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talleym0nster

talleym0nster

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I went to Basic Brewing Radio and downloaded a bunch of podcasts. Listened to January 24, 2008 - Mash Tun Efficiencywith John Palmer today. Learned a lot. I'm downloading them all!
 

talleymonster

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Well Barley, as much as you hate it I'm going with the 50qt.:eek:

I'm going to insulate as others have said with the "great stuff". There isn't a spigot hole, so I'll have to drill one. There is a small channel(low spot) on one side as if there should be a spigot, so I'll put it there. I like the shape and size of the 50qt. it just seems to work for the setup I have in mind. Also without the wheel well, I won't have the 4" of dead space in the bottom of the tun. I'm going to fabricate a false bottom for it.
I was thinking about what you said about the lid losing it's seal after a while. I think if I have that problem I'll put a strip of weather proofing around the rim and a latch or piece of velcro( or something of the like) to make a nice tight seal.

I do like the little lip around the inside about 2 inches down from the rim...perfect to hang a sparge arm from. I'm not sure I like the sparge mounted to the underside of the lid because i can't see a way to monitor the flow effectively. It won't flow the same while the lid is up.

I do appreciate your input and your opinion Barley. Thank you for your help.
 

TBLbrewer

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LOOK inside that dang 60 QT!
Make sure it doesn't have a drain valve that goes in at a 45 Degree angle. I can't think that would be anything other than a pain in the ass to build a manifold for, and if you bazooka it, you'll have like 4" of dead space in the bottom.
I was so depressed...they were on sale at WalMart today :(
I'm working on the 60 qt cooler. I solved this problem with a 45 Degee elbow on the outside before the ball valve, and a 90 inside.
 

Amiaji

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Well Barley, as much as you hate it I'm going with the 50qt.:eek:

I'm going to insulate as others have said with the "great stuff". There isn't a spigot hole, so I'll have to drill one. There is a small channel(low spot) on one side as if there should be a spigot, so I'll put it there. I like the shape and size of the 50qt. it just seems to work for the setup I have in mind. Also without the wheel well, I won't have the 4" of dead space in the bottom of the tun. I'm going to fabricate a false bottom for it.
I was thinking about what you said about the lid losing it's seal after a while. I think if I have that problem I'll put a strip of weather proofing around the rim and a latch or piece of velcro( or something of the like) to make a nice tight seal.

I do like the little lip around the inside about 2 inches down from the rim...perfect to hang a sparge arm from. I'm not sure I like the sparge mounted to the underside of the lid because i can't see a way to monitor the flow effectively. It won't flow the same while the lid is up.

I do appreciate your input and your opinion Barley. Thank you for your help.
I hope you fair better than I did with the 50qt Igloo. The one I have is marine grade so I thought it would be better insulated than it is. Mine wont hold temp worth a darn and I have had a hard time getting it to seal. I finally bought a 5gal cooler to do my normal 5gal batches in and will only use the 50qt for big beers.
 

Schlenkerla

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Gots me a 50 quarter.... I kept it simple and went w/ a bazooka tube.

I get 75-90 mash efficiencies. I also throw a seat cushion on the top of the cooler and it holds in heat well.

If I do batches smaller than 9lbs of grain I start considering going to my 5 gal.

I also batch sparge for simplicity.





 

BarleyWater

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Well Barley, as much as you hate it I'm going with the 50qt.:eek:
Well, I have foamed mine, and was looking at insulated tape (the foil kind) to go around the lid when closed, weather stripping may work nicely so I think I'll give it a try. Before I switch up coolers, I am trying this one again with my new modifications, because if it holds temp well, it's a good cooler to use.

Mine already had a spout, but the ones at Wal-Mart area a bit cheaper, so they use the same mold and don't put the spout in. My CPVC sparge arm sits on the rim very nicely, and I just lay the lid down on top because I like to be able to see easily what's going on, and check the water level without the hassle. After my mash out, I'm not too worried about losing a few degrees.

:mug: Good luck with your new cooler, I'd like to know how the false bottom works out, I tried to make one but it didn't work well, so I am using the copper manifold.
 

SixFoFalcon

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I've never had a problem with heat loss through the $20 50-qt Ice Cube. I haven't foamed anything... and I have yet to lose more than a single degree through a 60 minute mash. But you have to be cognizant of the way you measure your temps. It usually seems to take 5-10 minutes for the heat to even out throughout the mash. If I move the thermometer probe around after dough-in and a minute or so of stirring, I get differences of 10 degrees or so depending on where the probe is in the mash. But wait a few more minutes and then I'm getting differences of only 1-2 degrees no matter where the probe is. If the probe is sitting in a "hot spot" initially, it's going to appear that the temp of the mash is dropping after a while, when in actuality, it's just evening out and the average temp hasn't changed much at all.

I have a homemade copper manifold in the bottom--simple square-with-a-tee design with hacksaw cuts every 1/8" or so. Once I got my sparge technique down, I've been in the 75-85% efficiency range every time.

I'm using a rotating sparge arm, but not really doing a continuous sparge in the sense that some people think of "continuous". I mean, there are people who believe you have to maintain an exact water level on top of the grain the whole time and it can't vary at all--that's not how I do it, partially because the sparge arm won't spin if you don't have a decent flow rate going on. I say just don't disturb the grain bed by dumping water in too fast, and don't let it dry out--as long as you stay in between those two extremes, you should get good results. It's perfectly OK to turn your sparge on/off a few times during the lauter rather than trying to get the perfect constant trickle. The fresh sparge water, being less dense, will still lay on top to some degree so you are still getting a continuous sparge down in the grain bed. So even though you are adding water in batches, it's still a continuous sparge.
 

Schlenkerla

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I forgot about making an important recirc point. You know the basket that comes with the cooler for items that you don't want soaking in ice.....

I use it to disperse the recirc. When you pour water through the basket it splashes out 90 degrees to the fall of the water. It then trickles into the mash without disturbing the bed.

I batch sparge so I'm not worried about channeling. The basket works well.
 

Schlenkerla

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I hope you fair better than I did with the 50qt Igloo. The one I have is marine grade so I thought it would be better insulated than it is. Mine wont hold temp worth a darn and I have had a hard time getting it to seal. I finally bought a 5gal cooler to do my normal 5gal batches in and will only use the 50qt for big beers.
Do you add pre-strike water?? I pour about 3 gal of boiling water in mine before I add any grains. Then I measure the grain temp and adjust the strike water.

One other idea.... Use lots of ping pong balls... Layer them on top of the mash. We use this in plating operations to retain heat in wide open plating baths.

Hollow Balls— Smooth Finish
  • Max. Temp: 220° F; low end not rated
  • Softening Temp.: Not rated
  • Grade: Not rated
  • Sphericity: Not rated
  • Impact Strength: Poor
  • Not rated as an electrical insulator
  • Hardness: Not rated
  • Use indoors and outdoors
Create a floating blanket on the surface of chemical and processing tanks to slow evaporation, cut heat loss, and reduce pollution by containing fumes. Ball diameter should be larger than the inlet, outlet, and overflow pipe diameters of your tank.

McMaster-Carr Search for Hollow balls. Or buy ping pong balls.

I have also toyed with walmart bags. Stuffing 20-30 inside two bags then set them on top of the mash to contain air space or reduce the convection.
 

golfpro

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I have The 60qt Ice Cube. It is not on rollers and was bought about 7 years ago. I don't have a temp drop during mash and the valve sits low and flat. Not much dead space. I can get about 33 LBS max and can get close to the 1.080 mark. I Fly and Batch sparge with two diffrent set-ups. I still don't know which method I like best.
 
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