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20 gallon SS Brewtech Infussion mash tun

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sredz

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I got mine last week. To be honest, I didn't notice if the valve was angled down. I'll take a look at it tonight and let you know. How is your false bottom? Mine is slightly warped. Here's some pics:



 

seabrew8

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Looks awful imo. :( I done a nice bit of industrial type plumbing and i never seen that. I suppose it might help it drain a few last drops...but you can just tilt the pot for that.

I would put some water in the pot and see how it drains. Maybe then i would straighten it out and compare.
 

Vesteroid

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I would not "straighten out" anything. i don't have one so I can't tell how it's made but if it's through the double wall on an angle other than 90 degrees one hole is lower than the other. If it's out the bottom, I would still be concerned about my seal of I tried to force the bulkhead into another position than it was originally placed
 

seabrew8

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Yeah don't force anything. I assumed it was weldless.

Get a wrench looks like 7/8 and a big thumb wrench or small pipe wrench - might want to cover the teeth with cloth. Take it apart.

If its supposed to look like that i would change it anyhow. :)
 
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ccfoo242

ccfoo242

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It's welded that way. I'm going to exchange it for a new one. I sent them a couple more pics and they agreed it shouldn't be angled like that.

My false bottom wasn't warped.

It's a nice mash tun, and it sucks that this wasn't caught before shipping it out.
 
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ccfoo242

ccfoo242

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Here's a diagram showing how it's put together. The drain port is actually below the bottom and it uses a center bottom drain under the false bottom.



It looks like in my case the tube welded to the bottom was too short, causing an angle down.
 

sredz

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Glad they are going to rectify it for you. I checked my valve and it is straight. I tried to bend my warped false bottom flat and that didn't work. I currently have it clamped to a board to see if I can straighten it out.
 
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ccfoo242

ccfoo242

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What is the purpose of the dual site glasses?

It's a manometer. From their docs:
The purpose of a manometer in a mash tun application is to monitor the pressure differential both above and below the false bottom. The manometer offers a visual representation of how fast you are drawing wort through the grain bed, based on the difference in level between the two tubes. When wort is run-off quickly it creates a pressure differential within the grist, and can actually compact the grain bed, typically resulting in a stuck sparge. While grists consisting of 100% barley are rarely at risk; wheat, rye or oat blends will compact more easily because they do not have a comparably rigid grain husk. While lautering, if you observe the difference between the upper and lower manometer tubes approaching 3⁄4 inch, you are running-off too quickly. Ideally, the difference should be zero to 1⁄4 of an inch.
 
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ccfoo242

ccfoo242

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I was able to fit an auto sparge with 9" rod by attaching it to the recirculation port with a coupler and thick washer.

*sigh* now I can just sit and look at it because it's going back.
 

sredz

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Sweet. Let us know how well your controller holds your temperature. I have the temp controller too. Only used it once but still lost a couple degrees over an hour. Need to experiment with it some more.
 
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ccfoo242

ccfoo242

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Waiting for my replacement. My dealings with their support were a little annoying but at least they are making good on it. They REALLY wanted me to keep the one they shipped me. I get that, but something like this, even if only a cosmetic defect, should be caught by their QA inspectors. It had a sticker saying "inspected"...guess they need a new QA person.
 
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ccfoo242

ccfoo242

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Wife got me this mash tun for Christmas....should ship this week....can't wait to use it....got the temp controller for it also.
Awesome. A friend of mine has the 10 gallon with temp controller and loves it. :mug:
 

sredz

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Waiting for my replacement. My dealings with their support were a little annoying but at least they are making good on it. They REALLY wanted me to keep the one they shipped me. I get that, but something like this, even if only a cosmetic defect, should be caught by their QA inspectors. It had a sticker saying "inspected"...guess they need a new QA person.
Yeah, at this price point a defect like that should have been caught. They are very insistent that my warped false bottom is fine as well, and have told me that all of the false bottoms have some level of "bias" in them and that is what the gasket is for. Mine pulls up 3/8" on one side though, which seems excessive.
 

sredz

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Don’t mean to hijack your thread, but thought we could keep this going as an overall discussion on this mash tun. I had a chance to brew again with mine and just wanted to share the details-

Brewed a Kolsch - 11 gallon batch. Target mash temp was 148. My grain temp was 60 degrees and per Beersmith (19.75 lbs grain), I needed to mash in at 160 degrees to reach 148.

Here’s how it went:

I heated the mash water to 175 degrees and transferred 6.5 gallons to cold (60 degree) mash tun
At 10 min – thermometer on mash tun read 166 and thermopen at top of water read 166.4 (pretty darn close)
At 15 min thermometer on mash tun read 165
At 25 minutes 164
Turned on MTSs heater and set the temperature to 148 to prepare for dough-in.
At 30 minutes temp was 162.

