I recently told you about my desire to rebuild my brewery and my need to retool a couple pieces of equipment.
This post will address some thoughts on my mash tun. I currently use a 50qt “ice-cube” cooler. I like coolers because they are already insulated and come in a variety of shapes. They are relatively cheap and easy to drill hole or what have you. The biggest draw back is the flat bottoms.
I think the ultimate mashing device would truly drain from the bottom, beneath the grain bed. Furthermore, there would be no pick up tube pulling wort off the bottom UP and OUT the side of the tun. In my mind I have been pondering using a 15.5 gallon keg upside down. My thought was to remove the sanke keg spear and valve assembly just leave the inch and a half throat open. Then turn the keg upside down and cut out the bottom of the keg. Using a false bottom and a couple tri-clover type fitting I could get a keg mash-tun that truly drained from the bottom without the need of a pick up tube.
I think its an interesting idea. And I like the idea of building something sort of unique (although, I have heard of people doing this, I haven’t seen to many of them in pictures on posts). The only draw back I have to the idea is that it would certain ruin the keg of any other application should I decide I want to build a direct fired tun or use it as a HLT or kettle in the future. Kegs are expensive and sort of hard to get these days.
So I worry about not being happy with that type of design, or it not working out right. If I build a normal keg mash tun with a false bottom and pick up tube assembly (which works for plenty of people), then I could heat mash water in the mash tun directly and not have to transfer water from a heated source into an upside down non-fired mash vessel….
What are your thoughts? Maybe you just want to see me ruin a keg for giggles????