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[P]
The Making of a Mash/Lauter Tun

By GhostOfTiber in Culture
Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 01:51:23 PM EST
Tags: The Spoils of Wort (all tags)

This is a rewrite of this diary. People were encouraging towards making it a story. Citations will be provided for images since that jew bastard who runs the place hasn't enabled image tags yet.

Making beer is pretty easy, and if you've been following The Spoils of Wort, you probably have the basics down. Making beer, up to this point, has been:

  1. Buy a can of extract (or four)
  2. Steep the specialty grains to make "grain tea"
  3. Bring it to a boil
  4. Toss in hops at some intervals
  5. Cool it, put it in a fermenter and toss in the yeast.

In our bag of tools, we're going to expand number two to eliminate step one. In terms of flavor, we're going to change how many fermentables are present in the wort (body) and the sweetness (enzyme profile).


I made the oath I would jump to allgrain sometime in this lifetime. The hobbles always were that it was expensive to buy a "kit", so I got the brilliant idea to head over to Home Beer Depot and get the fitting myself. Since the valves are usually around $25 alone on the brewing sites, if I could do it for $25 total, I would consider it a success.

I made it all for $17.

I had bought an eight gallon gatoraide coolerhirez awhile ago on the ebay. I never got around to using it for beer. The previous owner had used it extensively and said the valve would need to be replaced. I picked it up for a penny + S&H. Getting the stupid valve for it would prove to be impossibly hard, so I just waysided it until the light bulb went on one day and I realized Home Depots plastic fittings were all food safe along with the sealant in the plumbing aisle. If you're playing along at home, now would be a good time to mention that the only food safe plumbing and sealer is the one in the plumbing aisle. Don't get tempted by the much cheaper pipes in the other aisles (landscaping), or you'll be wondering why your beer tastes like plastic. And, just to be safe, I plan on running boiling water through the whole thing anyway to make sure it's water tight and not going to taste like plastic.

A few notes on what we're building:

  • Bazooka Screen, not false bottom.
  • Brass is OK so long as it comes from the plumbing aisle.
  • Plasic is OK so long as it comes from the plumbing aisle.
  • Don't substitute things from gardening.
  • We're going to use zip ties for fasteners.

You can see the hirez here.

Keeping that in mind, I came up with the following parts. It doesn't matter if you buy them at Home Depot, ACE, or Harbor Freight. They all should carry about the same stuff. Parts:

  • WATTS PL-3042 Spigot. It has a quarter turn adjustment.
  • WATTS A-758 Female Pipe Tee in 3/8th inch
  • 2x Stainless steel lint trap. Stainless. Should come with two zip ties.

Why zip ties? They're not big enough to cause problems with being "food safe" or not, and I'm worried about making a "metal sandwich" and getting corrosion under there. With the zip ties, we avoid getting a metal sandwich and the possibility of making a battery by accident is reduced. Zip ties also are flexible. Remember, the seal doesn't have to be perfect and the goal is to smash grain on top, a bit of give in the plumbing will help eliminate grains being squished through your filter.

Other stuff that will help:

  • Adjustable Wrench
  • Zip ties
  • Spare rubber washer

If you go to Home Depot the fittings are all color coded but be sure you match "universal" with "universal". Mixing universal with flared will result in cracked plastic and leakage. The flared ones are crap anyway and should be avoided. Teflon tape is optional, but since we're not running pressure here it shouldn't be required. The color for 3/8ths is green. If you're colorblind, just read the label. I like the quick disconnect spigots so I can just let them hang or attach whatever I want to it after the fact.

There will be a rubber gasket under the nuthirez which keeps the plastic spigot against the bulkhead of the cooler. I would leave it there. You will need an adjustable wrench to get the nut off, it's some stupid half size to keep people from messing with it, which is exactly what we intend to do.

Do yourself a huge favor and assemble the T junction first. Take your stainless lint traps, unroll them, then zip tie the open end to the T.hirez It doesn't have to be perfect, it just needs to be snug. Now hold the T portion against the rubber gasket, and screw your plastic spigot through the bulkhead (it will grab the gasket, but this isn't the thread, don't be fooled) and into the T. I suggest actually screwing the spigot on until it's all the way through the gasket, then putting the T against it and taking that up. Once it's snugged up, if the spigot is upside down, back it off. Don't try to tighten it until its right side up or you will either break the gasket, the bulkhead, or strip the plastic if it's made of plastic. Remember, we can always add teflon tape. You will notice the lint traps are flat, this isn't going to really work well. Take them along the edged side and press that flathirez so you have a box. We're not too worried about strength since the grain is going to be suspended above this in an oatmeal like solution.

