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Old 08-26-2010, 10:04 PM   #1
Crazyfists
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Default Trying to find the most efficient mash tun

I'm looking to start an all grain beer and need to make a mash tun. I have looked up a lot of different ways and types to make one and I wanted to see what was the most effective. Should I use a round or rectangular cooler? Use a false bottom or use the copper tubing with slits? Or both? What the best size cooler for brewing 5 gallons at a time. Any tips would be greatly apprreciated. Also I probably missed a few things so any comments and tips you used while making your mash tun would be greatly appreciated.



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Old 08-26-2010, 10:38 PM   #2
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Most brewers will probably tell you that the most efficient mash tun design is the one they have. I can tell you that I've taken mine through a couple upgrades to get dramatic efficiency boosts. I have a 10 gallon cylindrical rubbermaid and would not want anything less, in terms of volume, for my mash tun. As for the lautering, I like the CPVC manifold design I built. There are pics of it in my gallery (link to the left of the post under my name). I used to use a braided hose, but had inconsistent efficiency due to dead space left over. The manifold solved that problem. The manifold also allowed me to fly sparge. What I like about fly sparging is how consistent I can be. I can dial my efficiency within a couple percentage points of my target based on my lautering flow rate (1qt/minute gets me 77-79% every time). I could go higher with a slower flow rate, but I don't want to extract tannins and besides, consistency is much more important than really high efficiency numbers.



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Old 08-26-2010, 10:38 PM   #3
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10 gallon round beverage cooler with false bottom. Way better than rectangle with manifold.

I actually use the Papazian Zapap and love it. Probably won't change. Most people complain about that system because they think drilling the holes is a pain.

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Old 08-26-2010, 10:41 PM   #4
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You will not find a consensus on this.

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Old 08-26-2010, 10:41 PM   #5
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I think most people just go ghetto and build whatever is cheapest. You might find coolers of all sorts on clearance this time of year. After labor day, for sure.

I had a coleman extreme cooler laying around along with some CPVC left over from a project and used those. I drilled holes through the pipe to make a manifold and this setup works great. I ran down to Menards and picked up the specified brass fittings and the rest is history.

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Old 08-26-2010, 10:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arturo7 View Post
You will not find a consensus on this.
This is the truth.

I would keep it cheap (in case you don't like your particular setup), and do at least 10 gallons. The urge to do a big beer or 10 gallons will arise some day.

Also right on to the guy mentioning consistency over efficiency.
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:59 PM   #7
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Dead space is a big consideration for efficiency. An inverted sanke keg with a false bottom and insulation added is, in my mind, the best bang for the buck, and can also be used for huge beers and 10 gallon batches.

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Old 08-26-2010, 11:02 PM   #8
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my efficiency is 82% consistently using a sankey keg with insulation......and the ability to heat the mash to change temps is very important IMHO

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Old 08-26-2010, 11:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonK331 View Post
10 gallon round beverage cooler with false bottom. Way better than rectangle with manifold.
Your momma.


signed my rectangular mash tun.
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwest450 View Post
Your momma.


signed my rectangular mash tun.
So what about channeling and the fact that rectangular/square mash tuns simply do not exist in the professional brewing world?

ZAPAP!


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