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Old 01-20-2011, 02:59 PM   #1
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Default Building a single-tier brewstand - MLT?

I'm (slowly) working on a single-tier brew stand. I have two Sankes right now for the HLT and boil kettle. I'm trying to figure out the advantages / disadvantages of finding another Sanke for the MLT vs using the 52(?)qt cooler I originally bought for the MLT. What advice can y'all give me on using one versus the other?

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Old 01-20-2011, 03:19 PM   #2
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You can direct fire a sanke which would be an advantage if your re-circulating your mash or to raise your mash temp if it drops. Stick with what you got for a few batches and if you dont like it then get the sanke. IMO no sense buying something before you have tried what you got.

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Old 01-20-2011, 03:26 PM   #3
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OK - dumb question #1 for this thread: If I'm recirculating (and using the cooler), couldn't I just fire the recirculation vessel (the HLT) to heat the mash?

All I have is the cooler right now - nothing for the manifold. It can always be re-purposed to hold food & beer.

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Old 01-20-2011, 03:33 PM   #4
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Good point. I was typing faster than I was thinking. Do you even plan on re-circulating?

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Old 01-20-2011, 04:01 PM   #5
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i went 3 sanke cuz i got a screaming deal on the kegs. my buddy went with an igloo. his holds temp WAY better than my keg. ultimately i went with a HERMS setup to recirculate through my HLT with my immersion chiller as my HERMS coil to modify temps. works pretty well, but i'm still a little envious of his cooler sometimes.

cooler advantages:
-holds temps better
-less expensive

keggle advantages:
-easier to clean stainless
-can handle higher temperatures
-can direct fire with false bottom
-higher volume (62qt keg vs 52qt cooler)
-bling factor (all 3 vessels match)

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Old 01-20-2011, 04:05 PM   #6
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Thanks for the response. I checked - my cooler is 62 qt, so that's a wash.

*If* the cooler holds temps better, isn't that a wash with not being able to direct-fire it?

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Old 01-20-2011, 04:05 PM   #7
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I am currently using a cooler as an MLT and just built my single tier stand. I built the stand with the idea of going to a direct fire MLT in the future including propane manifold and wind screen. I'll continue to use my cooler but when I do go to a 3 keggle set up, I just need to drop in another burner and I'll be good to go.

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Old 01-20-2011, 04:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybee View Post
Thanks for the response. I checked - my cooler is 62 qt, so that's a wash.

*If* the cooler holds temps better, isn't that a wash with not being able to direct-fire it?
i suppose so. but you can always recirc or decoction to get where you need to be if you actually step... my buddy does 90 min single infusions and never has to compensate for temp dropping.

the keg is slightly more versatile, but usually at a much higher price as well...
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:20 PM   #9
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I have a sanke MLT and I often have cooler envy. There's something satisfyingly simple about leaving a mash alone for 60 minutes with no pumps or BS.

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Old 01-20-2011, 04:43 PM   #10
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I could see that. Does a cooler, though, rule out doing a good step mash?

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