If you've gotten this far, you're done. Admire your work, inside and outside. Make sure the zip ties are tight, fill it up with boiling water and let it sit for however long you feel is safe. Then drain the water through your spigot to get a feel of how far to open the valve for what flow rate. I would suggest making a mark with a black marker on the plastic for "recommended". Remember, the water is going to flow faster out of the valve than wort will. From here, you can pretty much take this project anywhere you want. If you have a box cooler, for instance, I would buy another few sets of lint trap screens, and a cross instead of a T fitting so you could have even more drainage. Instead of a pipe to the spigot, for instance, cut the end off the screen so you have a "screen pipe" and use that as your pipe. In fact, speaking of more drainage, the general comments were to get more draining. Expanding on the original design, I cut the ends off the previous screens to make them tubes, and added one more length of hose. While it's not Papizan's cross, it covers more of the bottom.

If you did this from Northern Brewer, it would cost $50 to $100 depending on if you bought the cooler from them, etc. For my project, the cooler was $5 from ebay, and the parts were an additional $17.

So what are we doing with it? Well, start with some recipes for all grain, and make sure you get cracked grain. Most places will do this for another 10 cents on the pound, so there's little reason to actually buy a mill. Now bring about five gallons of water up to the mashing temperature. If you really want the nuts and bolts of it, I suggest reading Palmer's How to Brew. We're going to borrow a diagram. You want the water somewhere between 148F and 158F. Get the pot of water there, then toss it into our mash/lauter tun and let it warm the tun up for 10 minutes or so. The higher the temperature, the less body the wort has, the dryer it tastes. The lower the temperature here, the more sugars it has, but too low and the wort will have no fermentable sugar and a thick body. Shoot for somewhere in between. Since we're trying to warm up the tun for minimal heat loss, I would suggest going for 160F or so and tossing in the water.

Once this is all good and warmed up, toss the water back into the kettle. The water will have lost heat, so bring it up to 165F. There's actually different effects you can get out of different "rests", but for the sake of keeping it simple for the first batch, 165F should get close. Remember, the grain is cool. Toss that grain into the pot. If you built my tun, you will need to seat the screens and pour grain around them. you want things evenly spaced between the walls and screens, you don't want the screens against the walls of the cooler. Once the tun is filled up, re-add the water. Get out a large spoon and stir it up. The grain and water mess should be like thick oatmeal. Have the water barely above the grain bed. Slam the lid on, things should be 158F or so (lower is better), and forget about it an hour. Measure the wort temp on the way out. It should be down to 150F or so. The coolers aren't 100% efficient, keep this in mind.

Now you need to get the actual wort out of the grains, and separate the sugars from the grains, which hopefully will have become soluble. To do this, we're going to turn to a device called a sparge arm, which delivers the hot liquor (water) into the grains to lauter (rinse) them. My sparge arm is a coffee lid. It just has to pour water into the grain slowly. Heat up more water (about two gallons) to 180F. Any more and you risk extracting tannins, any less and the sugar will gel and you'll get a stuck sparge. If you get a stuck sparge, your only option is to blow into your spigot. Slowly pour the hot water onto the coffee lid at the same rate you're letting wort out. No more than two gallons, and keep it going slowly. The faster it goes, the thinner the wort is, the more you need to collect. After the first liter or so, you will notice it runs significantly more clearly. You want to re-add all the nasty wort to the cooler, so you can collect sweet, clear wort.

From here you know what you're doing, go back to the top and start at step three. If you're saying "But I don't have a 10 gallon pot!", you collected too much wort. You want, at most, about 7 gallons, which will boil down to 5. If you're like me and you only have a six gallon kettle, you can use another kettle along side it. Just remember to stir them both, and add the hops to the larger. You can combine them later, in the fermenter.

Good luck, happy brewing.

