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Old 11-23-2010, 08:08 PM   #1
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Default Is my Mash Tun ruined?

So I was doing my first all grain batch, which didn't go well but that is another story, and at the end day, consumed with frustration, I did something so completely stupid. I left the grain in the mash tun. For a long time.

When I opened it I almost lost it. It was something I had never smelled before. Like spoiled vegetables mixed with gasoline. I cleaned out the mash tun and then gave it a 24 hour bath in very hot water and OxyClean. That got rid of all the stains but the faint smell still lingers. I have it soaking again now, but I am starting to wonder if I should just throw in the towel and rebuild this thing. My fittings should still be fine.

What do you guys think? Its a coleman 72 quart, but not the extreme so I think it loses a lot of heat, but I don't have anything to compare it to. When I calibrated it with Beer Tools Pro, it lost 5 degrees after 5 minutes and 14 degrees after 65.

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Old 11-23-2010, 08:12 PM   #2
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If it were me, I'd do two or three more long soaks with Oxyclean before I threw in the towel.

Your description of the smell is quite vivid, by the way. I feel like I'm there, smelling it along with you!

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Old 11-23-2010, 08:21 PM   #3
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you are fine try PBW and starsan or if you want it to throw some beach in there and continue to soak a couple more times but all in all you should be fine

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Old 11-23-2010, 08:23 PM   #4
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Heck with the smell, I would start over if you're losing that much heat. That sounds really excessive for heat loss unless you're able to re-heat and maintain temp with a degree or two.

three or four degrees within a mash can make a big difference... never mind 14.

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Old 11-23-2010, 08:35 PM   #5
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Heck with the smell, I would start over if you're losing that much heat. That sounds really excessive for heat loss unless you're able to re-heat and maintain temp with a degree or two.

three or four degrees within a mash can make a big difference... never mind 14.
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Plus that cooler is way to big. Try to use a better fitting cooler. I got both a 10gl and a 15gl. If your cooler is too big for the amount of grain you'll lose more heat.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:40 PM   #6
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If it still stinks after a couple more soakings with oxy, fill it up with hot tap water and dump at least 1 but more likely 2 boxes of baking soda into it and seal it up for a couple days. Or you could try the fridge trick and just pierce the boxes and stick them dry into the cooler, seal it up and see if it pulls all the odors into the soda.

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Old 11-23-2010, 08:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by shamrockdoc View Post
you are fine try PBW and starsan or if you want it to throw some beach in there and continue to soak a couple more times but all in all you should be fine
Does it matter what beach he throws in? Being from Indiana he'll have to get some beach shipped in. Should it be from the East, west, or South?

Could he substitute artificial beach from something inland?
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:15 PM   #8
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Heck with the smell, I would start over if you're losing that much heat. That sounds really excessive for heat loss unless you're able to re-heat and maintain temp with a degree or two.

three or four degrees within a mash can make a big difference... never mind 14.
Yeah, I would totally toss it. But I am super sensitive about smells, and that's a smell that I could consistently convince myself through paranoia is always there to some degree (even if it's not). Then I would convince myself that I can smell it in my beers, and blame any off-flavors in my beers on that smell, completely missing the real cause - it's a vicious cycle to say the least!

I do the same thing with iodophor; I used it once to sanitize some bottles, and I swear I can still smell it on some of the bottles months later, even after sanitizing in starsan!

Just weird I guess!
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:16 PM   #9
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Does it matter what beach he throws in? Being from Indiana he'll have to get some beach shipped in. Should it be from the East, west, or South?

Could he substitute artificial beach from something inland?
There's always the dunes in northern Indiana!
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:23 PM   #10
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I've done this before too. The smell I got was more bubble gum/banana though. What I did was clean it out really well with hot water, and drain it to clean out the fittings. Then I just left it out in the sun with the lid off for a few days. It still has a little smell to it, but now it just smells like barley. I def wouldn't toss it.

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