I mashed in at 162 to make sure to give myself a little wiggle room. After mashing in and stirring for about 10 minutes, temperature was spot on at 148. I bumped the MTSs controller setting to 149 just to make sure the temp would hold.

After 15 minutes – temperature 147.4
At 25 minutes temperature 147.2
At 40 minutes temperature 145 (thermopen read 146)
At 60 minutes final temp was 145

So, in the end I lost 3 degrees over the hour, even with the temperature controller. This is similar to what happened to me on my first brew with the mash tun. I had hoped to not lose more than 1 degree over an hour, especially given I am also using the MTSs heater. Maybe something with my process is off- hopefully I can get this dialed in. Next time I may try a different pre-heat process and just put a couple gallons of boiling water in the tun and let it rest before I transfer the mash water.
 

Vesteroid

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What was the ambient temp when you did your mash yesterday? I am very surprised it lost that much heat especially with a heater attached.
 

sredz

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What was the ambient temp when you did your mash yesterday? I am very surprised it lost that much heat especially with a heater attached.
The room temperature was about 65. This is a big mash tun, so there was quite a bit of head space - maybe that factors into it. I think with the 6.5 gallons of water and the grain it took up about 13.5 gallons of space in the mash tun. I was using a large cooler (70 qt coleman Xtreme) before this though and under the same conditions, never lost more than 1 degree in an hour (without a heater!)
 
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ccfoo242

ccfoo242

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Have you contacted their support? Also, when filled with hot water try running your hands over it to see if there are any hot spots leaking heat. I wonder if there's spots inside missing insulation.
 

sredz

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Have you contacted their support? Also, when filled with hot water try running your hands over it to see if there are any hot spots leaking heat. I wonder if there's spots inside missing insulation.
I contacted their support about a week ago after the first time a brewed with it. They felt I wasn't preheating it properly. They have said that they brew with the mash tun frequently and commonly get less than 1 degree of temperature swing in 60 minutes, but that preheating and taking multiple temp readings is key. They suggest preheating by placing at least the volume of water required by your mash at the desired mash temp or 150 degrees into the vessel for about 10 minutes, then transferring it out and putting your strike water in. Not exactly the process I used- I put 175 degree water in and waited 30 minutes until it fell to mash temp. Then mashed in- but I've done that countless times with my Coleman Xtreme with solid results. I did test the MTSs heater by turning it on with nothing in the tun, and the bottom was almost too hot to touch, so I know it was working. I'll try your suggestion, of filling it with hot water and looking for hot spots - haven't tried that yet.
 

Paedagogus

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I just got mine today. Unfortunately I can echo the problems of earlier posters. My false bottom is warped pretty good, to the point where it does not fit comfortably in the bottom of the mash tun. My drain outlet is also sloped downward although not to the extent of the OP.

I don't expect the mash tun to be clad in gold but I do expect something at this price point to be better than "functioning"

I've got an email out to them, they've always been great about answering questions and addressing problems before, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. I'll update when I get a response.

20160105_141445.jpg


20160105_141539.jpg
 
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ccfoo242

ccfoo242

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What I don't understand about the angle is that you'd think that the drain tube under it leading to the valve would be the exact same size for each but it's obvious some of them weren't made the same. When they have all the parts laid out why not verify that each tube is the same? This is an expensive alternative to a cooler and they need to make them perfect.
 

brewbama

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I was really eye balling this mash tun but for the price having quality issues is making me think i'll have to hold off until QC gets better.
 

sredz

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I plan to fill mine with hot water tonight and check for hot spots to make sure the insulation is consistent. I think I'll also run the temperature controller to see if it can hold temp of just water with no grain. Their manual says the MTSs can raise 5 gallons of water approximately 5 degrees in 60 minutes - so this will be a good test of the heating unit. I'm still not happy about my warped bottom either, but they don't seem to want to do anything about it. I'm curious to hear how they respond about yours. My total investment on this thing was $660 (tun, controller and vaurlof attachment) so there really shouldn't be any issues!
 

GrainToGlass

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Mine angles a bit down as well, similar to Paedagogus' angle.


A pic of the insulation for anyone interested.


A slight warp on one end of the FB. I would rather prefer they package the FB inside the tun instead of underneath it. Nothing serious though, still fits perfectly fine inside with the gasket on.