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After reading this howto
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Related Links
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o WATTS PL-3042
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o Also by GhostOfTiber


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The Making of a Mash/Lauter Tun | 65 comments (64 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Important point (3.00 / 4) (#1)
by rusty on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 08:39:50 PM EST

Have you actually made beer with this yet? I started in all-grain with a bucket-in-bucket tun, with lots of holes and a fine mesh bag between the two. Fly-sparging (adding sparge water slowly while draining) worked well for this, because the drainage was across the entire bottom surface of the tun.

Then I built a cooler-and-screen type tun, like this one (rectangular, but functionally the same). I made a batch with it, all seemed to be going great, I used the same fly-sparging technique, I was golden.

BUT! I measured my OG before the boil and found the extraction efficiency sucked. It was ~50%. With my bucket system I was around 75%-78%. So the gravity was way low. The beer came out great, but I could have made the same beer with half the grain.

Eventually I figured it out. The screen means you're draining from only a very small area of your tun. Pretty quickly, you end up sucking all the sugars out of the grains in a path between your incoming sparge water an your screen, and that's it. I left a ton of sugar in the tun, because it just wasn't moving through the grain.

The solution to this is to batch-sparge. Do your mash, then open the tap and drain out all the wort you have. Then dump in about half your sparge water, let it sit for a little while, then drain all that out too. Dump in the other half of your sparge water, repeat.

Draining all the wort out at each step means you get the sugars from everywhere in the tun, not just right over your screen. It is my opinion, from trying it, that fly-sparging is not the way to go with this setup. A batch sparge will do the exact same job (except it'll actually work) and is much less finicky as well -- no adjusting flow rates all the time.

The only possible drawback is you will be draining your wort right out each time, so you do need to make sure your screens don't collapse. Either put something in the to keep them open (small hose clamps on the inside maybe?) or use a stiffer screen, like the stainless mesh on the outside of one of those flexible water-supply tubes. You just hack off the ends and slip the rubber hose out of the stainless mesh.

____
Not the real rusty

Am I the only one (3.00 / 3) (#2)
by jandev on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:34:04 PM EST

Who has no fucking idea what our benevolent dictator is talking about here? He might as well be talking Ingusetian. Or legalese.

"ENGINEERS" IS NOT POSSESSIVE. IT'S A PLURAL. YOU DO NOT MOTHERFUCKING MARK A PLURAL WITH A COCKSUCKING APOSTROPHE. APOSTROPHES ARE FOR MARKING POSSESSIVES IN THIS CASE. IF YOU WEREN'T A TOTAL MORON, YOU WOULD BE SAYING SOMETHING LIKE "THE CIVIL ENGINEER'S SMALL PENIS". SEE THAT APOSTROPHE? IT'S A HAPPY APOSTROPHE. IT'S NOT BEING ABUSED BY SOME GODDAMN SHIT-FOR-BRAINS IDIOT WITH NO EDUCATION. - Nimey
[ Parent ]

Pretty, Though. (none / 0) (#3)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:49:05 PM EST

Almost hypnotic. Like Ginsberg, but smelling even yeastier. Like Burroughs or the economics news, only more coherent.

Also, in a pinch, it could probably serve as the chief engineer's explanation for how to save the day on Star Trek.


_____
SCIFI STORYTELLING: Free & Addictive, Freshened Weekly
[ Parent ]
All Dylithium Brewing. (3.00 / 4) (#8)
by xC0000005 on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 12:43:06 AM EST

Captain, we have to splarge the ions through this mash tun I constructed from non caucasian humanoid being's skulls. Only then will the specific gravity well open enough to restart the warp core.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
AYE CANNA DEW I' CIPTIN! (3.00 / 2) (#12)
by rusty on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 09:38:03 AM EST

AYE NEEDS MOAR LITHIUM ANTIPSYCHOTICS!

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
DON'T DIRTY UP MY THREAD (none / 0) (#20)
by GhostOfTiber on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 03:33:14 PM EST

WITH MICHAEL CRAWFORD.

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne
[ Parent ]

Ha ha (none / 1) (#22)
by rusty on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 04:39:13 PM EST

The Making of Fail.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Er, well... (none / 0) (#9)
by rusty on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 09:29:55 AM EST

That comment was pretty much entirely for GoT, in the expectation that maybe he'd adjust the article. I was also pressed for time, or I'd have explained it more thoroughly.

When this posts I'll try to remember to come back and provide a translation of that into english.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

EDITORIAL COMMENTS (none / 1) (#16)
by jandev on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 11:52:41 AM EST

You invented the feature, FFS.

