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-   -   First Mash Tun Batch, NEED HELP... (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/first-mash-tun-batch-need-help-6228/)

RLinNH 02-20-2006 12:27 AM

First Mash Tun Batch, NEED HELP...
I have been an avid Extract Homebrewer for over 15 years, and am now getting ready to make the step to an All Grain Batch. I figured I would start off slowly though and do a Partial Grain Batch first. So I found an alomost new 48 qt. Cooler in the basement(One of the rectangular Colman ones), and I want to convert it into a Mash tun. But, I have a few questions first.

I have found this link URL="http://learntobrew.samsbiz.com/tab0/store/item/yzah/Brewing_Equipment/Picnic_Cooler/Mash_Tun_Conversion_Kit.html"]http://learntobrew.samsbiz.com/tab0/store/item/yzah/Brewing_Equipment/Picnic_Cooler/Mash_Tun_Conversion_Kit.html[/URL]
That will be my first mash tun. My question is, how important is it to keep the temperature at a constant whatever??? I will be boiling it anyhow, so why does the wort need to be at a certain temperature?:drunk:

Baron von BeeGee 02-20-2006 12:29 AM

The wort needs to be at a certain temperature so that the enzymes the operate at those temperatures can convert the starch of the grain into sugars...otherwise there will be no food for your yeast to convert into alcohol.

Also, you sig is a bit large...I actually have to scroll for half the page just to read the message side-to-side...

RLinNH 02-20-2006 12:33 AM

I'll take care of the Sig. Thanks for the reply. :rockin:

RLinNH 02-20-2006 12:35 AM

Still to big. DAG NABBIT!!!

Janx 02-20-2006 01:04 AM

Holding the temperature is pretty important, but if you can hold it within 5 or 10 degrees of 150 for at least half an hour, you'll do OK. A cooler works fine. The mash and starch to sugar conversion practically happens automatically with modern 2-row malt.

The more neglected part is setting yourself up with a good way to sparge. You need to be able to flow hot water gently onto the top of the mash and trickle the flow out the bottom of the mash tun. You really won't be happy with the results if you try to shortchange the sparge by, say, heating water in a pot and then scooping it onto the top of the mash with a saucepan. It'll stir everything up too much. Slow, gentle and nice and hot are the key elements of sparging.

Good luck! Cheers :D

RLinNH 02-20-2006 01:20 AM

My idea was to heat the Mash in my Boil Pan, then once all my mashing is done, pour everyting into my Mash Tun/Cooler. Sparge back into my Boil Pain, then go from there.

Is this not how most All Grain Brewers get started? Or should I just forgo all that and keep brewing with my extract recipes and wait until my All Grain System is built and go from there?

Janx 02-20-2006 01:30 AM

No, you want to mash in your cooler by heating water in your kettle and dumping it in with the grain into the cooler. (so eg, you heat water to 170F, add it to grain and it all ends up about 150F) That's infusion mashing. Applying heat directly to the grain is much more problematic.

Then you sparge into your kettle from the cooler. No problem there. So you can do it with the two vessels, but you want to leave the mash in the cooler from the get-go, do infusion mashes, and not disturb the grain bed.

Cheers :D

Janx 02-20-2006 01:31 AM

But that still doesn't address sparging...

You should get another cooler to use as a hot liquor tank and a Phil's Sparge arm...then you're set.

RLinNH 02-20-2006 01:37 AM

:confused: :confused: Now you guys are really confusing me. So, Just keep up with the extract brewing until my All Grain System is complete then.

RLinNH 02-20-2006 01:38 AM

...besause if I am going to have to get a Hot Liquer Tank, then I might as well go from scratch and build it right with 3 empty Kegs, a pump, Thermometers, and copper tubing.

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