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5 gallon mash tun

I do some big double batches and have to sparge twice with no ill effects. I try to get 3 equal runnings, no big deal just have to do a little more pencil work.

Hmmm, this is making me consider going back to my 5 gallon mash tun setup, which I like far better than my current 36qt square cooler setup. Perhaps I’ll do this for my next beer, see how I like it. I was doing 4 gallon batches before, and the 5 gallon cooler is perfect. But now I’m up to 6 gallon batches and needed a larger mash tun. I usually try to make my mash and sparge water as close in volume as possible. But I suppose splitting it 3 ways could work…

I’ve found that despite the theory there’s very little difference made by maintaining equal runoff volumes. These days I mash around 1.65 qt./lb. and then just sparge with whatever amount I need for boil volume. It’s had next to no effect on my efficiency.

I’ve found that despite the theory there’s very little difference made by maintaining equal runoff volumes. These days I mash around 1.65 qt./lb. and then just sparge with whatever amount I need for boil volume. It’s had next to no effect on my efficiency.[/quote]
Good to know, Denny. Thanks for sharing!

I mash in with about 1.3 qts/lb and after the mash I infuse about a gallon of boiling water to function as a mash out. It doesn’t always get to a 165-168 temp, but that’s ok-- I’m not trying to stop conversion necesarily, I’m trying to make sure the runoff is less viscous. If I were to mash the way Denny does, and I get a stuck runoff, I’d have no room to infuse hot water to help with it. One of the downsides of a small tun.

You could run off about a gallon of the mash, heat to boiling and add back for your mashout. Adds time, but saves space in the tun as well.

Keep the tips coming. Have been absorbing them all. Won’t get to try this until next weekend though.

You should check out a chart of sugar viscosity vs. temp. Raising the temp a few degrees makes an imperceptible difference in viscosity.

I have used a 5G round cooler with a braid since I started in with partial mashes about 2 years ago. I do use the greenbay rackers site- it’s very handy. In the past year of doing primarily AG batches, I have had 3 batches of more than 13 lbs grist. With these larger batches I use a rectangular cooler with 2 BIAB paint bags. It works, but my mash efficiency drops from around 70-75% with the smaller batches down to 60-65% with the larger batches. I think it’s predominantly because I don’t do a good sparge with the BIAB setup.
With the 5G setup, if my volume is right up to the top(which is the usual), if I decide I want to raise temp. to mashout, I just do a quick(ish) decoction by taking out 1-2 qts., bringing it to a boil, and adding it back.

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