"ENGINEERS" IS NOT POSSESSIVE. IT'S A PLURAL. YOU DO NOT MOTHERFUCKING MARK A PLURAL WITH A COCKSUCKING APOSTROPHE. APOSTROPHES ARE FOR MARKING POSSESSIVES IN THIS CASE. IF YOU WEREN'T A TOTAL MORON, YOU WOULD BE SAYING SOMETHING LIKE "THE CIVIL ENGINEER'S SMALL PENIS". SEE THAT APOSTROPHE? IT'S A HAPPY APOSTROPHE. IT'S NOT BEING ABUSED BY SOME GODDAMN SHIT-FOR-BRAINS IDIOT WITH NO EDUCATION. - Nimey
[ Parent ]

Yeah, I debated (none / 0) (#21)
by rusty on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 04:38:39 PM EST

about whether to make that editorial or not. I decided not because if this posts unchanged, it's a relevant topical comment too. And anyone with some brewing experience will more or less understand it. I did ponder though.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
he's new here. (none / 1) (#48)
by /dev/trash on Sat Nov 29, 2008 at 09:20:32 PM EST

cut the man some slack.,


---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
[ Parent ]
Yeah, "sparging", what the heck (none / 0) (#32)
by ksandstr on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 08:47:32 AM EST

It sounds sort of painful now that I think about it properly.

Fin.
[ Parent ]
try a water based lubricant (nt) (none / 0) (#33)
by GhostOfTiber on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 09:01:08 AM EST


[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne
[ Parent ]

OF COURSE NOT (none / 0) (#4)
by GhostOfTiber on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:03:53 PM EST

RE: The stainless mesh - I was looking at it but none of the ones at home depot were 3/8ths of an inch. I realize that I had to fold and clamp down to 3/8ths", but the other side of it is that I know the tubes are the right size.

RE: Batch VS Fly - I've read up on both, and after some discussion with the guys on BA and HBD, fly sparging works with this BUT you have to have the hoses in the right spot. If you're having efficiency problems with fly sparging, it's usually because your flow rate is too high. Actually this design is largely stolen from Papizan in his book, but palmer's take on it is go REALLY slowly.

Now you've got me all paranoid and I'm going to have to actually measure my wort. Normally I gloss it if extract brewing since the conversion is strict.

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne
[ Parent ]

Yeah but (none / 0) (#10)
by rusty on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 09:33:43 AM EST

Why bother with all the "Go really slowly" hassle when you can just batch sparge? If you're doing batch, you can drain it as fast as your screen will tolerate. Doesn't make any difference, since you're going to drain the whole thing anyway.

I don't know. I guess I'd say this -- if you're going to fly sparge, make your first beer something that's intended to be pretty high gravity. So if it doesn't work very well, you end up with a lower gravity version of the same thing and it's still drinkable. Mine was a porter that was supposed to start in the 1.6 range and wound up more like in the 1.35 range. So it's 3.3% abv instead of 5.x%. Tastes great though.

I got the parts I needed this morning to make my valve sturdier, so I'll do my next one batch sparged and report back.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

DO IT (none / 0) (#13)
by GhostOfTiber on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 09:38:52 AM EST

because as I understand it, fly sparging collects less wort (good for someone like myself who is volume challenged in his kettle and apartment) at a higher concentration of sugar. While I realize the traditional batch sparge is two fills, I don't have a 10+ gallon pot.

I plan on keeping a few pounds of DME in the back Just In Case my gravity comes out grossly low.

I was going to brew this weekend but I'm tapped out money wise. :[

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne
[ Parent ]

But... but... (none / 1) (#35)
by rusty on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 09:40:42 AM EST

I don't entirely understand, I think. If you're going to brew all grain, you'll need a pot at least big enough to collect a full 5 gallon boil. So 6.5 gallons or so of wort, so an 8 gallon pot for preference.

If you have that, and something else that'll hold at least 2.5 gallons, you should be good.

Say your recipe uses 11 lbs of grain. You'd be aiming for about 4 or 4 1/4 gallons of mash water. Collect all that off. You'd probably get a little under 4 gallons out. Sparge with 2.5 gallons, then collect that. You've probably got 6.5 gallons and just about all the sugar that was there by now. If you're boiling in an 8 gallon pot, I'd sparge one more time with another 2.5 gallons and take as much as you can comfortably fit in the pot and still boil. Better to have too much wort than not enough.

