Kegconnection Complete Starter Kit and More Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Do I need a 5gal or 10gal cooler?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-12-2009, 12:37 PM   #1
cootr_brn
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Kyle, Texas
Posts: 36
Default Do I need a 5gal or 10gal cooler?

Hi All

I want to get into all-grain brewing and I am trying to decide whether I should but a 5gal or 10gal cooler. For now I will be brewing 5/6 gallon batches at a time but one day I would like to graduate to 10 gallon batches.

I have read that you need to be careful when choosing a cooler size because you need to ensure that you have enough grain bed depth to have an effective lauter.

What experiences have you guys had?

Thanks

__________________
cootr_brn is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-12-2009, 12:52 PM   #2
wilserbrewer
Vendor
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 9 reviews
 
wilserbrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Jersey Shore, Jersey
Posts: 6,585
Liked 396 Times on 338 Posts
Likes Given: 8

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cootr_brn View Post
Hi All

I have read that you need to be careful when choosing a cooler size because you need to ensure that you have enough grain bed depth to have an effective lauter.
Grain bed depth is irrelevant if you are batch sparging, which I would advise for a first timer.

A five gallon cooler will max out at 12 -13 pounds of grain i believe. Any heavy brew will usually require more than a 5 gallon MLT. IMO a cheap 28 qt rectangular can be had for around 15 bucks and will get you started quite nicely. If you have higher aspirations, get a 36 - 48 qt rectangular. Or for 40 bucks you can get a nice ten gallon cylindrical cooler at the depot.

You may already have a picnic cooler that will work well? IMHO a cooler is a cooler is a cooler. No big deal!
__________________
wilserbrewer
BIAB Bags, Hop Bags and Ratchet Pulleys for sale

Expert tailor and supplier of custom sized, top quality BIAB bags, hop bags and ratchet pulleys at reasonable pricing

http://biabbags.webs.com



CORONA MILL BUCKET SYSTEM V. 2.0
wilserbrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-12-2009, 01:49 PM   #3
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 21,836
Liked 911 Times on 606 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default

A 52qt "icecube" cooler will get you 10 gallon batches of about 1.060 beer or 5 gallons of 1.100. That's a pretty realistic size.

__________________
BrewHardware.com
Sightglass, Refractometer, Ball Valve, Weldless bulkhead, Thermometer, Decals, Stainless Steel Fittings, Compression Fittings, Camlock Quick Disconnects, Scale, RIMS tube, Plate Chiller, Chugger Pump, Super Clear Silicone Tubing, and more!

New Stuff?
Bobby_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-12-2009, 02:04 PM   #4
rico567
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
rico567's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Central IL
Posts: 3,018
Liked 82 Times on 77 Posts
Likes Given: 21

Default

A good rule of thumb is a 10 gal. cooler for 5 gal. batches, a 15 gal cooler for 10 gal. Sooner or later, you're probably going to want to try a beer that's big enough that you'll be sorry if you go smaller.

__________________

“Malt does more than Milton can / To justify God’s ways to man”

-A. E. Housman (1859–1936). A Shropshire Lad , 1896.

rico567 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-12-2009, 02:06 PM   #5
TheMan
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 21 reviews
 
TheMan's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Illinois
Posts: 2,938
Liked 321 Times on 240 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

I don't want to hi-jack your thread, but I was looking for an answer to this same question...except I need it for 15 gallon batches. What size cooler? 60qt?

__________________
TheMan is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-12-2009, 02:09 PM   #6
Jumbo82
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Jumbo82's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Plymouth, New Hampshire
Posts: 499
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

I would error on the side of too big. A 10 gallon cooler works great for my 10 gal batches, and allows me to do 5 gal high gravity brews. If you get a 5 gal cooler you will just end up needing to upgrade eventually anyway.

__________________
Jumbo82 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-12-2009, 02:10 PM   #7
david_42
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
david_42's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Willamina & Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,651
Liked 133 Times on 126 Posts

Default

A 5 gallon cooler would be a bad idea. You can always make a smaller beer in a big mash tun by minding the temperatures closely, mashing thin, and batch sparging. But, when a small tun is maxed out, it's maxed out. I've got a 48 qt cooler, even though I only make 5 gallon batches and rarely do big beers.

__________________

Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

"I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk

david_42 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-12-2009, 10:27 PM   #8
malkore
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
malkore's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 6,922
Liked 32 Times on 30 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

I have both a 5 and 10 gallon MLT cooler. I almost never use the 10gal. In fact I think I've only used it once, and lost a lot more heat than i expected.

but, I don't exceed 1.060 for OG on 5 gallon batches, so I don't have a big use for the 10 gallon setup.

__________________
Malkore
Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10
malkore is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-12-2009, 10:40 PM   #9
stevea1210
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Lancaster, PA
Posts: 758
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

I also have a 5 and a 10. my 10 never gets used anymore. I had it when my efficiency was bad forsome of my higher grav beers, but I can fit mos tof my normal beers into the 5 gal without a prob.

__________________

You'll have to speak up, I'm wearing a towel. - Homer Jay Simpson

stevea1210 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-13-2009, 02:08 AM   #10
Duckfoot
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Dürty Soüth, GA
Posts: 1,375
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Default

Using a Coleman X-treme 70qt for 10 gallon batches...

__________________

On deck : DFB Triple Black Death By Chocolate Stout
Primary: Notta...
Secondary: 21 Year Mead...
Kegged : DFB Belgian Pale, DFB Brown, DFB Belgian Dark Strong, DFB Cider...
------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timberwolf View Post
Non-Alcoholic beer is like going down on your cousin, it might taste the same but it just ain’t right!
Duckfoot is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
5gal FB in a 10gal justin81 Equipment/Sanitation 3 10-20-2009 06:39 PM
Follow up question - Do I need a 5gal or 10gal cooler? cootr_brn Equipment/Sanitation 6 06-14-2009 12:44 PM
9" False Bottom for 10gal igloo cooler? cylered16 Equipment/Sanitation 2 05-18-2009 09:37 PM
Best place to buy 10gal round cooler? alpo Equipment/Sanitation 7 01-29-2009 12:29 PM
5gal or 10gal Tun? Hoosier All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 11 09-24-2008 10:25 PM