Best Mash Tuns for Homebrewing(Review 2019) – 7 Guide to make you cry when buying a mash tun
When you first start with homebrewing you will likely be using extracts when you brew up your beer, which is a great way of getting to know the brewing process. As you progress in your brewing adventures you might be interested in having a go at making beer without the extracts and wish to try your hand at all-grain brewing.
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All-grain brewing is the process of making your wort out of malted grains and water rather than extract. It requires a few different processes and some new equipment, one of which is the mash tun. In this article, we will discuss what exactly is mashing and why you need a mash tun to do this, We will then go on to look at what you need to consider before buying a mash tun and review some excellent mash tuns on the market to suit all budgets.
- What is Mashing?
- What is a Mash Tun?
- Mash Tun Buying Guide
- Top 5 Best Mash Tuns 2019
- #1 Best Mash Tun for Beginners: Igloo’s Learn To Brew Mash Tun Igloo Ton with Stainless Steel False Bottom and Valve, 10 gallon
- #2 Best Mash Tun for Brewing Enthusiasts: Northern Brewer – Insulated Cooler All Grain Brewing Kits (Starter Kit w/12 Gallon Mash Tun)
- #3 Best Mash Tun with All Grain Brewing System: Brewer’s Edge Mash and Boil with Pump, 7.5 Gallon
- #4 Best Mash Tun on a Budget: Concord Polished Stainless Steel Stock Pot Brewing Beer Kettle Mash Tun w/ Flat Lid (30 QT)
What is Mashing?
Before we go any further let’s take a look at the process of mashing in brewing beer. This step is not necessary when brewing with extracts but is an essential part of all-grain brewing. Mashing is a process which hydrates the grain, it is conducted by combining hot water and crushed malts inside a mash tun in order to convert the starches in the grain into sugar which is much better for the fermentation process.
What is a Mash Tun?
For the mashing process to be successful, the ingredients need the right environment and this is where the mash tun comes in. A mash tun is usually insulated as during the process in which the starches in the grains are converted into sugar a constant temperature needs to be maintained. Essentially, therefore, a mash tun is simply a vessel in which to place all of the necessary ingredients for mashing inside.
Some brewers opt for making their own mash tun from a recycled beverage cooler, adding a false bottom so that the lautering process can take place. However, if you would rather get cracking without having to make your own then check out our buying guide on everything you need to know about buying a mash tun.
Mash Tun Buying Guide
It might look like a simple vessel but there is a lot more to a mash tun than meets the eye. When attempting all-grain brewing mashing is an essential process which can be the making or the breaking of your beer. For this reason, selecting a mash tun that has all of the features necessary to ensure a successful mash is important to the success of your beer. In this next section, we will look at what key features your mash tun needs to have.
As stated above, a mash tun needs to be insulated so that the ingredients inside are kept at a constant temperature. Check how long the mash tun is able to maintain the temperature for – the mashing process usually takes about an hour so make sure it can retain a constant temperature for this long.
There is nothing more frustrating than ordering a product online and then when it arrives finding it is half the size you thought it was. Avoid this by checking out how many gallons of mash can fit inside the mash tun to make sure that it is suitable for the amount of beer you plan on brewing. Most mash tuns can accommodate between a 5 and 10 gallon batch of beer.
You want a mash tun that is made well and won’t leak to ensure that the process is as calamity free as possible. Check the thickness of the walls and also what the mash tun is made out of in order to assess its quality. Investing in a quality mash tun is beneficial in the long run as, if it is durable, you will be using it for a long time to come.
#4 False Bottom
A false bottom is an essential feature of any mash tun. When the mash is ready the grains need to be separated from the wort and this is easily done in a mash tun with a false bottom as the strainer collects the grains and allows only the wort to filter through. Make sure there is a false bottom on the mash tun and make your life a whole lot easier.
In addition to a false bottom, you will also need a spigot on your mash tun so that you can easily release and runoff the sweet wort into your next vessel. With vast quantities of liquid, a spigot makes the process a lot more straightforward and ensures that very little of the wort is wasted during the transference process.
Having a thermometer installed in the mash tun is another handy item to help ensure the success of the mashing process. With a thermometer in place, you can monitor the temperature of the mash inside and make sure that a constant temperature is maintained throughout.
#7 Volume Markings
Check to see if the mash tun has volume markings engraved in the inside of the vessel. This will help you to measure out the correct quantity of liquid easily and ensure you have the correct ration of water to grain before the mashing begins.
Top 5 Best Mash Tuns 2019
As you can see, a mash tun is specifically designed to ensure that the mashing process is both a smooth and successful undertaking. It creates the perfect environment for mashing to take place and also makes it easy to runoff the wort when the process is complete. Take a look at the best mash tuns of 2019 and see which is best suited to your needs.
#1 Best Mash Tun for Beginners: Igloo’s Learn To Brew Mash Tun Igloo Ton with Stainless Steel False Bottom and Valve, 10 gallon
A firm favorite amongst home brewers is this excellent Mash Tun by Igloo. While it may look pretty basic this product really delivers on what you need it to do. It has a 10 gallon capacity so can be used for any amount up to that so is a good choice if you’re starting off with 5 gallon batches but may want to increase this in the future. The metal parts of this cooler are all made out of high-quality stainless steel and it has a thick plastic outer layer.
