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Mash tun Build questions

Probably asked and answered here, but looking for some advice.
1, Rectangular cooler is alot cheaper than a round beverage cooler for the same volume, except for heat loss is there any reason to go more expensive?
2, A braided SS water line in a 30" length is just a couple bucks more than 12" or 20".Is there a reason to go with a shorter length?
Thank you.

  1. Assuming you’re batch-sparging, rectangular is preferable to round because it is much easier to stir the grain with the wider opening. Buy a cooler with thick sides and an insulated lid for better heat retention.

  2. The length of the braid doesn’t matter - you can use a 2" piece and get the same flow as with 24". In fact, a shorter braid is probably better since you’re less likely to snag it while stirring.

  1. No. I don’t know that round coolers hold heat any better, my Coleman Extreme only loses ~ 2° in an hour.

  2. No, braid length doesn’t matter. With the longer one you could make a couple more.

If you’re batch sparging there’s really no difference between a round or rectangular cooler. Bigger is better in the fact that you can do bigger beers/larger batches, but on the other hand if your normal batches are smaller you may end up with a mostly empty cooler causing greater heat loss, so you’ll probably want to weigh those variables, but you don’t need to be concerned with the shape.

As for the braid there isn’t really a need to get a real long one, the one I use is probably 6-8" or so and works fine. I’d just go with the cheapest option, just make sure it’s really stainless and not silver plastic :oops:

There can be a little more grain compaction in a round cooler due to less surface area of exposed grain but nothing that a few handfuls of rice hulls won’t fix. I have the Coleman Ultimate Extreme that works very well for batch sparging.

FWIW, I never liked the braid. Moreover, I felt too sensitive during mash stirring about damaging it, and it always–and I mean always–seemed to clog. I know others have had great success with it, but I’m not convinced that all supply hose braids are made equal. You could also consider piping (copper, cpvc) and sawn slits, for a couple bucks more.

Again, may be worth consideration, if you’re still evaluating your mash tun build.

[quote=“Silentknyght”] but I’m not convinced that all supply hose braids are made equal.[/quote]Yeah, there are many different styles and thicknesses - the best that I’ve found (residential quality) are in the gas appliance section, not the plumbing area.

I have used both a braid and a copper manifold with a thousand holes drilled in it. but I now prefer a SS false bottom. I have not had any stuck mash even with my last batch of an oatmeal and rye amber ale. SS False bottom is the way to go!

I use a 10 Rubbermaid “round” cooler, with this boil screen from NB:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/mash ... creen.html

I’ve now done 5 AG (yes 5 whole ones) batches, and the wort flows smoothly.

Paul

There are a lot of different tpes of equipment that will work well. You need to research, pick somehting, and see how it goes. After tryinrg manifolds and false bottoms, I’ll never use anything but SS braid. I’ve used the same braid for 417 batches so far and never had a bit if trouble from it. I had stuck runoffs with both manifolds and false bottoms, but I’ve never had one with the braid.

I am a massive fan of the Round coolers with the braid

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