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Old 03-04-2012, 07:36 PM   #1
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Default Rubbermaid Cooler Heat Loss

I've been having some efficiency issues lately, went through all the steps (adjusted the mill with feeler gaugues, made sure all my water volumes were spot on in Beersmith, etc) so I did one more experiment. Pre-heated my tun, the old orange rubbermaid cooler, and filled it with water. Started at 153.6F, and 70 minutes later was at 146.2F. That's 7.4F loss in 70 minutes, what gives?! I know a lot of people use these, did I get a dud or something? Can I attribute poor mash temp stability to trouble with efficiencies?

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Old 03-04-2012, 07:53 PM   #2
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5gal or 10gal cooler? I have both, and the 5gal doesn't hold temps as well as the 10gal (less thermal mass). I also improved things by filling the lid full of "Great Stuff" crack sealer foam. My losses range from 7 degrees an hour (5gal, hollow lid) to hardly any loss (<1*) over a 60 minute mash (10gal, filled lid).

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Old 03-05-2012, 03:19 PM   #3
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5gal or 10gal cooler? I have both, and the 5gal doesn't hold temps as well as the 10gal (less thermal mass). I also improved things by filling the lid full of "Great Stuff" crack sealer foam. My losses range from 7 degrees an hour (5gal, hollow lid) to hardly any loss (<1*) over a 60 minute mash (10gal, filled lid).
How did you fill the lid? Any instructions?
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:05 PM   #4
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I filled the lid today, pretty simple. Just drill a few small holes around the top of the lid, take the applicator on a can of Great Stuff (Any hardware store has it) and jam it in each hole and fill. It will expand like crazy inside (and also bubble out the holes, so plan for that), and insulate the lid. Hopefully this will help my temp issues.

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Old 03-05-2012, 04:12 PM   #5
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Have you made a foam board "float" to go on top of your mash? That works wonders.

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Old 03-05-2012, 05:49 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bmick View Post
I filled the lid today, pretty simple. Just drill a few small holes around the top of the lid, take the applicator on a can of Great Stuff (Any hardware store has it) and jam it in each hole and fill. It will expand like crazy inside (and also bubble out the holes, so plan for that), and insulate the lid. Hopefully this will help my temp issues.
Let us know if that foam ever actually cures...

Cheers!
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:24 AM   #7
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I never lose a full degree with my 10 gal rubbermaid tun....usually around 1/2 degree!

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Old 03-06-2012, 02:08 AM   #8
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I have a 10 gal Rubbermaid that I drilled the lid and installed a bulkhead for my thermometer (hate it getting in the way when I stir).

I only lose 1/2 a degree F over the course of an hour, if that.

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Old 03-06-2012, 03:07 AM   #9
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+1 on the foam board. I have the 10g Home Depot cooler and had the same problems loosing heat on 5 gallon batches. After adding the foam plate to the top of the mash and insulating the lid, my temps are spot on.

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Old 03-06-2012, 04:48 PM   #10
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+1 on the foam board. I have the 10g Home Depot cooler and had the same problems loosing heat on 5 gallon batches. After adding the foam plate to the top of the mash and insulating the lid, my temps are spot on.
what is this foam board? Im inteested in doing that combination to mine as well
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