This mash tun from Igloo will keep your mash at the same temperature for at least an hour, so long enough for the starch to sugar transformation to occur. It also comes complete with a false bottom and a spigot so extracting the wort is a breeze as the grains are strained and the sweet wort efficiently released through the spigot. This is a great choice of mash tun whether you are a beginner to all-grain brewing or you’re an expert brewer in the market for a new mash tun.
#Igloo #Mash_tun #Mash #Wort #False_bottom #Siphon
#2 Best Mash Tun for Brewing Enthusiasts: Northern Brewer – Insulated Cooler All Grain Brewing Kits (Starter Kit w/12 Gallon Mash Tun)
This mash tun from Northern Brewer comes as part of a set which includes everything you need for the mashing process. While the price tag may look a little hefty, for your money you will be purchasing one of the best mash tuns available on the market today. Northern Brewer have redesigned the mash tun to give it all the features they think are necessary to ensure the perfect mash, and these guys really know what they’re doing.
This huge mash tun has a 12 gallon capacity and comes with extra thick insulated walls to ensure the temperature is maintained throughout the process. There is also an inbuilt thermometer so you can monitor the temperature and, with this mash tun, you can easily add water to it if you need to adjust the temperature. The Titan False Bottom is also an excellent feature of this mash tun which ensures all of the grain is kept separate from the wort as it is extracted. When purchasing this mash tun you will be confident that you are getting a high-quality product that is built to last.
#Northern_Brewer #Mash_tun #Thermometer #Stainless_steel #Quality #Brewing
#3 Best Mash Tun with All Grain Brewing System: Brewer’s Edge Mash and Boil with Pump, 7.5 Gallon
This state of the art piece of equipment from Brewer’s Edge is not only a mash tun, it is an all-in-one brewing system for all-grain beer making. What this means is that you can conduct the mashing process (creating your wort) and boiling process (boiling your wort) in the same place! Made out of high-grade stainless steel the Mash & Boil has a double-wall construction which conserves heat excellently which is necessary for both of these brewing processes.
Inside this vessel is a sparging basket so you can easily remove the grain from the boiler leaving the wort inside which is sat there ready for the boiling process to begin. With an inbuilt digital thermometer, you can monitor the temperature and adjust it as you move to the next process. There is also a timer so you can enact precision brewing with very little effort. Investing in this piece of brewing equipment will save you a lot of time and effort and help you create great tasting beer.
#Brewer’s_Edge #Mash_and_Boil #All_grain_brewing #Mashing #Boiling #Electric
#4 Best Mash Tun on a Budget: Concord Polished Stainless Steel Stock Pot Brewing Beer Kettle Mash Tun w/ Flat Lid (30 QT)
If you like the idea of a multi-purpose piece of equipment that doesn’t cost the earth then check out this mash tun from Concord. This simple stock pot is made out of commercial quality stainless steel and is one of those items where simplicity is its greatest virtue. With this piece of equipment in your brewing repertoire, you can strip brewing back to basics and take your beer through mashing and boiling using this quality stock pot.
This heavy-duty stock pot is built to last a lifetime so really is great value. While, due to the simple construction, there is no false bottom you can easily create one yourself or opt for an alternative method to separate the wort from the grain. Whether you want to avoid the bells and whistles of modern brewing equipment, or perhaps you are on a tight budget, opting for this simple brew kettle/mash tun is an option for those of you who aren’t afraid of a challenge!
#Concord #Brew_kettle #Mash_tun #False_bottom #Grains #All_grain #Wort
#5 Best Stainless Steel Mash Tun: Chapman 10 Gallon ThermoBarrel Stainless Steel Mash Tun
Mash tuns made out of stainless steel are capable of retaining the temperature inside very effectively and this mash tun from Chapman is no exception. This fully insulated stainless steel mash tun will keep a constant temperature for your mash to undergo the important chemical changes and you can also keep an eye on the temperature thanks to the thermometer. The sturdy construction also means that your mash is secure inside this vessel with no leakage likely to occur.
This mash tun also has a domed false bottom so all of the grain will be filtered out as you extract your wort through the ball valve that comes included in this set. With a capacity of 10 gallons, this mash tun is a great choice if you plan on brewing up a large batch of beer and is a good option if you are looking for a mash tun that isn’t made out of plastic.
#Chapman #Stainless_steel #Ten_gallon #Wort #Brewing #False_bottom #Craft_beer
Delving into the world of all-grain brewing may seem like a daunting undertaking but, with the right equipment, you can set yourself up for success in this new venture. Investing in a decent mash tun is an important step in moving to an all-grain setup and opting for a mash tun that includes features that make this process easier is certainly a wise move (especially for beginners!). There are plenty of options to choose from to suit a variety of budgets and skill levels so there is nothing stopping you getting the perfect mash tun for your homebrew set up.
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