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Old 08-22-2013, 03:45 PM   #1
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Default Advice needed on building a Mash Tun

Hey guys, I need some advice on building a Mash Tun. I have watched a bunch of videos on youtube on building mash tuns. Would love to get your input on what style you suggest. I have seen both water cooler styles as well as the rectangle style coolers used. Which do you find works best or is there no real difference?

If going the water cooler way, which is better, a braided intake or a false bottom?

What size is recommended for 5 gallon batches?

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Old 08-22-2013, 03:58 PM   #2
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Well. First you take a Tun, then you mash the living daylights out of it...

Sorry. I am a little sleep deprived today. Both have their merits. I use a bazooka screen. They are stiffer than many of the braided hoses which can collapse under the weight of the mash. As for problems, they do get stuck sparges. False bottoms are great too, but at times can be annoying in that they can at times lift off the bottom or not form a great seal and as a result let grain through. You can use a 5 Gal drink cooler, though I got a 10 gallon and do not regret it as it compensates for higher gravity brews and I have made a 10 gallon batch on accident because I didnt realize I bought for it thinking it was a recipe for 5 gallons. You can also use a square cooler with braid/bazooka/manifold to great effect as well.

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Old 08-22-2013, 04:30 PM   #3
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5 gallon cooler is tight for 5 gallon batches, but I've made it work to great success. I have a braid and I also use a BIAB bag. Effectively a whole tun false bottom. Works everytime.

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Old 08-22-2013, 05:08 PM   #4
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I went with a rectangular cooler because I had one laying around, so the price was right. I then built a manifold out of cpvc pipe. It works well and has a 13 gallon capacity, which is nice.

When I priced things out it seemed like rectangular coolers are cheaper than round water coolers, so that may be a potential reason for going that route.

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Old 08-22-2013, 05:28 PM   #5
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I went with the 15gal stainless steel sankey keg with false bottom for a mash tun as i am not partial to what happens when you mix 150 degree mash with plastic for an hour. Wrapped in a green military foam mat, it only loses 1 degree per hour and allows for 5 or 10 gal batches.

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Old 08-22-2013, 05:53 PM   #6
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Whatever you do, go bigger than 5 gallons! Even with low-to-medium-gravity batches that the mash volume calculators tell you will fit in five gallons with almost a gallon to spare, you'll appreciate having much more than a gallon spare space when you miss your temps by a few degrees and have to add water, or when you get to a "stir vigorously" step.

If you're DIY'ing, SS braid is easier and cheaper than false bottom (or manifold), and unless you're fly-sparging, you don't need to worry about channelling and what-not. I'd say, spend the $7 on the SS braid for now, keep it simple with batch sparging, and when and if you decide to upgrade your process, you'll have gotten your $7 worth outta that braid.

On a similar note, if you get a cooler, get one with a spigot -- you can unscrew the spigot by hand, leaving a perfect-sized hole for DIY or LHBS-bought 1/2" ID fittings.

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Old 08-22-2013, 08:22 PM   #7
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If I went the rectangle cooler way, which one would you recommend?

1) Coleman 48 Quart Chest Cooler for $24.99
http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/pr...0#BVRRWidgetID

2) Coleman 36 Qt. Extreme 5 Cooler for $39.99
http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/pr...121805&ppp=150

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Old 08-22-2013, 08:35 PM   #8
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You asked about a braid and a false bottom, but what about a Cpvc manifold? I had a 5gal cooler with a braid and didn't care for the capacity or the braid. Made a fun out of an ice cube cooler with a Cpvc manifold and it worked much better. Of I hadn't moved to a keg with a false bottom I may have covered the manifold with the a ss braid.

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Old 08-22-2013, 09:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dolomieu View Post
You asked about a braid and a false bottom, but what about a Cpvc manifold? I had a 5gal cooler with a braid and didn't care for the capacity or the braid. Made a fun out of an ice cube cooler with a Cpvc manifold and it worked much better. Of I hadn't moved to a keg with a false bottom I may have covered the manifold with the a ss braid.
Can you post more info on a Cpvc manifold?
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:30 PM   #10
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/how-...-needs-123585/
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