Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Direct fire or insulate sanke for mash tun?
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:10 PM   #1
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I am kinda leaning towards insulating, but I am unsure how much or type of insulation I would need to keep temp loss to a minimum.
I could direct fire, but I don't want to check temps every two minutes and risk overshooting.
I am mostly going to use it for high OG 5 gal batches if it matters how full the tun will be.


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Old 02-27-2013, 02:07 PM   #2
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I would insulate personally. Before I went to a cooler/stainless braid setup, I used to wrap my Sanke in a furniture blanket. Rarely would the temp drop more than a degree, two max, over an hour mash.


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Old 02-27-2013, 02:11 PM   #3
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I would direct fire if you can. You would have to add a pump with a recirc loop though if you go that route so as to spread out the heat evenly. By adding direct fire you give yourself the option of step mashing. You wouldn't have to check temps very often anyway as you have quite a bit of thermal mass with all the water and grains. It won't move very much at all.

For that matter, if you are handy, you could build some kind of heat shield and use both somehow. I am sure an inventive mind could find a way to do it. You would still need the pump though.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:10 PM   #4
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Forgive my ignorance, as I have always mashed in an Igloo cooler. But, with the direct fire method, why do you have to add a pump? Couldn't one stir with their mash paddle?

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Old 02-27-2013, 06:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horseshoot View Post
Forgive my ignorance, as I have always mashed in an Igloo cooler. But, with the direct fire method, why do you have to add a pump? Couldn't one stir with their mash paddle?

Mike

I think you could, but it wouldn't be nearly as effective at bringing the hotter liquid from the bottom to the top.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horseshoot View Post
Forgive my ignorance, as I have always mashed in an Igloo cooler. But, with the direct fire method, why do you have to add a pump? Couldn't one stir with their mash paddle?

Mike
Been there, done that, doesn't work. You end up with hot spots and overshooting the temp.
I also suggest direct fire with re-circulation. It's pretty easy to control the temp.
For an insulation blanket, check out Harbor Freight... they have fiberglass cloth welding blankets for ~$30 for the large. It's flame-proof.
Personally, I direct fire the strike water, add the grains, then recirc through an electric RIMS tube, while insulating with the fire-proof blanket (it's a product of several upgrades).
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:58 PM   #7
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Insulate really well with cheap reflectix.
Insulate with high temp stuff and you can direct fire with recirculation (Direct fire RIMS).
Insulate (or not) and run a RIMS tube or HERMS coil for remote heating.

Direct firing does require recirculation and for that purpose, you really do want a 15" false bottom to keep the grain off the heated surface.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:32 PM   #8
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I went with the insulatation and a RIMS tube to maintain temperature. Have an HLT to heat the mash/sparge water.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:44 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies. All of them some food for thought. I wish I had money laying around for a pump! Guess I need to sit on this and decide what I am gonna do.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:55 PM   #10
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Although I a moving towards an all electric RIMS. I found this to work great. I lose less than three degrees over a 90 minute mash.

http://www.amazon.com/Reflectix-BP24.../dp/B0009XCJA2

I made velcro attachements for the wrap. It takes seconds to install. I do use direct fire to mash out however and find with good stirring it is effective.


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