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Old 08-19-2009, 05:59 PM   #1
Dionysos911
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Default Mash Tun Cooler or 2nd Pot for mashing?

So I am about to make the jump into partial mashing/AG having been inspired by DB's thread on easy stove partial mash.

So my dilemma.. I am pretty much restricted to brewing in a fairly small kitchen in my apartment. I currently have a 24qt aluminum stock pot that I have been using. I plan to continue using that for sparging and boiling. What I am wondering is if I should get a 12qt or so stock pot for stovetop mashing or get a cooler of some sort. Looking for something easy to use/clean/store that will still be effective and help me move into more advanced brewing.

I plan to stick to brewing in a bag for a while and hope that one day I'll have a deck or someplace I can use a turkey fryer..

Thanks

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Old 08-19-2009, 07:38 PM   #2
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A 12qt pot isn't very much to work with, plus a cooler has other uses. I've got a 48 qt IceCube, which can easily hold all of the small stuff I have for brewing for storage.

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Old 08-19-2009, 07:49 PM   #3
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coolers hold temp and you can pack them with ice and beer.

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Old 08-20-2009, 08:33 AM   #4
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I have a 34 qt graniteware pot that I boil in, and a 12qt graniteware pot (that i inherited from someone selling off all of their brewing equipment on CL). I have used the 12qt now for partial mashing twice. It seems to have worked well. Definately a step up from steeping crystal grains.. I am just using a simple single temp infusion. I bring one quart per pound of grain up to 170 then add the grain. This drops the temp to 150-155 which I then maintain for an hour by just adding heatr slowly and cutting it when it gets to temp. (FYI cut the heat a few degrees below your goal, ie 150-155. The temp will continue to climb up to 5 degrees when you kill the heat.) I would use a grain bag unless you engineer some grand way to strain and sparge. with the grain bag, once it is done, I lift it out with a spoon and slowly run between a gallon or two of 170 degree water over the bag until it runs mostly clear. The whole process is pretty easy and at the end of an hour your liquid looks like extract syrup. that is how you can be relatively assured that it worked. cheers

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Old 08-20-2009, 08:34 AM   #5
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p.s. The max for my 12qt pot seems to be about 8lbs of milled grains

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Old 08-20-2009, 12:01 PM   #6
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Default Build a mash nest.

I used to do partial mashing in a 12 qt SS pot with a glass lid. After heating the water I would fold a towel and put it on the floor. Set the pot of hot water on the towel. Put in the grains and stir, check temp. Wrap a blanket around the pot kind of like a big nest. Fold another thick towel and put on top of the pot with the lid on it. This worked really well and would hold the mash temp within a couple of degrees in an hour(as long as you don't keep opening it to look).




PS. I did use a grain bag for this as well similar to deathbrewers BIAB. Works really well. Just make sure you are really strong or have something to help you hold the bag there for a bit to let it drain a bit after mashing.

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Old 08-20-2009, 01:46 PM   #7
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there's an idea.. i don't insulate mine. usually over the course of an hour I only have to turn on the burner two or three times.

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Old 08-20-2009, 02:08 PM   #8
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The only issue with cycled reheating in non insulated tuns is that you lower your repeatability. I'm a big fan of coolers for that reason.

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Old 08-20-2009, 02:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
The only issue with cycled reheating in non insulated tuns is that you lower your repeatability. I'm a big fan of coolers for that reason.
I've only been doing partial for a relatively short time now... what do you mean by repeatability?
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhatchable View Post
I've only been doing partial for a relatively short time now... what do you mean by repeatability?
If you really like the beer and want to repeat it, you'll be less likely to do so with more variables. A large variable in this case is your mash tun having to be heated once or twice during the mashing. The benefit of the cooler is that, once you get your strike temperature accurate, you can repeat that same mash over and over. This standardizes one of the most important variables (mashing).
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