Sure is pretty all around, but I agree with everyone, with how much we invested in this the QC could've been better.
 

sredz

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I transferred some hot water into mine tonight to see how it would hold temps with just water and no grain. Heated 10 gallons to 160 degrees and transferred it over to the (60 degree) mash tun. After 10 minutes the temperature was 150 degrees. I turned on the MTSs heater and set it to 165 to see if it could either hold or increase the water temperature at all. The Temperature fell 1 degree over the next 60 minutes to 149 with the MTSs “working” the entire time. I did not feel any hot spots around the outside of the mash tun, in fact, the exterior remained cool the whole time except for right where the temp probe is located, so the insulation seems consistent. I would have thought I could ramp the temp up a couple of degree over the hour though instead of losing a degree.
 

Sconnie12

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I'm not 100% surprised by the issues. SS seems to come out with a new product weekly. Unless you have a staff of 20 engineers there's no way these products are being tested properly. Some of the QC is also disheartening. I like my Brew Bucket but probably gunna hold off on ordering more until they take step back and test their products.
 
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ccfoo242

ccfoo242

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Seems like the heater isn't working at all. If you remove the bottom panel can you feel any heat from the heater pad thingy when its on? Or with no heat applied does the temp drop more? My replacement arrives Friday and I'll test it too. Though I didn't buy the heater.
 

sredz

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Seems like the heater isn't working at all. If you remove the bottom panel can you feel any heat from the heater pad thingy when its on? Or with no heat applied does the temp drop more? My replacement arrives Friday and I'll test it too. Though I didn't buy the heater.
I think the heater is working. I turned it on with nothing in the mash tun and when I put my hand on the bottom of the tun it is hot to the touch. The heating pad is really quite small though. It can't be more than 10" in diameter. In fact, when I first saw it I was wondering in the back of my mind how a tiny little silicone pad could hold or increase temperature in this giant mash tun. Really my expectation from the get go though was just to be able to hold temps - I guess that is why this is so disappointing because I consistently seem to be losing several degrees which for me is a step backwards. I haven't tried it without the heater. I may do that because if the results are the same, I might as well return the heater! I'm very interested to hear how the mash tun performs for others.
 

augiedoggy

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I'm not 100% surprised by the issues. SS seems to come out with a new product weekly. Unless you have a staff of 20 engineers there's no way these products are being tested properly. Some of the QC is also disheartening. I like my Brew Bucket but probably gunna hold off on ordering more until they take step back and test their products.
I would guess there is one engineer to draw up the designs and he likely works with the manufacturers. From my experience in repairing engineering equipment for almost 20 years I have seen this scenario many many times. Its a smaller company. The person drawing up the product doesnt even have to be a licensed engineer really. The manufacturer that making the MT in china may not be the same one they use for their other products and they may just be learning of these quality limitations along side you guys as the pallets come in.. I would probably make the same choice to ship them and deal with the complaints from those that notice if I were in thier shoes...Otherwise they would have to refund everyone and not ship including those that would feel the issues with theirs are mainly cosmetic and not important.
They are likely working with the manufacturer to resolve the issues as well. SS does have good support and until now there products have been very well received by customers.

Keep in mind there are more than a few brands of these around the world... Like the bru gear conicals its very likely that some of these products come from the same factorys. The ss MT is made of 304 stainless and so far the rest Ive seen are made of 201 or not advertised.

I do think this one is a great deal for being 15 gallon... $303 shipped is a hell of a deal compared to the others on the market..


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Stainless-S...442923?hash=item23559153eb:g:XxAAAOSwT6pVtieY
 

Paedagogus

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Just an update on my situation. I contacted their support and they were very responsive (as they have always been) and apologetic. I was given the option to return the unit for a replacement, and while its not ideal I think it was the best option.

For those of you who have the 20gal mash tun, I suggest looking at the manometer ports and the silicone connectors. I did a leak test and discovered that one of the connectors had a leak. The manometer piping coming out of the mash tun is "non-standard" (ie not a 1/2"npt or similar) so if one of the connectors were to fail during a brew day, it could get messy.

All in all, I think this is a very good product backed up by great customer support. I just wish it was a bit more refined before it was released.

Manometer Piping.jpg
 
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ccfoo242

ccfoo242

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Got my replacement today. Ever so slight angle still but it's fine. And yeah the false bottom has a bend to it but once installed with the rubber gasket this goes away. Just a bit flexible.
 

sredz

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Good to hear they got the replacement to you quickly! Let us know how your first brew session goes.
 

helibrewer

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Got mine yesterday, plan on brewing tomorrow (Monday). Also got the heater and tested evything today.....no leaks :) I will try to take some pictures.....doing a 12 gal batch of Kolsch.
 
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