So you don't need anything bigger than your regular boiling kettle. It's nice to have two 8 gallon pots, so you can heat up a lot of sparge water all at once, but it's not really required if you can scrape up two smaller pots.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

I've got a 6 gallon kettle from Acme (none / 0) (#37)
by GhostOfTiber on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 11:03:46 AM EST

and another 4 gallon pot ("the spaghetti pot" according to the wifelet) so figure 5 gallons in my main pot and 3 gallons in the spaghetti pot makes 8 gallons capacity. It's more full than I would like so I would have to be damned careful about boil overs (how's the foaming before the hot break with AG anyway?) but it's doable.

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne
[ Parent ]

So but (none / 0) (#38)
by rusty on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 11:21:01 AM EST

What are you going to use to hold your sparge water while you're collecting wort? You can use the 4 gallon pot while you're filling the 6 gallon, but then what? You need to collect in the 4 gallon after that.

Of course, if you batch sparge, no problem. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Alright, so now that you know my tools (none / 0) (#39)
by GhostOfTiber on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 11:25:01 AM EST

and capacity, describe to me how I would batch sparge? I still end up with two volumes of wort from the grain, am i right? Which means I would need to collect 10 gallons if I'm using 5 gallons to sparge, correct?

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne
[ Parent ]

Ah but (none / 1) (#42)
by rusty on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 12:44:39 PM EST

If you're batch sparging, you can take your second pot of sparge water, empty the whole thing into the tun, stir it and wait a few minutes, and drain it into the (now empty) pot you got it from. If you were fly-sparging, you'd need to be drawing the sparge water from that pot and also draining it into something else at the same time. That was my thinking.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Also (none / 1) (#43)
by rusty on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 12:46:59 PM EST

It's no problem to leave some of the sparge in the tun. By the end you're not collecting much besides water. If they say "four gallons from the mash and 2 2.5 gallon sparges" you're just going to collect 4 + 2.5 + whatever you need. You're not required to use it all. The second sparge will be very low gravity anyway.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
OK, I get it now (none / 0) (#44)
by GhostOfTiber on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 01:46:09 PM EST

I posted to HOMEBREW over at Beer Advocate. They cleared it up for me. I have the Palmer book but had skipped the AG section.

Where I was confused was I thought I was using 1 gallon of water to 1 lbs grain. The guys over at BA set me straight on using about 1qt to 1.5qt of water to 1lbs grain, so suddenly the numbers make a lot more sense.

So basically I'm going to:

  1. Toss grain in there
  2. Heat up water to about 165F, add 1qt of water per labs of grain.
  3. Wait an hour at the temp target.
  4. bring this total up to 6 gallons of 170F water.
  5. Stir it up, let it sit for 10 minutes.
  6. Collect this and brew as normal. I figure if I have to add another gallon of water to get the last little bit out it will be fine.

This is correct, right?

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne
[ Parent ]

Almost (3.00 / 2) (#45)
by rusty on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 03:29:34 PM EST

Steps 1, 2, and 3 are right. Then you need to replace step 4 with:

4a. Drain out this wort.
4b. Add sparge water to drained grain.

Then continue with step 5.

If you're intent on fly-sparging, you'd sort of do 4a and 4b at the same time -- start draining your wort and start adding sparge water, balancing the flow rates of incoming water and outgoing wort, and just do that until you have as much wort as you want.

But with batch, you get all of your first wort runnings out first. Then you add a whack of sparge water all at once. Then you get all of that out, then you do it again.

I think your list above would probably work ok, actually. But one advantage to draining and the reloading with hotter sparge water is you'd actually raise the temp of the mash considerably more, so you'd free more sugars and also stop the mashing. You could achieve the same thing by adding hotter sparge water to a cooler full of wort, but then you'd have to mess with heat equations to figure out how much hotter...

That make sense?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

And by "add sparge water" you mean (none / 0) (#47)
by GhostOfTiber on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 06:13:27 PM EST

"of equal volumes to the drained water"?

(EG: 1qt per lbs of grain).

