Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Upgrading to mash tun from BIAB
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:14 PM   #1
harlemhomebrew
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Default Upgrading to mash tun from BIAB

I've been brewing BiAB for about six months now. I'd really like to learn how to brew all grain the "proper" way but I don't know where to start.

Exactly how much more equipment do I need? Just the igloo cooler or do I need one of the large kettles with a thermometer and a spigot?

What do I need to know about the mashing process that I don't already know from BIAB? Is it a significant upgrade in terms of precision or just a different way of doing things?
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:13 PM   #2
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What makes BIAB "improper"?

I'm not much good answering your questions, given that I only brew extract and BIAB... but I'm curious why you seem to think BIAB is somehow inferior. Honest question.
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:19 PM   #3
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The biggest difference between the two is the ability to vorlauf or recirculate the mash with a mash tun. It settles the grain bed and helps clarify the wort going into the boil kettle. In my case, the mash tun itself is really the only equipment difference, other than some high temp plastic tubing to get the wort into the boil kettle. Mashing method shouldn't affect boil kettle choice. I do both biab and igloo tun, depending on my mood. Both make good beer.
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:23 PM   #4
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Technically, all you need to take the step from BIAB to using a MT is the vessel to be used as the MT. When I went from extract to BIAB, I bought a 7.5 gallon turkey fryer pot and propane burner for 5 gallon batches. Not sure what volume you are currently doing with BIAB, but you may already have something like this. Going to the MT I just re-purposed a large beverage cooler that I already had, added a ball valve and manifold for draining into the same pot I used for BIAB.

Other than mashing in a separate vessel, the principals are all the same. Make no mistake, you can make fantastic beer with both BIAB and using a MT. All comes down to personal preference. Afterall, it's your beer, so do what works best for you.

Cheers!
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:26 PM   #5
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You Probably just meant to say the "Traditional way"....you don't need a large expensive pot, a cooler tun will work just fine! Actually has some advantages too! All you need for a basic batch sparge setup, is a 5 or 10 gallon cooler, a stainless ball valve, False bottom (wether stainless, or homemade), and ......uh.......a good Mash Paddle
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:47 PM   #6
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People pay a lot of money for mash tuns. I figure they must do something...

Also seems closer to the method real breweries use. Some day I'd like to work in one.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:56 PM   #7
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I built mine out of a cooler I want to say it was around $70. And it works great
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harlemhomebrew
People pay a lot of money for mash tuns. I figure they must do something...

Also seems closer to the method real breweries use. Some day I'd like to work in one.
Some people pay a lot of money.
Most of us DIY it and get a free cooler, add a stainless braid hose, then upgrade to a false bottom, SS 3 piece ball valve and 4 feet of silicone tube.
Ahhhh hell!! I am $100 into my cooler tun. Guess I am one of the "some"
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:28 PM   #9
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I got lucky and am buying a "deluxe" northern brewer 5 gal kit a MT/HLT etc from a guy in my club for 100. Retails for 200. Going to get another screen to make another MT out of the HLT as I don't use the HLT.
I also found a 5 gal igloo cooler on a FB sales page for 15 bucks. I'd assume all the other stuff would have cost about 40 to make it a MT.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:23 PM   #10
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Check out http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/ I used an old cooler as a mash tun, cheap even if you add a ball valve (http://www.brewhardware.com/valves/69-ball-valve) . I used to biab; but, for me a traditional mash tun works better. It's just as easy & less messy. imho
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