5G bottling bucket w/ spigot as a mash tun for now and have been for quite a while.

Mine has the old Phil's Phalse bottom (not even sure they are available anymore) and I wrap it in a quilt. It holds temp for even 90 minute mashes within a degree or so. As for sparging, sometimes I use a sparge arm, other times just fill and stir. Both work equally well and keep me in the 73%-75% range. It's simple, ghetto and it works.

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Old 03-03-2012, 03:52 PM   #6
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You definitely could use that bucket with "brew in a bag" system or if your boiling pot is big enough you can mash right in there. I merely wrap a thick bath towel around my aluminum pot after mashing in and never have to move it from the heat source, just turn it off. It only loses 2 or 3 degrees over the course of an hour and since most of the conversion should be done in 20 minutes, I don't care if it does lose a little.

Here is a great thread on doing the "brew in a bag" or BIAB as it gets abbreviated. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/biab-brewing-pics-233289/

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