Mash Tun Size

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

juggabrew

juggabrew303
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
Messages
308
Reaction score
63
Location
Denver
Just made the decision to go all grain. Ive only done two batches that were extract but I'm ready to move on. I bought a 40qt brew kettle from amazon this morning and should be here on sat with my prime shipping.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001AS81BQ/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

My question now leads to the MT/HLT. I will be doing 5 gal. batches

What do I need now...
1. 5 or 10 gal mash tun?
2. 5 or 10 gal HLT for sparging?
3. What cooler works best for mashing, round igloo or rectangle?

:confused:
 
Last edited by a moderator:

nick0122

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Messages
22
Reaction score
1
Shape is really personal preference and space considerations. As for size def. 10 gallon minimum. 5 will get pretty full on bigger beers.
 

pmatson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2012
Messages
78
Reaction score
8
Location
Northwest Ohio
I am making a similar switch and went with a 10 gal rubber maid round cooler that I converted to a mash tun. You can find the build instructions on this site and the interwebs if you want to save money (very easy build). If you batch sparge, you don't need a hot liquor tank, so that saves you money and space. Cheers.
 
OP
juggabrew

juggabrew

juggabrew303
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
Messages
308
Reaction score
63
Location
Denver
pmatson said:
I am making a similar switch and went with a 10 gal rubber maid round cooler that I converted to a mash tun. You can find the build instructions on this site and the interwebs if you want to save money (very easy build). If you batch sparge, you don't need a hot liquor tank, so that saves you money and space. Cheers.
Isn't that what the Hlt is for, sparging?
 

norsk

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2010
Messages
535
Reaction score
55
Location
San Simeon
I routinely make 7 gal batches with over 24 lbs of grain and a 50 qt rectangular chest has worked great for several years...
 

Xtynct

Active Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2013
Messages
41
Reaction score
6
Location
West Allis
I bought a 48qt Igloo marine that I converted using instructions from http://www.donosborn.com/homebrew/mashtun.htm It hasn't failed me yet.

An HLT is used for fly sparging, where continuous water is being added to the mash tun while draining the wort. Batch sparging is where you drain(collecting the runnings), then add more water, stir, then drain again. Repeat until you have your desire boil volume.
 

Tinga

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
1,120
Reaction score
41
Location
MN
I've used both a round and rectangular cooler but I prefer the round cooler much more. it's taller and therefore has a smaller foot print which I like. I also recirculate and the tallness of the round cooler gives me a deeper grain bed and thus a better filter. I have a 3 gallonish system and I have a 5 gallon mash tun. it gives me the flexibility to do larger batches with lower gravities or normal size batches with a higher gravity. I made a 3 gallon batch of an RIS with an OG of around 1.096 and I don't think I could have fit much more in the tun. it was also a pretty thick mash. I also made a 4 gallon batch of brown with a gravity of around 1.056 and the tun was getting up there but a decently thin mash. If you plan on doing any 5 gallon batches higher than around 1.070 I would recommend getting a 10 gallon tun. this will give you the flexibility of doing larger batches as well as higher gravity batches.
 

RonPopeil

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2011
Messages
1,055
Reaction score
66
Location
Lancaster
i have a yellow igloo cooler. looks like a sports drink cooler. it's a 10 gallon, i've mashed 15lbs of grain in it effectively. tried a 21lb batch that didn't turn out well. not sure if the mash in was the issue.
 

HellBound

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2012
Messages
334
Reaction score
99
Location
West Hills
I have both a 48 qt rectangle cooler with a Denny Conn set-up and it works great for everything. But I also use a 10 gal rubbermaid round and my last batch was an old Rasputin clone with a ~17 lb grist. Plenty of room.
 
OP
juggabrew

juggabrew

juggabrew303
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
Messages
308
Reaction score
63
Location
Denver
Tinga said:
I've used both a round and rectangular cooler but I prefer the round cooler much more. it's taller and therefore has a smaller foot print which I like. I also recirculate and the tallness of the round cooler gives me a deeper grain bed and thus a better filter. I have a 3 gallonish system and I have a 5 gallon mash tun. it gives me the flexibility to do larger batches with lower gravities or normal size batches with a higher gravity. I made a 3 gallon batch of an RIS with an OG of around 1.096 and I don't think I could have fit much more in the tun. it was also a pretty thick mash. I also made a 4 gallon batch of brown with a gravity of around 1.056 and the tun was getting up there but a decently thin mash. If you plan on doing any 5 gallon batches higher than around 1.070 I would recommend getting a 10 gallon tun. this will give you the flexibility of doing larger batches as well as higher gravity batches.
Thanks tinga. Big help
 

pmatson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2012
Messages
78
Reaction score
8
Location
Northwest Ohio
For batch sparging, you just heat up water on the stove in a pot and pour it into the mash tun. Much simpler than setting up to fly sparge, which would require the hot liquor tank and a continuous flow of hot water.
 

Greels

Active Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2013
Messages
38
Reaction score
3
Location
Hillsboro
http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml

I found this site from people on here so trying to pass it on. If you know how many pounds of grain you usually like to do, just throw it in the "Can I Mash it?" and see how many gallons of space you would need. Quick and simple.
 

lpdjshaw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
422
Reaction score
22
Location
North County, San Diego
For batch sparging, you just heat up water on the stove in a pot and pour it into the mash tun. Much simpler than setting up to fly sparge, which would require the hot liquor tank and a continuous flow of hot water.
A little of the main point here but numerous people are saying an HLT is only for fly sparging...? Yes, you can get by without one, that's what I did for my first two batches of all grain, but carrying around big pots of 160+ degree water cured me of that real quick! So to the OP and others wondering, your vessels should be roughly 1.5 to 2 times the size of your finished batch, and an HLT is a nice item to have if you can spare the space and $.
 

pmatson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2012
Messages
78
Reaction score
8
Location
Northwest Ohio
My apologies for straying off topic. My intent was to suggest that by skipping the hlt and doing the batch sparge, you can save space and more easily justify scaling up to the 10 gal mash tun. I can see how having both would be tough if space is an issue.
 
Top