Posts Tagged mash tun

Don’s Home Brewery – Easter Sunday 2010 – A Garage Door Opener Making Beer!

This morning I stopped by at Don’s house. He invited me over to checkout his home brewery and hang out for a bit while he brewed. He was brewing a half wheat recipe and was mashing-in when I arrived.

I saw something, I never expected to see before, a garage door opener used to make beer! Don was scooping his cracked barley/wheat blend into the mash tun and using a cannibalized garage door opener to stir his mash. Very ingenious! I am sure the guys at Genie garage doors never thought their door opener could make beer!

While the Genie Garage Door Opener stirred the mash tun, we sampled some of his home brew. Don gave me a sample of his Dunkel Wheat and Maibock. Both were fabulous! Don told me when making the Dunkel he didn’t have any dark roasted barley, so he roasted the malt for the Dunkel in his oven. I am going to have to try this for myself sometime!

Here is a picture of Don’s brew-house. The left keg is Don’s Brew Kettle, the center keg covered with insulation is the Mash Tun, and the right keg is the Holt Liquor Tank. Don has a March Pump for lautering his mash and transferring wort to the kettle.

Don uses conical fermenters at his home brewery. They are poly-propylene conical tanks that were designed for making bio-diesel. Don says they work perfectly but don’t hold any pressure. Also in the background, is Don’s grain mill. He converted an old file-cabinet into a grain cabinet that perfectly fits a 7 gallon bucket to catch the cracked grain.

Don and I will definitely be brewing together sometime soon! So stay tuned.

Mash Stirrer - Genie Garage Door Opener coverted to Stir Mash

Mash Stirrer - Genie Garage Door Opener coverted to Stir Mash

Don's Brewery

Don's Brewery

Don's Conical Fermenters

Don's Conical Fermenters

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How to Make a Mash Tun out of a 10 Gallon Water Cooler

Overview All grain brewing is the brewing of beer directly from malted grains and not using malt extracts. Many of the sugars, starches, and proteins in the malted grain grist are not readily available for yeast to metabolize. These sugars, starches, and proteins require an enzymatic process to convert them to fermentable sugars. The mash tun is the container used for mashing of the grain. A good mash tun will provide excellent control of the grain/liquor temperature, pH, and drainage when sparging. This article illustrates the step by step assembly of my 10 gallon mash tun.

Getting Started You need the following:

Qty. Description Image Cost
1 10 Gallon Rubbermaid Insulated Water Cooler
10 gallon cooler

10 gallon cooler

$34.99
1 Kewler Kitz™ Cooler Conversion Kit

Kewler Kitz Cooler Conversion

Kewler Kitz Cooler Conversion

$31.95
1 12″ Stainless Steel False Bottom w/ ½” NPT 3/8”barbed 90° elbow

False Bottom

False Bottom

$28.95
1 Mash Tun False Bottom Adapter

  • 1 – 1/2” NPT to 3/8” Barbed Fitting
  • 1 – 6” of 3/8” ID Tubing
  • 2 – 3/8” to 7/8” Stainless Steel Hose Clamps

False Bottom Adapter

False Bottom Adapter

$3.95
1 Teflon Tape

Teflon Tape

Teflon Tape

$0.00 (Already own it)
1 Channel Lock Pliers

Channel Lock Pliers

Channel Lock Pliers

$0.00 (Already own it)
1 Crescent Wrench

Crescent Wrench

Crescent Wrench

$0.00 (Already own it)
1 Common Screw Driver

Screw Driver

Screw Driver

$0.00 (Already own it)

Subtotal

$99.84

Assembly Steps:

1 Collect all of the parts necessary for the mash tun.

Remove the plastic spigot from the cooler.

Collect all of your Mash Tun Parts

Collect all of your Mash Tun Parts

2 Disassemble the Kewler Kitz Cooler Conversion Kit.

Insert the stainless steel nipple with washer and small red silicone gasket through the cooler’s spigot hole.
3 On the outside of the cooler, slide the larger red silicone gasket onto the stainless steel nipple.

4 Add teflon tape onto the threads of the stainless steel nipple.
Add the 7/8” threaded brass nut onto the teflon cloated stainless steel nipple. Hand tighten.

5 Using a crescent wrench tighten the brass nut while securing the stainless fitting in the cooler with channellock pliers.

6 Hand tighten the brass ball valve onto the teflon coated nipple.

7 Assemble the false bottom by inserting the threaded side of NPT 90 degree elbow through the false bottom hole and the tightening the brass nut.

8 Add teflon tape to the threads of the Mash Tun False Bottom Adapter and tighten onto the inside of the cooler. Connect the false bottom to the stainless steel coupling inside the cooler.

9 Slide the hose onto the barb on the false bottom and tighten the stainless steel hose clamps.

10 Fill with water and test for leaks. If leaks found, tighten fittings.

Kewler Kitz Assembly

Kewler Kitz Assembly

Summary:

Making your own mashtun is not that hard or expensive. When you are done you will have an excellent mashtun that will hold mash temperatures for a long time.

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