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne
[ Parent ]

More (none / 1) (#46)
by rusty on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 03:36:36 PM EST

I just read this and what you're describing is apparently No-sparge brewing. I had not heard of it. Nevertheless, I think you can beat 50% efficiency by quite a bit, so I still don't think it sounds very good.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
One other thing (none / 0) (#11)
by rusty on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 09:35:14 AM EST

I found that any kind of stirring (which is required to get the mash mixed evenly) moved my screen around in ways that were not under my control. So it may be in the right place to start, but how are you going to keep it there?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
I dunno (none / 0) (#14)
by GhostOfTiber on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 09:41:23 AM EST

Since you've gotten me all paranoid, I was planning on adding another brass pipe to the tail of it, not only to make a more efficient ring instead of just a C shape, but also to weigh the screens down more and try to keep them in place better. The brass is hefty enough I doubt stirring would move it much. I am going back to home depot today to correct this condition and I will update the photos accordingly.

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne
[ Parent ]

A simpler method (none / 1) (#17)
by DK4 Bloo on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 12:57:37 PM EST

just bootstrap with aluminium splines in quarter relays.

[ Parent ]
Important, yes (none / 0) (#49)
by Aphexian on Wed Dec 10, 2008 at 11:38:30 PM EST

Please correct me if I'm wrong - I think you're talking about 'channeling.' If so, it can be controlled by a) a better grain crush, b) a better recipe, or c) a better manifold.

The screen is the manifold, and the 'better' design I've used (quotes intended, we're all hacking here) is a copper circle or rectangular shape - depending on the container - with small saw cuts on the underside. That way it drains from the bottom and the force of the siphon doesn't cause the grain to channel as easily.

Sorry if I'm repeating things you already know.

[I]f there were NO religions, there would be actual, true peace... Bunny Vomit
[ Parent ]

Yeah (none / 1) (#50)
by rusty on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 10:59:26 AM EST

The manifold design is particularly important -- if you have a single screen tube in the middle of the bottom of the tun, I don't think any crush or recipe variables are going to prevent serious channeling.

My point was more that fly-sparging is kind of overrated, given the hassles of designing a manifold good enough to do it with a cooler-style mash tun. Like, it's not worth (IMO) the trouble given that you can batch sparge and get the exact same product out without doing anything fancy to the manifold in the first place.

If you were determined to fly-sparge though, I would say a false bottom has to be the way to go. It seems like compared to all the contortions people go through with circular pipes and pie-shaped assemblies and the saw cuts and all, like you're describing, a simple fine screen cut to the shape of your tun's bottom has to be easier and probably more effective, doesn't it? If I were going that route, I'd probably rig something up out of stiff hardware cloth with a slight dish shape (to hold the shape of the false bottom) covered with a finer mesh screen to filter particulates.

My old tun was bucket-in-bucket, which is effectively a false bottom, and worked very well like that.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

SPEAKING OF.... (none / 0) (#51)
by GhostOfTiber on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:12:20 PM EST

....do you guys go with the "drain, fill with sparge water, drain, repeat until enough is collected" method or do you just dump the whole bit in and collect that?

'cause I am brewing TONIGHT.

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne
[ Parent ]

I don't do either yet (none / 1) (#52)
by rusty on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:26:56 PM EST

I have actually not done a batch-method brew yet. I was planning to go with "drain, fill, drain, fill, drain."

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
so you just run the wort through the cooler (none / 0) (#53)
by GhostOfTiber on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:36:14 PM EST

after dumping the can in and pretend to make beer?

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne
[ Parent ]

What? (3.00 / 2) (#54)
by rusty on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 03:09:56 PM EST

Heh, no I made one batch with my cooler apparatus, and I fly-sparged it, with the crappy 50% extraction efficiency I mentioned earlier. It made an awesome beer, just one very low in alcohol.

My plan, when I get around to the next batch, is to batch sparge it. I expect it to work a lot better.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

OK (none / 0) (#55)
by GhostOfTiber on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:51:51 PM EST

I am going for Palmer's IPA.

I figure if it's really badly off the mark, it'll be really hoppy. If I somehow overshoot the mark (I believe he calculates everything at 70% efficiency) then it'll be less hoppy.

Either way I win since you hate the style.

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne
[ Parent ]

Say wha? (none / 1) (#56)
by rusty on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:55:19 PM EST

I don't hate IPA at all. I like it. Quite a bit, actually. If I'm in doubt about what I feel like drinking, that's pretty much what I get.

