beer production equipment

1 BBL Mash Tun Guide

A 1 BBL Mash Tun is a critical piece of equipment for small to mid-sized craft breweries producing 1-3 barrels of beer per batch. This guide provides a detailed overview of 1 BBL mash tuns covering types, design, sizing, pricing, installation, operation, maintenance and how to select the right mash tun for your brewing needs.

Overview of 1 BBL Mash Tun

A mash tun is a vessel used in brewing to steep crushed malt grains in hot water to convert starches into fermentable sugars, producing the mash which gets lautered and sparged to create wort for fermentation.

Key details about 1 BBL mash tuns:

  • Batch Size: Designed for 1 barrel (BBL) batches, typically 31 gallons
  • Material: Usually stainless steel for durability and cleaning
  • Insulation: Insulated to maintain temperature during mashing
  • False Bottom: Perforated false bottom to separate grain from liquid
  • Rakes: Includes internal rakes for stirring mash
  • Sensors: Temperature and fluid sensors often included
1 BBL Mash Tun

Types of 1 BBL Mash Tun

There are a few main types of 1 BBL mash tuns seen in craft breweries:

Mash Tun TypeDescription
Single InfusionBasic mash tun for single temperature mash, lower cost
Stepped InfusionAllows mashing at different temperatures in same vessel
AutomatedSelf-stirring, programmed temperature control and timing
Steam-JacketedLive steam heats mash externally through jacket

The type of mash tun required depends on the brewing process, degree of automation and budget. Many craft brewers start with a basic single infusion mash tun and upgrade later as production increases.

1 BBL Mash Tun Design and Features

Key design elements, parameters and features to look for in 1 BBL mash tuns:

Design AspectTypical Specifications
MaterialStainless Steel (304 or 316), all welded
Volume40-50 gallons (liquid capacity)
Dimensions24-30 inches diameter, 36-48 inches height
Insulation1-2 inch foam insulation with metal sheathing
False BottomPerforated stainless false bottom allows lautering
RakesManually operated stainless steel rakes for mash stirring
SensorsTemperature sensor, fluid level sensors
ControlsOptional digital temperature controllers
CustomizationCustom dimensions and fittings possible

Mash tuns can be customized with different materials, insulation thickness, sensors, motorized rakes and other options based on individual requirements. Lead times are typically 10-12 weeks.

1 BBL Mash Tun Pricing

Pricing for basic 1 BBL mash tuns starts around $4,000-5,000 but varies based on materials, features and brand. Typical pricing ranges:

Mash Tun TypePrice Range
Basic Single Infusion$4000 – $6000
Stepped Infusion$5000 – $8000
Fully Automated$8000+
Steam Jacketed$10,000+

Additional costs may apply for shipping, installation services, import taxes depending on location. Major mash tun equipment suppliers often provide quotes specific to your production brew house layout and process flow requirements.

Installation and Operation

Proper installation and operation ensures efficient performance and longevity of a 1 BBL mash tun system:

InstallationFloor mounting or platform
Connect plumbing, power, sensors
Test heating, stirring, controls
OperationAdd grains, mixing water based on recipe
Activate heating to hit mash temp target
Stir mash thoroughly at intervals
SpargingRecirculate wort until clear with pumps
Gradually add hot sparge water
CleaningRemove spent grains completely
Clean with caustic/acid process after use

Consult manufacturer guidelines for wiring requirements, utility connections, troubleshooting and safe usage.

Maintenance of 1 BBL Mash Tun

Routine maintenance is vital for efficiency, sanitation and longevity of a mash tun:

WeeklyInspect sensors, seals for leaks
Check insulation, fittings, fasteners
MonthlyLubricate rakes, moving parts
Test heating elements, controllers
YearlyReplace gaskets, seals, sensors
Inspect false bottom condition

Establish maintenance logs, schedules and spare parts inventory based on daily/weekly usage and brewing frequency.

How to Select a Good 1 BBL Mash Tun Vendor

Key criteria for selecting a high quality mash tun equipment partner:

ConsiderationEvaluation Aspects
Quality & DurabilityAll stainless steel welded construction
Good insulation rating
Reputable material certifications
Feature SetSensors, rakes, customization options
Process ControlSophisticated heating, automation capabilities
Turnaround TimeQuick fabrication and shipping times
ReferencesStrong client references with proven experience
ServiceResponsive support team and parts availability
BudgetCompetitive transparent pricing

Getting quotes from 3-4 suppliers on identical specifications and comparing on these criteria yields the ideal mash tun system for a given brewery. Site visits to vendors’ manufacturing facilities build further insight on production quality.

Pros and Cons of 1 BBL Mash Tun

Affordable setup costsPotentially slower batch brewing
Compact size takes less spaceManual operation can be labor intensive
Flexible customizationProne to stuck mashes with poor stirring
Good temperature controlConsistent sparging requires expertise
Matches 1 BBL fermentersLimited automation increases variability

The affordability and compactness makes 1 BBL mash tuns ideal for small breweries starting out. Their operation requires in-depth brewing expertise particularly with sparging and temperature control to maximize yield and repeatability. Fully automated mash tuns reduce labor and variability but have much higher capital costs.

1 BBL Mash Tun


Q: What size grist case or mill should I use with a 1 BBL mash tun?

A: A grist case with at least 1.25 – 1.5 BBL capacity allows room for sparging. Match the mill’s crushing capacity to your brewing frequency – a 2 roller mill producing 2000 lb per hour of coarse crush is typical.

Q: How much grain goes into a 1 BBL batch and mash?

A: Around 130-150 lb of grain is required per 1 BBL batch depending on the recipe and beer style. The mash tun must comfortably fit 15-17 lb per gallon.

Q: Should I insulate my mash tun?

A: Yes, insulation is highly recommended even for steam heated tuns to minimize heat loss and energy consumption. 1-2 inches of stiff foam insulation wrapped in metal sheets is typical.

Q: Can these mash tuns make different beer styles?

A: Yes, a kettle with good temperature control using single or stepped infusion mashing allows brewing different ale and lager recipes by hitting the required rest temperatures and times.

Q: What plumbing connections do I need?

A: Most mash tuns require 1.5-2″ ball valve connections for the hot liquor inlet, recirculation and wort knockout lines. Consult manufacturers for requirements.

Q: Should I buy imported or domestic mash tuns?

A: Both can offer quality solutions. Domestic provides shorter lead times and shipping cost benefits while imported often have lower equipment pricing for the same capability.

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