Monday, May 2, 2011

10 Gallon Mash Tun (total srs business)

Currently I brew on a 5 gallon system. My equipment consists of a 20qt stainless pot that I use as a Hot Liquor Tank (for heating water), 5 gallon igloo cooler Mash Tun, and 7.5 gallon stainless turkey fryer for a brew kettle. Each batch yields 5 gallons which fills one of my kegs. Brew day takes about 5 hours including cleanup plus about an hour of miscellaneous work to get to glass. Upgrading my brewery to 10 gallon capacity gives me twice the beer for the same amount of work. No brainer, amirite?

Today I started my upgrades to start making 10 gallon batches. I picked up a 10 gallon igloo cooler, on sale at Home Depot, and converted to a mash tun. Once I get my hands on a bigger brew kettle, say... 15.5 gallons, my current brew kettle would become my HLT (Hot Liquor Tank). 

Here is my 5 gallon mash tun on left and the 10 gallon cooler I am converting on the right.

 All I really need to do is remove the spigot that comes on the cooler, and replace with a ball valve. Then, I need to build a manifold that will strain the wort (unfermented beer) from the crushed grains.

The backside of the spigot, just twists off. Take the spigot out and it just leaves an empty hole.

I managed to reuse most of the parts from my old mash tun. here is the bulkhead (parts that go through the wall of the cooler) and valve I used.

Once the bulkhead and valve are installed I did a standing leak test. Filled to brim with 10 gallons of water and not a drop leaked. 

This is the shape of the old manifold in the bottom of the 5 gallon tun. you can't see the slots cut into the bottom of all the pipes that let the wort into the manifold.

I built the manifold for my old mash tun from food safe CPVC. The manifold worked well enough, but since I had to cut new pieces to fit the bottom of the new lager cooler I decided to redesign the shape to cover the entire bottom of the cooler. I don't know if it will improve anything but why not over-engineer?

I was able to reuse some of the CPVC pipes from my old manifold (the ones with the slots cut into them) I have to take the parts to work to cut slots into the new pieces.

 Here is the new manifold sitting in the bottom of my new mash tun. 

Next up... installing a drain valve in the bottom of my brew kettle. That's all I got for tonight. tired... movie and bed. 'night all...


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