Moving to all grain Mashtun question

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DirtyDachshunds

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After ~10 extract batches and some pretty damn good beer, I've decided my next batch will be all grain. I'm in the process of planning to build my mashtun in a cooler and I've basically found two styles to do this.

One using SS braiding as in the link below:
http://www.brewmorebeer.com/building-a-cooler-mash-tun/

And the other using copper piping with slits cut in them.

If you have used either of these methods and/or have an opinion of which is better, I'd like to hear from you. I want to build this mashtun to last and I don't mind paying a little extra for a quality build.

Thanks
 

richbrew99

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I built mine just like in your link and it has been great. Good efficiency and no stuck sparges. I haven't tried using pipes so I don't which one is better.
 

SD-SLIM

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After ~10 extract batches and some pretty damn good beer, I've decided my next batch will be all grain. I'm in the process of planning to build my mashtun in a cooler and I've basically found two styles to do this.

One using SS braiding as in the link below:
http://www.brewmorebeer.com/building-a-cooler-mash-tun/

And the other using copper piping with slits cut in them.

If you have used either of these methods and/or have an opinion of which is better, I'd like to hear from you. I want to build this mashtun to last and I don't mind paying a little extra for a quality build.

Thanks
I would go with the link you got from brewmorebeer.com...i would just make sure you get stainless steel fittings for everything...you can that from this site: http://www.bargainfittings.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=47
As to which one is better, I have had cpvc pipe manifold, the one like brewmorebeer and my friend has copper...all pretty much work the same!
 

charliec

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I have a ten gallon round cooler I got from Home Depot. I use the SS braid and have never had a stuck sparge (knock on wood). I can't speak to the pro's or cons of the bass manifolds. I don't see the SS braid be a inferior method.
 
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DirtyDachshunds

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Awesome, thanks for the quick responses. I'll probably go with the SS braid route. Seems easier and no less effective
 

autoferret

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I had the copper manifold and have sense moved up to a false bottem. IMO its finding what works best for your set up. Just rember that rice halls are your friend!
 

scottland

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I use a CPVC manifold, with slits and small holes drilled. That mash tun has seen 30-40 batches of beer, and has never had anything close to a stuck sparge. I like the idea of a manifold, because I can fly sparge if I like. With a braided hose, you're stuck batch sparging (not that it's a bad thing).
 

petep1980

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After ~10 extract batches and some pretty damn good beer, I've decided my next batch will be all grain. I'm in the process of planning to build my mashtun in a cooler and I've basically found two styles to do this.

One using SS braiding as in the link below:
http://www.brewmorebeer.com/building-a-cooler-mash-tun/

And the other using copper piping with slits cut in them.

If you have used either of these methods and/or have an opinion of which is better, I'd like to hear from you. I want to build this mashtun to last and I don't mind paying a little extra for a quality build.

Thanks
I did the bazooka screen and the valve like that in there. It has worked great too. Not exactly a DIY project, but not bad.
 

jeepinjeepin

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I have a braided screen on my 5 gal igloo. From what I have heard braid is just fine for batch sparge. If you want to fly sparge the manifold is the way to go.
 

SD-SLIM

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I had the copper manifold and have sense moved up to a false bottem. IMO its finding what works best for your set up. Just rember that rice halls are your friend!
+1 on Rice Hulls...throw a hand full in and no worries, well almost!
 
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DirtyDachshunds

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I use a CPVC manifold, with slits and small holes drilled. That mash tun has seen 30-40 batches of beer, and has never had anything close to a stuck sparge. I like the idea of a manifold, because I can fly sparge if I like. With a braided hose, you're stuck batch sparging (not that it's a bad thing).
My first couple batches will be batch sparged to get the hang of things, but I would like the ability to be able to fly sparg when needed.

