Chapman ThermoBarrel Reviews

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jpmess

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Funny, I was just reading this thread thinking the same thing! I've got a huge styrofoam shipping box that I put my brew kettle in to keep mash temps and it usually drops 1.5-2 degrees over a 60 minute mash. I'm not complaining, I love my simple simple system, but damn these things are pretty!
 

foodplusbeer

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I don't see why you'd BIAB in this. You can't apply direct heat to it so you'd either have to install a heating element or just drain it and transfer to a boil kettle, which defeats the purpose of the BIAB.
 

mdime

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I agree that these aren't really suited for BIAB. Personally, I modified mine to add a Blichman auto sparge to the top and created a kettle mash system like the Brew Easy. works great for that.
 

Peruvian802

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I'd consider BIAB in it as they are a great shape and it should hold temps quite well due to the insulation.
 

drgonzo2k2

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I agree that these aren't really suited for BIAB. Personally, I modified mine to add a Blichman auto sparge to the top and created a kettle mash system like the Brew Easy. works great for that.
Hey, that sounds pretty neat! Would you mind posting some pics and/or more details on your build?
 

mdime

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Hey, that sounds pretty neat! Would you mind posting some pics and/or more details on your build?
I'll try to remember to take a few pictures when I get a chance but there isn't much to it. The only mod to the thermobarrel is to open up the top port to attach a 1/2" coupler for the autosparge.

You can get all of the details of how it works (and how to use it) by downloading the Breweasy manual off of the Blichmann website. The only difference with what I built is that my thermobarrel doesn't sit directly on the kettle and also I don't have a temperature controller.
 

drgonzo2k2

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I'll try to remember to take a few pictures when I get a chance but there isn't much to it. The only mod to the thermobarrel is to open up the top port to attach a 1/2" coupler for the autosparge.

You can get all of the details of how it works (and how to use it) by downloading the Breweasy manual off of the Blichmann website. The only difference with what I built is that my thermobarrel doesn't sit directly on the kettle and also I don't have a temperature controller.
Thanks, yeah, I downloaded the manual and took a look, but I guess where I got hung up was the no temperature controller. So you just adjust the flame (assuming you use a gas burner) and try to manually keep things at your desired mash temp?

A photo of how you connected the autosparge would be great if it's not too much hassle.
 

mdime

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Thanks, yeah, I downloaded the manual and took a look, but I guess where I got hung up was the no temperature controller. So you just adjust the flame (assuming you use a gas burner) and try to manually keep things at your desired mash temp?

A photo of how you connected the autosparge would be great if it's not too much hassle.
The pictures Val214 pretty much show how my autosparge is connected. The only difference with my system is that there's no cooler and the pump is connected to re-route the kettle drain back to the top of the thermobarrel.

The lack of a temperature controller definitely makes it more work to get the temps dialed in and I can't really walk away while mashing. That said, it's a pretty time efficient system because it's effectively no-sparge.
 

drgonzo2k2

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The pictures Val214 pretty much show how my autosparge is connected. The only difference with my system is that there's no cooler and the pump is connected to re-route the kettle drain back to the top of the thermobarrel.

The lack of a temperature controller definitely makes it more work to get the temps dialed in and I can't really walk away while mashing. That said, it's a pretty time efficient system because it's effectively no-sparge.
Thanks! Now I'm intrigued, what sort of efficiency do you usually get with that sort of system?
 

mdime

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Thanks! Now I'm intrigued, what sort of efficiency do you usually get with that sort of system?
I normally get in the low 70's but I think it definitely varies just as much as with traditional systems. Supposedly the biggest factor is water treatment (residual alkalinity in particular) because of the much larger volume of water in contact with the mash.

In full disclosure, I haven't used this system in about six months and have since gone to a fully electric BIAC system from Brewha. It's a similar full-mash type recirculating system but involves less heavy lifting which, due to back problems, was severely limiting my brewing.
 

d_flyer

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Now that some people have been using these for a while, do any 15 gallon users have any updates? I am pretty close to buying a 15 gallon. Has anyone made any volume etchings?
 

rubiconbrewer

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I was just wondering how people were still liking their mash tuns after a few years? I like the design of the mash tun but unsure whether to get this or SS brewtech infussion.

Is there not any volume etchings? From what I've read I haven't been clear on that, but it looks like maybe not.

Also not sure what to think about the fact that its 201 stainless and not 304 stainless. Anybody having any issues because of it?
 
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