Upgrading to mash tun from BIAB - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Upgrading to mash tun from BIAB

Thread Tools
Old 08-05-2013, 12:14 PM   #1
Aug 2013
Posts: 3

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?

Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 02:13 PM   #2
Jun 2012
Carlsbad, CA
Posts: 840
Liked 305 Times on 160 Posts

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.

People Like This 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 05:19 PM   #3
Jun 2009
Omaha, NE
Posts: 266
Liked 14 Times on 14 Posts

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.
In Heaven there is no beer
That's why we drink it here
And when we're all gone from here
Our friends will be drinking all the beer.

gwcr Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 05:23 PM   #4
Mar 2011
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Posts: 47
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

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.


Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2013, 10:26 PM   #5
patthebrewer's Avatar
Sep 2012
, allenwood, nj
Posts: 687
Liked 56 Times on 49 Posts

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
Manasquan River Brewing LLC

Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2013, 08:47 PM   #6
Aug 2013
Posts: 3

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.

Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2013, 08:56 PM   #7
Jan 2013
Posts: 284
Liked 8 Times on 7 Posts

I built mine out of a cooler I want to say it was around $70. And it works great

Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2013, 08:57 PM   #8
brewkinger's Avatar
Sep 2012
NEK, Vermont
Posts: 2,284
Liked 345 Times on 282 Posts

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"
Blackbird Brewing

PRIMARY: Northeast Style IPA aka "Roscoe"
PRIMARY: Centennial '75 Session IPA
BOTTLED: Razapple Wine- Vintage 2014
BOTTLED: Orange Haze Blonde
PLANNING: Centennial Orange Blonde
PLANNING: Roscoe V.2
Do not mistake my kindness for weakness. I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you will remember about me.

Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2013, 09:28 PM   #9
Dec 2011
chatham, il
Posts: 742
Liked 19 Times on 17 Posts

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.

Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2013, 12:23 PM   #10
Apr 2009
Central MN
Posts: 791
Liked 56 Times on 49 Posts

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

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Upgrading to Outdoor BIAB with No Outdoor Water Source rrbc2012 General Techniques 11 08-10-2013 11:04 AM
Upgrading to BIAB, need burner suggestions DaSwede Equipment/Sanitation 4 03-15-2013 02:50 PM
Upgrading igloo mash tun advice Musky01 Kettles, Mash Tuns & Hot Liquor Tanks 0 10-24-2012 05:23 PM
Upgrading Gear, BIAB or Traditional? NoHawk Equipment/Sanitation 7 10-16-2012 04:05 AM
HERMS/RIMS vs upgrading mash tun t_met Equipment/Sanitation 4 12-07-2011 01:45 PM

Forum Jump