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Old 04-28-2010, 03:20 PM   #1
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Default Mash Tun from old LME container?

Hey guys,

On my way into work I was thinking about my eventual build of a mash tun. I've picked up some hardware to convert a cooler. I realized though that I have a few of the smaller (15g?) LME containers that were picked up from a LHBS. I could drill a hole and have the hardware installed pretty quick. However, I'm guessing I would need to insulate the tun so it didn't loose heat during the mash. Does anyone have any idea how much insulation would be needed? Does it sound worth while, or should I just wait until I buy a new cooler?

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How I brew: Stir plate starters, Extract, Full boil in a Keggle, 10 gallon batches.
Brewing upgrades in progress: temp controlled ferment, stir plate re-work, building mash tun, milling station

Planned House Ales: an Amber, an IPA, a dark IPA, a Mango Ale, a blueberry oatmeal stout, a dry Irish stout, a honey wheat, Apfelwien

What kind of R-Value does your ferm chamber need? - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/what...hamber-190459/
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:33 PM   #2
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Tough to say, really depends a lot on how much grain, or mass you have in there, and the ambient temperature. I think w/ a large quantity of grain and a few blankets, or a sleeping bag it should be pretty temp stable for fair weather brewing. Just keep a few gallons of boiling water standing by for the maiden voyage in case you need to boost temps.

Oh, and as always, preheat the heck out of it for a good 20 min to not only warm the tun but the "inuslation" or wrappings. It will certainly work, might just have to use special care.

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Old 04-28-2010, 03:59 PM   #3
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They aren't insulated so the probably won't hold heat that well, and would they perhaps soften or altogether melt from having upwards of 158 degree grain and liquid sitting in it for an hour or more?

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Old 04-28-2010, 05:07 PM   #4
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Sounds like you will spend as much money on insulating, making a cover, etc. for something that most likely won't work as well as a cooler.

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Old 04-28-2010, 05:08 PM   #5
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Pretty sure they are HDPE, which is rated for like 230F continuously. I don't think they would soften much. I think they are reasonably thick (1/8 inch or 3/16ths?). I'm sure that they aren't designed to insulate though.. I guess it boils down to cost of insulation. If its too much it'd make sense to just buy a cooler.

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How I brew: Stir plate starters, Extract, Full boil in a Keggle, 10 gallon batches.
Brewing upgrades in progress: temp controlled ferment, stir plate re-work, building mash tun, milling station

Planned House Ales: an Amber, an IPA, a dark IPA, a Mango Ale, a blueberry oatmeal stout, a dry Irish stout, a honey wheat, Apfelwien

What kind of R-Value does your ferm chamber need? - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/what...hamber-190459/
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Old 04-28-2010, 05:09 PM   #6
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samc, that is what I would want to avoid.

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How I brew: Stir plate starters, Extract, Full boil in a Keggle, 10 gallon batches.
Brewing upgrades in progress: temp controlled ferment, stir plate re-work, building mash tun, milling station

Planned House Ales: an Amber, an IPA, a dark IPA, a Mango Ale, a blueberry oatmeal stout, a dry Irish stout, a honey wheat, Apfelwien

What kind of R-Value does your ferm chamber need? - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/what...hamber-190459/
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