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Old 11-22-2012, 04:49 PM   #1
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Default Filling up "dead space"

I have been using a bucket in bucket mash tun for a couple of years, and it works pretty good. The only thing I really dislike about it is the fact that there are always a couple of litres (halv a gallon or so) of water under the grain bed, thus not being a part of the actual mash.

I would like to minimise the amount of water by reducing this "dead space". But how?

Someone suggested marbles, but cleaning a gazilion marbles after each mash seems like a real pain.

The best idea I have gotten so far is to put a couple of dinner plates on the bottom, but there must a more effective solution.

Any ideas?

It's okay if the solution makes both buckets unsuited for any other use. I only use them for mashing anyway

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Old 11-22-2012, 05:09 PM   #2
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I read a post a few days ago about this, cant find the thread. They decided to use extra hot liquor (mash thin) and recirculate to even out the mash temps. I have the same mash tun set up, but never really worried because I don't have any problems hitting SG/FG. But, I will begin to recirculate for a couple minutes after I mash in, it just makes sense, and I am usually just drinking coffee while watching it mash anyway...
Hope this helps.

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Old 11-22-2012, 05:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somedudefromguam View Post
I read a post a few days ago about this, cant find the thread. They decided to use extra hot liquor (mash thin) and recirculate to even out the mash temps. I have the same mash tun set up, but never really worried because I don't have any problems hitting SG/FG. But, I will begin to recirculate for a couple minutes after I mash in, it just makes sense, and I am usually just drinking coffee while watching it mash anyway...
Hope this helps.
That's actually how I do right now. And sure, it works. But i would prefer to minimise the dead space and skip the hassle of the extra water.

I'm batch sparging and even if I circulate the water at the beginning and end of the mash , the dead space will still be filled with water (or thin wort after the initial circulation) for the rest of the mash.. thus, you have to add more water than needed to achieve your preferred grain/water ratio.
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:15 PM   #4
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Default Almost anything will work!

I understand what you are trying to do, and almost anything that will occupy volume will work for you. I like the idea of glass marbles in the mash tun to occupy the space. I think that they would be easy to clean -- all you would have to do is give them a great soak in PBW or OxyClean. You would also have the ability to add to them or take away from them depending on what your initial experiences are. Dinner plates would work, but will not fill in the voids like marbles would -- they have a liquid quality to them that something larger or more solid does not have.
My thinking with going with the marbles is that I am assuming that your current mash tun design works great and that you do not get any grain in the dead space area. If that is the case, then you are really just cleaning wort off of the marbles and not cleaning any grain from them.

I am not sure that I have been that helpful. I would be interested in knowing what you finally do.

Mark

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Old 11-23-2012, 07:18 PM   #5
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I too like the idea of marbles. I think you'll only need to PBW or Oxyclean every five batches or so, maybe even less. I'd put the marbles in a colander and rinse the hell out of them. You just want to rinse sugar and any small particulates. If they are still sticky after they dry, hit 'em again.

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Old 11-23-2012, 11:45 PM   #6
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Thanks for your responses,

I get what you are getting at. And I to think that marbles would be a great solution. But the thing is.. I haven't done the math, but if I would to fill up half a gallon with marbles I would need more or less a billion marbles. It would be expensive to buy as well, don't you think? And even if it would be easy to just spray them of with water and clean with oxyclean once in a while, they still would be a pain to deal with.

But still. It's the best idea so far

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Old 11-24-2012, 02:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PowPow View Post
Thanks for your responses,

I get what you are getting at. And I to think that marbles would be a great solution. But the thing is.. I haven't done the math, but if I would to fill up half a gallon with marbles I would need more or less a billion marbles. It would be expensive to buy as well, don't you think? And even if it would be easy to just spray them of with water and clean with oxyclean once in a while, they still would be a pain to deal with.

But still. It's the best idea so far
I just did a search for Glass Marbles on Amazon.com. I was surprised at the responses that came up. Here is a link to what I found. I am not sure how easy it will be for you to find them in your area, but I am surprised that they were that easy to find. A package of two hundred marbles would fill quite a volume. I am guessing that you would only need a package or two. Good Luck. Mark
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:42 PM   #8
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You can get big bags of nearly clear glass "decor" marbles in places like Crate and Barrel or anywhere they sell lots of candle sticks and vases. Clear is nice because you see when they're clean and the big bags of them are pretty cheap.

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Old 11-28-2012, 08:23 AM   #9
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I will be on the look out for marbles then.

Another idea i got was to use empty (caped) beer bottles. Maybe a couple of beer bottles to fill the bulk of the space and then some marbles to fill the rest.

Would empty and caped glass bottles handle the heat from boiling water you think? I'm not mashing with boiling water of course, but maybe i could preheat the tun and bottles with boiling water.

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Old 11-28-2012, 11:17 AM   #10
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i just tip my mash tun til i get it all out

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