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Old 10-09-2009, 02:44 PM   #1
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Default Can I mash in my 5-gallon bottling bucket?

I'm doing a partial mash tomorrow with 4.75 lbs. of grain @ 1.5qt/lb using DeathBrewer's "easy partial mash" method. I've just figured out that the stainless steel pot I was planning to mash in is not big enough. I have one 5-gallon pot I will use for the sparge, but I need something else for mashing.

I do have a 5-gallon plastic bottling bucket. Is it possible to mash in this (using a grain bag)? Will the temperature hold if I wrap it up with towels or something like that? Should I start at 1.25qt/lb in case I have to add some hot water to bring the temp up?


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Old 10-09-2009, 02:48 PM   #2
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It should get you buy for a one time pinch. You'll just want to wrap it in blankets/Sleeping bags or something like that. I'm assuming you're doing a grain bag so you can filter the grain out?
I'd preheat the bucket first to avoid temp loss just like in a cooler.

On second thought, Check teh temp rating for the bucket. Make sure it can handle the 140-160 temps. i would think so, but just be sure.


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Old 10-09-2009, 02:49 PM   #3
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I wouldn't.

Has nothing to do with temperature though - you'd be likely to introduce nasties to your bucket and the mesh bag could scratch your bucket. I can just see getting a teeny piece of grain stuck in the valve or getting some nice scratches. Lacto infection here we come!

Buy another food grade hdpe bucket (homedepot has the clearish ones for under $8)
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:51 PM   #4
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Do you have a cover that fits? Can you wrap a sleeping bag or blanket around it to hold in the heat?

Before we discovered modding 5 and 10 gallon coolers people used the "zap a gap" (or some such name) method of mashing (it's in papazian's book) basically it's two buckets one stuck inside the other, with a bunch of holes drilled in the top one. You mash in the top and it drains into the bottom one.

So yeah you could just mash in a bottling bucket, IF you can maintain the mash temp for the whole time.
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Old 10-09-2009, 03:11 PM   #5
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Hmmm. Doesn't sound ideal. If I have to buy anything new, I might as well buy a 5-gallon igloo cooler. Problem is I need one pronto! They're easy to find online but I've been having a hard time finding one locally. Any ideas?
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Old 10-09-2009, 03:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switters View Post
Hmmm. Doesn't sound ideal. If I have to buy anything new, I might as well buy a 5-gallon igloo cooler. Problem is I need one pronto! They're easy to find online but I've been having a hard time finding one locally. Any ideas?
I got mine at walmart....Every big box store carries them in the sporting goods department
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Old 10-09-2009, 03:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
people used the "zap a gap" (or some such name) method of mashing (it's in papazian's book)
"Zap Pap" I believe.
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Old 10-09-2009, 03:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Before we discovered modding 5 and 10 gallon coolers people used the "zap a gap" (or some such name) method of mashing (it's in papazian's book) basically it's two buckets one stuck inside the other, with a bunch of holes drilled in the top one. You mash in the top and it drains into the bottom one.
I did this for 2 years. If you need a quick, cheap and easy mash tun, this might be the way to go. Then you can build a cooler when you have time.
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Old 10-09-2009, 03:21 PM   #9
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Do you have a regular cooler you can mash in? This is what I used with a Zapap sparge set up before I modded it into an MLT. Back then I was scooping the mash out and into the Zapap with a pitcher.

Do you have Anything made of styrofoam? If you could find one of those Omaha steaks shipping containers, you'd be golden!
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Old 10-09-2009, 03:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broadbill View Post
Do you have a regular cooler you can mash in? This is what I used with a Zapap sparge set up before I modded it into an MLT. Back then I was scooping the mash out and into the Zapap with a pitcher.

Do you have Anything made of styrofoam? If you could find one of those Omaha steaks shipping containers, you'd be golden!
Actually, it just occurred to me that I do have a regular square cooler. Since I'm using a grain bag, I wouldn't need any false bottom or method of scooping out the mash.

Could I use this? I guess the only concern is how the wort would pour out of a square cooler. Could be messy!


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