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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Cool Mash Tun Batch Size Range
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:56 PM   #1
vitaminb
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Default Cool Mash Tun Batch Size Range

Hi everyone,
Sorry if someone's already posted this question (I tried to search to make sure), but I'm thinking of following this article in creating a cooler mash tun.
What I've mostly been doing is brewing 1 gallon batches to make up recipes, then I'll do a 5 gallon batch once I'm happy with it. So, my question is...if I set up a 10 gallon circular rubbermaid cooler to be a mash tun, will that effectively work on 1 gallon batches as well as 5 gallon?
Thanks!

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Old 11-27-2012, 05:16 PM   #2
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What about a 2 gallon mash tun? That would scale up easy to a 10 gallon mash tun. I think you'd be leaving a lot of wort in a 10 gallon MT with a 1 gallon batch.

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Old 11-27-2012, 08:40 PM   #3
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I'm not sure why a 2 gallon cooler tun would scale up to a 10 gallon easily. Could you please explain? I'm going all grain here BTW.

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Old 11-27-2012, 09:09 PM   #4
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I'd recommend doing the 1 gallon pilot batches the "brew in the bag" way and use the cooler for the 5 gallon batches.

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Old 11-27-2012, 09:18 PM   #5
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I'm on the newer side, so I'm not familiar with the "brew in the bag" method.

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Old 11-27-2012, 09:34 PM   #6
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it's cheap and easy. you put water in a pot. put grains in a nylon bag and then soak them in the pot of water at the mash temp. then remove bag of grain letting the wort drain into the pot. Turn up the heat and boil. No mash tun is required.

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Old 11-28-2012, 01:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vitaminb View Post
I'm not sure why a 2 gallon cooler tun would scale up to a 10 gallon easily. Could you please explain? I'm going all grain here BTW.
Sorry, I guess that wasn't very descriptive.

I was doing a good bit of all grain on the stove top using a 2 gallon cooler as a mash tun and really enjoyed it. I was suggesting that the added benefit is that a 2 gallon cooler should perform very similarly to a 10 gallon or 5 gallon cooler when a recipe is scaled up, so that anything you test and prove using a 2 gallon cooler should be very repeatable in 5/10 gallon batches.

The temperatures should hold very similarly and your efficiency should be very similar as well provided you're using the same type of screen and sparging process. I'd think that your volume losses would be very similar as well, or at least proportional.

That being said, to you original question, I don't think a 1 gallon batch would work well in a 10 gallon cooler at all. You're going to have tons of headspace above leading to a much larger temperature drop and I'd expect you'd have problems with a ton of wort being left behind in the cooler due to the much larger base size.
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:17 PM   #8
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You could also get a 5 gallon mash tun and do 2.5 gallon practice batches instead of 1. Then, when you're comfortable with the process, just move up to 5 gallon batches using the same 5 gallon mash tun. That's the way I did it and it works just fine.

Sure, some will say that you need a 10 gallon mash tun, but lots of us find that a 5 gallon works great for whatever we need. Cheers!

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Old 11-28-2012, 01:22 PM   #9
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Rectangular coolers are usually cheaper ($20 at Target) and of you go that route, I'd gladly send you some of the parts for free- including the difficult to find SS washers and some SS braided hose. The round coolers require parts that are a touch smaller than 1/2". Happy Xmas!

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