Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Mash tun size?
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:35 AM   #1
grumpyn55
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Default Mash tun size?

I am planing to into all grain brewing in the near future and need to know size container to plan on getting ? Does size of grain bill determine the size of the tun? Is 6# of grain in a 15 gal tun not good . Any info is much appreciated thanks


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Old 02-09-2013, 02:39 AM   #2
KeystoneHomebrew
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A good rule is get a mash tun double to size you're going to brew. If only doing 5 gallons, get a ten gallon. Doing 10 gallons, get a 20 gallon.

One thing to keep in mind though is higher gravity beers. Your mash for a 5 gallon barleywine probably won't fit nicely in a 10 gallon tun. Keep that in mind. And when in doubt, go big. It's not the size that counts, it's just how big it is.


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Old 02-09-2013, 02:50 AM   #3
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What are you looking at making your mash tun out of?

A 48-quart chest cooler is big enough for 5-gallon batches of almost all styles of beer.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:52 AM   #4
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So as long as I can maintain the correct temp the size of pot is not an issue
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:55 AM   #5
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Get a cooler, be it chest or igloo. I love pots, but stick to boiling and heating things up in them.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:21 AM   #6
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I'm new to all this but I jumped right in to all grain... I got a 5 gal mash tun with sparge arm and 5gal hot liquor tank from homebrewstuff.com. It works great! It held my temp within 2 degrees F for 75 min. I got > 80% efficiency the first time I used it, and it was way cheeper then any single 5gal tun I have seen out there. Shipping was flat rate at $7.95 which is also way cheeper then any other site. (I don't work for them or anything... just really pleased with the product) As long as you are not married to the idea of "all grain" I think this should work fine for any 5gal full volume boils. What I have done is use beersmith, put in my recipe for all grain, and when it tells me my tun isn't big enough, I just replace a few lbs of the base malt with DME, so I can mash effectively with the space I have. I'm currently fermenting 5gal batch a 1.090 OG beer I did this way with only 2lbs of DME. As I said I'm a rookie here so if any of the guru's out there think this is bad advice please say so!
Happy brewing.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:40 AM   #7
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Depending on equipment losses from any pumps, plate chillers, plumbing and dry hopping, you may need to figure 5.5 gallon batches (or more) to actually get 5 gallons. Unless you stay under 1.060 or so or are willing to "cheat" by adding some extract, 5 gallon tuns can be pretty small. I have a 5 and a 10, but have to say I still use the 5 for smaller gravity beers. Too big leaves too much airspace and more temperature loss. I learned that when I did an 11 pound recipe in my 10 gallon. It lost 5 degrees in 45 minutes! So I guess it really depends on what you plan on brewing and what your system losses are. Right tool for the job I say...
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeystoneHomebrew View Post

One thing to keep in mind though is higher gravity beers. Your mash for a 5 gallon barleywine probably won't fit nicely in a 10 gallon tun. Keep that in mind. And when in doubt, go big. It's not the size that counts, it's just how big it is.
I am pretty sure w/ 1.25 water/grain ratio you can fit upwards of 22lbs of grain in a 10 gallon cooler...which is quite a lot of grain...i suppose there could be a barleywine with more grain than that, but at that point your talking about higher than 1.150 ..
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:41 AM   #9
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You should be able to get 24lbs of grain in a 10gal cooler and 37lbs in a 15.5gal cooler.

Ive done a 18lb grain bill in my 10gal mash tun cooler with room to spare.

But as mentioned get bigger If you can, its not gonna hurt, only help.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:54 PM   #10
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I fit over 16lbs of grain at a 1.25 ration in my 8 gallon stainless mash tun with plenty of room to spare.

There is one thing to be careful of. If you have too much head space in your mash tun, it can lead to difficulties in keeping a steady temp. I have never encountered this, as my 8gal mash tun is perfect for most of my 5 gallon batches, but have talked with a buddy of mine who has encountered this problem.

Just something to be aware of


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