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How about a wooden barrel mash tun?

A wooden mash tun? Sure, wood was used historically. It insulates well. I am thinking a used 30 gallon whiskey barrel from a local distillery. After a few uses the oak flavors and tannins are leached out. If I store it upside down I can fill the rim with star-san to keep the bands tight. I can make a lid out of wood.
I have used a keg with a false bottom, but did not like all the heat loss and never could insulate it sufficiently. Every time I tried putting heat on the bottom I had issues with scorching.
I switched to a 60 qt Igloo Ice Cube because it fit on my where the keg used to go. Because of the silly wheels it does not have a flat bottom. I fly sparge. I tried making a manifold out of hose braid but my lauters and slow and sticky. I would like to switch back to a false bottom, but because of the lack of a flat bottom I cant.
I was thinking of a 58 qt Colman Xtreme, or one of the 54 sq coolers with the stainless steel outside, but I don’t like how they would fit on my stand.
Then I started thinking a wood barrel might be the way to go. I know Jamil Zainasheff has talked about his friend Dave Sapsis making great beer using a clapped out old wooden barrel as the mash tun, so why not? Anyone out there have any experience using wood as a mash tun/lauter tun?

You might want to try putting a piece of copper tubing inside your braid to hold it open. This solved my own slow/stuck lauter problems. Theres no reason for a braid to be slow unless its collapsing near the drain hose.

That said, a wooden mashtun would surely work. I’m not sure you’re right about it holding temp well, and its heavy relative to plastics. How do you plan to lauter, false bottom with a spigot in the bottom of the barrel?

Sometimes you’ve gotta say to yourself “Is there a reason I’ve never seen anyone doing this?”.

This is golden Denny, I love it.

John

i say go for it! i’d imagine it’ll be difficult to clean but as long as you’re ready for some trial and error it could be cool to see what happens.

Get the 50 qt Cube. :wink:

This is golden Denny, I love it.

John[/quote]

Pragmatism at work, buddy!

Well I on the plus side it will probably look awesome and will retain heat better than a keg but on the down side it does seem messy working with wood.

let me put it this way, if you’re doing sour ales then the wooden barrel would be a no brainer for me.

A mashtun isn’t going to be a source of contamination unless you leave the mash for an extended period. Boiling wort will kill anything befor eit can get started.

I love wood, I have several barrels for various applications. Mashtun isn’t one of them though.

I would think it would harbor bacteria. True it may be killed in the boil, but…why bother when there are better things available? Red coolers work great, and blue ones are pretty good too I hear.

So if he does try this he should try and find a redwood barrel? Red oak? Or blue beech?

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