I recently revamped our Mash Tun, it was looking a bit sad and needed a good clean and I managed to grab some pics as I did it, so imagine this is the first time we made it…
Stuff you’ll need:
Two brew buckets – Ours are from Wilko – £10 each
Tap – We used a hosepipe tap from Homebase – £6.50
Insulating material – For this we used two materials: Sheep’s wool in plastic, used by food delivery companies to keep chilled stuff fresh (Free if you know someone who gets the food deliveries) and Aluminium foil bubble wrap house insulation (its around £8 a roll, but you wont need a whole one). The Wool is a new addition and our first Tun only had the bubble wrap and worked very well.
Gaffa tape – You’ve already got this and if you haven’t you should.
Tools – Drill with a 2mm bit. Scissors. Knife.
So this is a basic mash tun that consists of two vessels, one inside the other. The grain sits in the first and water is added and it drains through into the second, therefore you only get lovely sugar infused Wort and no bits of grain out. The whole thing is insulated to keep a nice steady mash temp.
Step one: Making the inner vessel –
Take one of your brew buckets and turn it over. Grab your drill with the 2mm bit (Electric is preferable as it’ll cut down time, but use Goblin powered if you have to) and drill a whole bunch of hole in the bottom of the bucket, you’re aiming for a colander effect. Don’t drill the holes to closely together or the whole thing will rip open like toilet paper the first time you use it… Once all the holes are drilled use some sandpaper or similar to clean up the holes of the inevitable stray bits of plastic which will be hanging off the holes.
Step two: Making the outer vessel
First thing you’ll need to do is attach the tap, cut a hole for it about an inch from the bottom off you other bucket and screw the tap on. We used a garden tap because that was all I could get but there’s lots of tap options you could use, most of which are about half the price we played. Once you’ve attached the tap its time to insulate; Start by creating a layer of the sheep’s wool, sticking it in place with tape as you go. Once you’ve got a decent layer of the wool wrap a few layers of the bubble wrap insulation around it. The more layers you can do the better, but don’t go over the top; you’ll still need to be able to access the tap and you’ve got to store it somewhere… As long as there are 2 or 3 layers you’ll be good. The final layer is held in place with lots of Gaffa tape. This bubble wrap is an excellent insulator but it is also tough and will hold the wool in place nicely and can take plenty of knocks.
Step three: Assembly
Put the inner vessel into the outer vessel. Done.
There you go, you now have a cheap an efficient Mash Tun. As it stands we didn’t put any insulation on the lid because when we use it we wrap it in pillows and duvets to add extra insulation. With the addition of bedding we consistently manage to hit an efficiency of over 65%, loosing only a few degrees of heat (Celsius) during the mash. Our total cost? £26.50, although if you have to buy the insulation it will cost you a little bit more but you should be able to get a tap cheaper than we did. You could end up spending £35 and you’d still be a mile away from the amount you would pay for a “proper” Tun.
Some action photos of our Tun in action…