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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Converted cooler mash tun question
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smurfjuice View Post
how much grain will a 5 gallon cooler hold roughly?
How big your mash tun needs to be
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:19 PM   #12
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I'd use the minimal expanding foam for windows and doors. You could potentially warp your lid if you pump too much of the regular great stuff in there. But that's just me.

http://greatstuff.dow.com/products/wd.htm

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Old 06-25-2010, 12:45 AM   #13
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how much grain will a 5 gallon cooler hold roughly?
Green Bay Rackers mash calculator says 12.75 lbs of grain (at 1.25 quarts per lb) will take up 5 gallons of space.

http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:15 AM   #14
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Going back to the original message in the thread, I just made a new mash tun out of a 9 gal. rectangular cooler, and I ran a similar experiment to the one lefty ran, where I heated 3 gal. of water to ~170, let them sit in the mash tun for 10-15 min., and then added ice and stirred until the temp. was down to ~154. After an hour, I lost about 8 degrees to end up at ~146.

My question is, does anyone have heat loss numbers for a similar experiment using a mash tun they know reliably holds temperature during an actual mash? I realize that adding grain will lead to less heat loss, but before I try a batch in this mash tun, I want to make sure my water-only heat loss is within acceptable bounds.

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Old 02-06-2011, 02:47 AM   #15
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does anyone have heat loss numbers for a similar experiment using a mash tun they know reliably holds temperature during an actual mash?
I have a 40 quart rectangular cooler and typically lose 3 to 6 degrees over 60 minutes depending on the amount of grain. If I remember, I usually put a gallon of boiling water in an hour before to preheat. This definitely makes a difference.
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:06 AM   #16
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for those that are using spray foam i cant seem to get it to expand in the lid. It starts off expanding nicely but has it hardens it just melts down to a ooze at the bottom and doesnt stay expanded. what am i doing wrong here

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Old 03-16-2011, 02:14 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hess View Post
My question is, does anyone have heat loss numbers for a similar experiment using a mash tun they know reliably holds temperature during an actual mash? I realize that adding grain will lead to less heat loss, but before I try a batch in this mash tun, I want to make sure my water-only heat loss is within acceptable bounds.
Water and a grain mash behave very different thermally. Testing heat retention of a cooler w/ water does not represent how it will hold temp of a mash. I have used many inexpensive coolers for mashing and have never needed to foam the lid. The key is to preheat the cooler well and get a stable mash temp. I encourage people to try a cooler, any cooler and I feel you will have success. Preheat!!!! and shoot a little high on the mash temp...much easier to add a few ice cubes than heat.
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:44 PM   #18
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i had a super cheap ($25) rectangle cooler from target that had a thin lid with no foam in it and it was terrible. I lost 5 F every 30 min after a long preheat and wrapping everything will pillows and blankets. Every part of the cooler was warm to the touch except for the lid which was hot to the touch. Not all coolers are good.

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