I've got a 20g system that isn't really a 20g system. I have the standard rubbermaid 10g cooler mash tun setup. Aye, she's done a fine job, but it's time for a bigger mash tun, and to bring up the efficiency! The rubbermaid workhorse averaged between 68-75%, which I thought was pretty good. I've been teaching myself to weld, solder, and design systems using google sketchup (love it)...and want a superior product. Something that you would want in your own home...because if I enjoy the fabrication aspects, I'll probably start making and selling the mash tuns and probably fermenters too.
So here's the deal. I want every cool feature you guys can think of that will help make a mash tun easier to use, more efficient, easy to clean, more consistent, and all round awesome. I want Sam Calagione to look at my mash tun and drool.
So we're looking at a 20g size (or bigger). I'm working on the electric brewery control panel now, so if it has any electric components, we can incorporate that into the control panel.
Some ideas for the design:
1) 15 degree sloped bottom. After visiting a brewery, I noticed their mash tun had a conical bottom. Not to the extent of a ferm tank at 45 or 60 degrees, but sloped towards the bottom at about 15 degrees. They claim that this created a suction like pull on the grain bed as the wort was pulled off an increased efficiency.
2) Port hole - this thing will probably be heavy, so we'll have to include a custom port hole - which should also make the clean out easier.
3) Multiple sparging methods - I want to be able to fly, batch, etc.
4) Rims or Herms, Herms or Rims? I'm open to suggestions. Whatever it is, it will be automatic and programmable.
5) Integrated Mash paddle & water wheel combo that spins - ok, so this is probably for more of the bling factor than anything else, but think it could help some with the efficiency. That means a big beefy motor with a lot of torque to move those grains for thicker mashes.
6) Full stainless....stainless eerrrrrthannnngggg!
What else would you guys add to your dream tun?