This might push me over to use the manifold with slits
 

SD-SLIM

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I use a CPVC manifold, with slits and small holes drilled. That mash tun has seen 30-40 batches of beer, and has never had anything close to a stuck sparge. I like the idea of a manifold, because I can fly sparge if I like. With a braided hose, you're stuck batch sparging (not that it's a bad thing).
I have both a manifold and a stainless steel braid...I always fly sparge on both.
 

jeepinjeepin

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SD-SLIM said:
I have both a manifold and a stainless steel braid...I always fly sparge on both.
What is your braid set up like? Have you ever measured efficiency differences between the two?
 

SD-SLIM

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What is your braid set up like? Have you ever measured efficiency differences between the two?
It's been a while since I have measured them, but I believe they were both in the mid 70's....I believe that a circular vessel with a false bottom should get the best efficiency...but after that, I think the kind of apparatus on the bottom of your mash tun becomes less important as long as your technique is sound...other factors to improve your efficiency would be milling your grains correctly, sparging slowly (a lot of people do it way too fast), reduced amount of head space in your mash tun.
 

jeepinjeepin

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The zig zag would help. Any way to make the braid cover more surface area at the bottom of the tun will improve fly sparge efficiency. Channelling is the enemy of an efficient fly sparge. Slow running and even draw is the name of the game.
 

SD-SLIM

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The zig zag would help. Any way to make the braid cover more surface area at the bottom of the tun will improve fly sparge efficiency. Channelling is the enemy of an efficient fly sparge. Slow running and even draw is the name of the game.
I agree 100%...I am not advocating for one or the other, my manifold works great but so does my braid...I would only advocate buying a false bottom (which I dont have) but in using a friends and reading all the reviews on them, they are the best.
 
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DirtyDachshunds

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And what is channeling exactly? I've seen setups with the braid connecting on both ends of a copper T creating a wavy circle.
 

jeepinjeepin

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Channeling is when the wort causes a path of least resistance by draining to one relatively small point in the bottom of the tun. It causes you to not be able to rinse the entire mash of it's residual sugars causing low efficiency.
 

JetSmooth

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+1 on Rice Hulls...throw a hand full in and no worries, well almost!
I use a SS braid but am building a FB out of a SS frying pan splatter guard. Also just got a Coronoa knockoff mill so I will be crushing my own for the first time. I was considering rice hulls.

Is is seriously only a big half-full for like a 15+ gain bill? How do you ensure they stay at the bottom? :p
 

SD-SLIM

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I use a SS braid but am building a FB out of a SS frying pan splatter guard. Also just got a Coronoa knockoff mill so I will be crushing my own for the first time. I was considering rice hulls.

Is is seriously only a big half-full for like a 15+ gain bill? How do you ensure they stay at the bottom? :p
Just think of rice hulls as a mash tun laxative...couple of hand fulls and everything will flow right out! As for 15+ I would step it up to 3 or 4 handfuls!

Sorry edited...my spell check delted mash tun!
 

charliec

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Do the hulls manage to stay at the bottom of the mash tun?

I made BM's Cream of Three Crops this week and was really sweating a stuck sparge but things worked out fine, I barely cracked the outlet valve on the tun. I'm guessing the rice hulls is something I should keep on hand.
 

SD-SLIM

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Do the hulls manage to stay at the bottom of the mash tun?

I made BM's Cream of Three Crops this week and was really sweating a stuck sparge but things worked out fine, I barely cracked the outlet valve on the tun. I'm guessing the rice hulls is something I should keep on hand.
No...I have read some people who put there hulls in, cover with grain and then pour water in...but my thought on that, is that once you stir it to get rid of dough balls, it wont be on the bottom any more....top, bottom, they work great! Also some people prefer to wash them first to get rid of the flour thats on them, I do this if I remember, but it wont effect it if you dont.
 

JuanMoore

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The main reason to wash or soak the rice hulls before use isn't to avoid flavors, it's to prevent the hulls from soaking up and retaining precious wort. It also makes grain absorbtion estimates much more accurate since you don't need to include them in the equation. Rice hulls are a lifesaver when using large amounts of unhulled or protien rich grains like rye, wheat, or oats.
 
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