As long as you don't plan to put pumpkins in it or something.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Actually yes - FB (none / 1) (#57)
by Aphexian on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 09:58:40 PM EST

False bottom is definitely the way to go - you're right. Generally they are stainless and cut specific to the container (or really, just purchased with the container, that's the easiest)

I believe Williams Brewing or MoreBeer has them, sized specifically for the Igloo-style coolers. At this point, however, it's all about how much money you want to save and how much you like making gadgets.

I did mini-mashes for a couple of years in a pot in the oven and a kitchen colander lined with cheesecloth. I had to stick big wooden spoons in the handles to keep the colander from falling into the bucket, but I had good efficiency and made some yummy beers. It's not so much about the equipment as understanding what you're trying to accomplish.

[I]f there were NO religions, there would be actual, true peace... Bunny Vomit
[ Parent ]

Rusty brews? Coo' (none / 0) (#58)
by awgsilyari on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 06:06:57 PM EST

Eventually I figured it out. The screen means you're draining from only a very small area of your tun. Pretty quickly, you end up sucking all the sugars out of the grains in a path between your incoming sparge water an your screen, and that's it. I left a ton of sugar in the tun, because it just wasn't moving through the grain.

Yeah, channelling is a significant problem with fly sparging. This leads to an argument that batch sparging is inherently better because it has no channelling issues, but it IS possible to deal with channelling. Having said that, I batch sparge.

The solution to this is to batch-sparge. Do your mash, then open the tap and drain out all the wort you have. Then dump in about half your sparge water, let it sit for a little while, then drain all that out too. Dump in the other half of your sparge water, repeat.

A vorlauf is probably a good idea at each batch sparge. You drain several pints of wort into a bucket, pot, or whatever, to allow the grain bed to set and the chunks to stop flowing. This way you end up with less solid "junk" in your boil kettle. It has a significant impact on final clarity, and some people swear it reduced infection risk. Either way, it's something I do, and recommend.


--------
Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com
[ Parent ]

Vorlauf (none / 0) (#59)
by rusty on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 08:39:28 PM EST

Yes, I do that too. I was summarizing for brevity. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
rusty. (none / 1) (#60)
by parakopo on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 12:48:38 PM EST

how can I send you a private message?

[ Parent ]
emale him at rusty@kuro5hin.org (none / 0) (#61)
by GhostOfTiber on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 11:47:06 AM EST

He checks it. Usually.

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne
[ Parent ]

Are you sure? I dont think so. (none / 1) (#62)
by parakopo on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 04:32:51 AM EST

I have already done it, and I received no answer.

[ Parent ]
Sorry (none / 0) (#63)
by rusty on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 10:38:32 AM EST

I was on vacation between Christmas and New Year's. I'll be catching up on my email momentarily.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
-1, too us-centric (2.00 / 3) (#5)
by Jobst of Moravia on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:11:11 PM EST

my home brew runs me $1 a litre and thats the way i like it

---
              __
   .,-;-;-,. /'_\ ---Did this Negro say "Street Moor"?
 _/_/_/_|_\_\) /
'-<_><_><_><_>=\
 `/_/====/_/-'\_\
  ""     ""    ""

Bullshit (none / 1) (#6)
by GhostOfTiber on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:23:35 PM EST

Your third world shithole pays it's constituents in cocain, not dollars.

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne
[ Parent ]

coacine costs $800 a gram here (3.00 / 2) (#23)
by Jobst of Moravia on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:15:45 PM EST

maybe finance executives or something

---
              __
   .,-;-;-,. /'_\ ---Did this Negro say "Street Moor"?
 _/_/_/_|_\_\) /
'-<_><_><_><_>=\
 `/_/====/_/-'\_\
  ""     ""    ""

[ Parent ]

cts's recipe for cinnamon buns (3.00 / 7) (#7)
by circletimessquare on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 12:25:43 AM EST

  1. find a hot chick
  2. bend her over
  3. but icing on her buns
  4. repeat as necessary


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

where's the cinnamon? (none / 1) (#18)
by GhostOfTiber on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 01:38:42 PM EST

Is that the burn from your herpes?

