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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Brew Stands > Immersion tank as a BIAB
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:59 AM   #1
Yettiman
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Default Immersion tank as a BIAB

Hi,

Could I use an immersion tank for BIAB.

I would have to cut the top off, and REALLY clean it, and reposition the element,.

But it is big enough, watertight, has a built in wort chiller, and it already insulated.

But it is copper, is this an issue?

Have any done this, or is it a stupid idea?

Thoughts?

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Old 03-18-2013, 05:54 AM   #2
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I'm just trying to figure out what an immersion tank is. It is late for me and I'm sure it will make perfect sense once I can grasp the immersion tank idea

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Old 03-18-2013, 06:09 AM   #3
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I guess this is some sort of water heater, I know nothing about English water heaters so I can't comment on any impurities or anything of that sort, however, a copper pot is fine, very thermally conductive and I remember reading somewhere that it causes more pronounced Mailliard reactions during the boil. Do make sure to keep it clean, you don't really want verdigris in your beer. I know the guys on Brew Strong have promoted having at least some copper in your boil just as a source of nutrients for the yeast too.

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Old 03-18-2013, 03:03 PM   #4
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Hi,

An immersion tank is a large insulated waster tank used to store hot water for the house.

Normally it has both a heater element built in, and a built in coil

It is a sealed unit, the element heats up the water in the tank, and the houses hot water supply runs through the coil and is heated up by the tank water. Opposite to an immersion Wort chiller.

But at its most basic, it is a very large 10+ gallons insulated cooper tank

I want to use it for BIAB , and thought as kitchens have copper boilers, it would be ok, if I kept it clean

Thank you

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Old 03-18-2013, 03:43 PM   #5
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Copper is fine in a boiler. I've done what you are talking about and it's quite a lot of work.

Sounds like you are looking at an indirect cylinder. The element will be in the top and it's difficult to unscrew. You need a special wrench and it's easiest to do with the tank still in place or half full with water. Next cut the top off the cylinder and clean out the scale. I took out the indirect heating coil to make a CFC. If you leave the coil in place as an immersion chiller it might get in the way of your brew bag. If you intend to relocate the element in the bottom of the cylinder you will need to remove the insulation, make a hole, and solder on an element flange. You will probably also need to bend the 27" element double to fit it in the width of the cylinder. This is only possible with soft copper elements. Anneal the copper before bending it and careful how you go. You might want to wrap the red fibre washer in PTFE tape. Think about replacing the element cable with thick new butyl flex. When you've finished take any left over bits of copper down the scrappy and get a few quid back.

One last thing to think about, the cylinder will have a sizable deadspace at the bottom so there is a minimum size brew you can attempt. The element is only 3 kW so heat up times might be quite long.

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Old 03-19-2013, 06:20 PM   #6
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Default Thank you Alien

Much appreciate the info.

Need to turn 'the shed' into a 'brewery' then I can get started.

Thank you again

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