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Old 01-15-2009, 04:11 PM   #1
ftlstrings
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Default Size for HLT

Am I crazy or would a 5 gal rubbermaid cooler work just fine for 5 gallon batches of this beer stuff? How many gallons of ("regular" 4.5-6.5%) beer could you mash out in a 5 gal cooler?

hrumpf.

Mike.

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Old 01-15-2009, 04:15 PM   #2
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Are you using it only as a HLT or as a MLT?

For an MLT, you could probably get away with it with the lower gravity beers. I use a 7.5 gallon one, but always have about of gallon of extra space on even some bigger brews (1.070-1.080)

Do a google search for "Can I Rack it" (I think the Greenbay Rackers run it, but their site is currently down). It is a mash volume calculator. You enter in your recipe and it tells you if you can handle the volume

edit: Knights of the Mashing fork have a calculator here: http://kotmf.com/tools/mash.php?PHPS...96950beb200f8b

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Old 01-15-2009, 04:18 PM   #3
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First, are you talking about using a 5 gallon cooler for an HLT or an MLT?

Either way, I think you can make it work, but why? The cost difference between a 5 gallon and a 10 gallon is not that much and the conversion with manifold or braid is going to be exactly the same. So why not go with the 10 gallon and make your life easier and have the freedom to do bigger batches or bigger beers?

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Old 01-15-2009, 05:14 PM   #4
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i find the ten gallon sometimes insufficient for really big barleywines and imperial stouts in five gallon batches, so i would imagine that the five gallon MLT would be seriously limiting as far as what you could brew

if i could do it all over again, id go with a square cooler bigger than ten gallons and make myself a copper manifold...

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Old 01-15-2009, 05:30 PM   #5
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Yuppers, I meant MLT. It's too cold here to think. So you think that I would be pushing it with a 5 gallon, darn. I have acquired a free "double insulated" igloo cooler that I was hoping would work. The only 10 gallon cooler in town is 50 bucks...more than I was hoping to drop today.

harumpf harumpf.

Mike.

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Old 01-15-2009, 05:36 PM   #6
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Well, if it's free, use it. If you find it's insufficient, you can always use the pieces to convert to the 10 gallon size. IMO, it's worth a try.

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Old 01-15-2009, 06:47 PM   #7
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I agree, if it's free go for it! If you ever have to upgrade to something bigger, you can use the 5 gallon to measure strike and sparge water (if it has the gallon marks on the inside).

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Old 01-15-2009, 07:31 PM   #8
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I would use it if it was free but not if you have to put any money in it (you most likely will to make an MLT). A 5 Gallon MLT can only do 11 pounds of grain at 1.25qts/gallon ratio which will get you a max OG of roughly 1.057. That would be pretty low for me.

As an HLT, it would be great! Rarely do you need more than 5 gallons of mash or sparge water. I'm actually looking to converting a 5 (or 6 or 7) gallon cooler to an electric HLT with sight gauge.

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Old 01-15-2009, 10:51 PM   #9
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I got a free one and it works just fine.
I have brewed porters, stouts, pale ales, and IPA's.
I say if you have one sitting there use it.

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Old 01-15-2009, 11:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajwillys View Post
I would use it if it was free but not if you have to put any money in it (you most likely will to make an MLT). A 5 Gallon MLT can only do 11 pounds of grain at 1.25qts/gallon ratio which will get you a max OG of roughly 1.057. That would be pretty low for me.

As an HLT, it would be great! Rarely do you need more than 5 gallons of mash or sparge water. I'm actually looking to converting a 5 (or 6 or 7) gallon cooler to an electric HLT with sight gauge.
Wouldn't the parts to convert a cooler MLT be interchangeable between a 5 and 10 gallon cooler? If so, there's no harm in purchasing the parts to convert the 5 gallon, and if it's insufficient, move the parts to the 10 gallon.
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