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne
[ Parent ]

cinnamon=arabic,hispanic,indian or se asian chick (3.00 / 2) (#19)
by circletimessquare on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 01:58:22 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
u said hot. (3.00 / 3) (#25)
by Ruston Rustov on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 08:21:28 PM EST


I had had incurable open sores all over my feet for sixteen years. The doctors were powerless to do anything about it. I told my psychiatrist that they were psychosomatic Stigmata - the Stigmata are the wounds Jesus suffered when he was nailed to the cross. Three days later all my sores were gone. -- Michael Crawford
Maybe tomorrow. -- Michael Crawford
As soon as she has her first period, fuck your daughter. -- localroger

[ Parent ]
You have to actually do it though (3.00 / 4) (#27)
by Hiphopopotamus on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 10:17:03 PM EST

You can't just draw cartoons of it
_________________

I'm In LOVE!
[ Parent ]

Edited the story (none / 0) (#24)
by GhostOfTiber on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:53:17 PM EST

Added the new hose design:
http://knarrnia.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/revised-drain-small.jpg

What do both of you think?

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne

Looks like (none / 0) (#29)
by Vampire Zombie Abu Musab al Zarqawi on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 05:21:09 AM EST

technology found in the trenches.

[ Parent ]
It's the BROTHERHOOD OF STEEL's (3.00 / 2) (#30)
by GhostOfTiber on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 06:25:27 AM EST

MASHTUN. I HAVE 10 OF THEM BUT CANNOT USE THEM WITHOUT TRAINING.

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne
[ Parent ]

Better (none / 0) (#34)
by rusty on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 09:29:16 AM EST

I still say batch sparge, but what the hell. Half the fun is finding out what works.

I've got my tun fixed, finally, with a frankenassembly of unions and nipples and random crap from the hardware store. I'll probably brew next weekend.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

oh, nipples, now you've got me interested (none / 0) (#36)
by GhostOfTiber on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 10:56:51 AM EST

Would there also be clamps, praytell?

What's your spigot look like?

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne
[ Parent ]

Hot Hardware Action (3.00 / 2) (#40)
by rusty on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 11:55:51 AM EST

Here's the outside. From away from the cooler working in, it's 3/8 ID vinyl tube, a 1/2 NPT to 3/8 barb adapter, 1/4 turn 1/2 NPT valve, threaded on to a 1/2 NPT nipple that goes through the cooler (invisible) in front of a small locknut that you can just barely see and a 1/2" escutcheon (the big round silver thing) that I happened to have lying around to take up a little space and hold it all tight to the cooler.

On the inside it's a 1/2" stainless mesh, rolled up in a hose clamp at the far end. The bulkhead end is hose clamped to a 1/2 NPT to 1/2 nylon barb (the white thing) screwed into a 1/2 NPT union (the brass thing) that's screwed on to the 1/2 nipple from the outside, and snug against the gasket that came with the original cooler valve.

I need a little teflon tape on the outside, under the valve, but other than that it appears to work well.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

It's amazing what people go through to get drunk. (2.50 / 6) (#26)
by greengrass on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 08:34:23 PM EST

7-11 PBR FTW

-1 Alcohol destroys Rock Musicians and children (3.00 / 3) (#28)
by givemegmail111 on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 11:33:09 PM EST



--
McDonalds: i'm lovin' it
Start your day tastefully with a
I wish your mother drank more (3.00 / 2) (#31)
by GhostOfTiber on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 08:14:15 AM EST

FAS isn't cutting it with the invention of the internet.

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne
[ Parent ]

Correct! Hooray for alcohol! (3.00 / 4) (#41)
by BottleRocket on Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 12:35:48 PM EST


$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $
. ₩ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . *
$ . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
Yes I do download [child pornography], but I don't keep it any longer than I need to, so it can yield insight as to how to find more. --MDC
$ . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
. . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . *
. ₩ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $
$B R Σ III$

[ Parent ]

Where are the pictures of the non-beta version?? (none / 0) (#64)
by lawngnomehitman on Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 08:52:52 PM EST

This was the alpha version, when the grain smashed the shit out of the tubes, and there was NO sugar flowin, we re-built it, from braided hoses. NOW WE SPARGE FAST AND FURIOUS MOTHERFUCKER!

I am going to stab you in the neck. (none / 0) (#65)
by GhostOfTiber on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:59:31 AM EST

http://www.knarrnia.com/2008/12/14/revised-revised-mash-tun/

There's the updated post.

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne
[ Parent ]

The Making of a Mash/Lauter Tun | 65 comments (64 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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