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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks > Electric mash tun
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Old 09-18-2009, 04:47 AM   #1
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Default Electric mash tun

I am a little new to this and am considering trying my luck at all grain. I picked up a 10 gallon igloo cooler that I would like to go electric. I already have all the materials but had a question about sparging. I know I can bring my temp up slowly with the 110 volt heating element, but when I want to sparge at lets say 180, do I need to have my propane burner bring a kettle of sparge water up to 180 and go from there, or is there an easy way that Im just not understanding? I've been doing a lot of reading, and somebody mentioned bringing the sparge water up to 180 in the electric mash tun and batch sparge, but It seems like that would be a lot of time for the water to reach 180. Any info is appreciated. Thanks.


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Old 09-18-2009, 05:23 AM   #2
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You don't need to heat anything in your cooler. You are using that for your mashtun, right? And you are using the boil pot to prepare your mash-in water, sparge water, then to boil your wort... right?

Just add enough water, at the right temp, to the grains in your cooler to get the resulting mash to about 155. Use software (Brewsmith) to figure that out. The water will be about 170 degrees, and you will have already heated it on your burner.

Before it's time to sparge, get your sparge water ready on your burner. When it is the right temp, and just when you are ready to sparge, transfer this water to a couple of large buckets. This frees up your burner pot.


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Old 09-18-2009, 05:41 PM   #3
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Actually I am trying to avoid the propane. I installed a water heater element in my mashtun as described on wortomatic. I know I can bring my water to around 170 inside the cooler, and have been told I can use the electric heater in the tun for heating my sparge also. I just dont know if slowly heating my sparge water in the grains will cause problems, and if so what the correct way to use the electric tun.
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Old 09-18-2009, 05:43 PM   #4
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instead of having an electric MLT you should have an electric HLT. I think any contact with grains against a heating element like that would scorch the grains
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Old 09-18-2009, 05:51 PM   #5
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You cannot use an electric element in the MLT to heat the mash...

probably cannot even use it to heat the strike water in the MLT, since the volume required may not be enough to cover the element.

You want the element in the HLT, where you will heat the strike and sparge water.

I have a little experience in building electric rigs. Really there is no correct way to use an electic mash tun... liquor tun, yes.

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Old 09-18-2009, 06:01 PM   #6
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FWIW, I can operate a completely electric HERMS with only 1500W of heating power in my HLT/HERMS HEX. I heat the strike there, I use it as my HEX for the recirc., use it to heat my mash to mashout temp. and then sparge with that water. It works very effectively and efficiently.
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Old 09-18-2009, 06:15 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the replys. Have any of you seen the electric mash tun on wortomatic? I guess it must have just been some guys project that in the real world does not work like he had hoped? Either way I have not drilled the hole in my tun yet, so I guess I'll just drill into the bottom of my Keggle instead and go that route. Thanks again.
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Old 09-18-2009, 06:35 PM   #8
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Can you post a link to it? I only see the electric HLT project.
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Old 09-18-2009, 06:42 PM   #9
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Thanks Bobby,

That would be my mistake, I automaticall assumed it was a mash tun because it was in a cooler. So this is basically a more efficient way of making an electric hlt with 110v?
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Old 09-18-2009, 06:56 PM   #10
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I did a electric HLT project here! Works great for heating my dough-in and mash-out additions, as well as my sparges for batch sparging.


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