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Old 04-03-2013, 11:16 PM   #1
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Default mash tun - what is it?

hi all! new to the hobby and still buying equipment.. ive seen a few things that mention a 'mash tun'.. what is it and where does it come into the equation?

thanks!

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Old 04-03-2013, 11:37 PM   #2
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It is what you use for all grain brewing. You use it to "mash" the grain, which is a fancy word for steeping grains in a specific volume of water, at a specific temperature, for a specific length of time.

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Old 04-03-2013, 11:40 PM   #3
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The mash tun is the vessel in which you conduct your mash, i.e., grains and 150ish degree water to convert the starches into fermentable sugar water. You then drain the mash tun (called "sparging") and add water from your hot liquor tank (through the drained/draining mash tun) to get the last bit of sugar and get up to your boil volume.

For many beginning all grain brewers their mash tun is a cooler. Holds the temperature very well for the hour or so needed for starch conversion. For others, they use a metal kettle or converted keg and, using a pump, recirculate either the mash liquid while the burner is on, or use a heat exchanger to maintain temperature.

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Old 04-03-2013, 11:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfgonzo View Post
The mash tun is the vessel in which you conduct your mash, i.e., grains and 150ish degree water to convert the starches into fermentable sugar water. You then drain the mash tun (called "sparging") and add water from your hot liquor tank (through the drained/draining mash tun) to get the last bit of sugar and get up to your boil volume.
Sorry, I'm going to get a little nit-picky.

The draining process is actually called lautering. For most homebrewers, mashing and lautering is done in the same vessel, which is why you'll see MLT used when referring to the mash tun.

Sparging is the process of rinsing the grains with additional water after the first runnings have been lautered off. There are different methods, including batch and fly sparging.

Also, a google search for this question would have easily given you the answer you were looking for.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:50 PM   #5
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listen to these folks gettin' all complicated & technical. the mash tun is where the magic starts in all grain brewing. if you look close enough, you can actually see the magic little leprechauns converting the starches into sugars.

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Old 04-03-2013, 11:56 PM   #6
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LovesIPA is correct. I actually had a longer answer in there that I cut down, and ended up cutting to the point where I had misinformation up there. Oops!

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Old 04-04-2013, 12:03 AM   #7
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Misinformation or not, the tun is a critical piece of equipment and I warn you now...
As a noob/brewer halfling, i promise you it will be something in your partial mash or all grain setup that will cause you much thought and probably $$ eventually as you try to dial in your efficiency.
The free 5 gal igloo cooler that a friend gave me is now up to $50 in valves and false bottom additions.

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Old 04-04-2013, 12:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy-Klubb View Post
listen to these folks gettin' all complicated & technical. the mash tun is where the magic starts in all grain brewing. if you look close enough, you can actually see the magic little leprechauns converting the starches into sugars.
Magic Little Leprechauns or by their technical name, enzymes.
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by LovesIPA View Post
...Also, a google search for this question would have easily given you the answer you were looking for.
Yup!
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seigex View Post
Magic Little Leprechauns or by their technical name, enzymes.
like I said, magic little leprechauns. and Iron Maiden's "Eddie" invented beer. they wrote a song about it.
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