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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks > 48qt cooler as mash tun
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:34 PM   #1
wolfpackguy
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Default 48qt cooler as mash tun

Found this cooler for $12 on CL. have plans to pick up tomorrow to convert to MLT:

http://raleigh.craigslist.org/for/2812279175.html

48qt coleman cooler. Apparently in great condition.

Would this be overkill for a 5 gallon batch with a planned rectangular slotted manifold? Might do larger batches in the future, just dont have a bigger brew pot yet. I'm mostly worried about an adequate grain bed depth. Seems like a good deal on the cooler though.

Opinions appreciated.

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Old 01-23-2012, 07:51 PM   #2
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I have a 70qt Coleman that I use for my 5 gallon batches and it works great. I batch sparge, so grain bed depth isn't quite as important as long as I give it time to settle. I've done small beers using 8lbs of grain, up to 10 gallon batches requiring 30lbs.

Just make sure to pre-heat the tun to make hitting your temps easier.

I have yet to see anyone post on this forum that they wish they didn't buy the larger MLT/Boil Kettle/Fermenter. I always recommend going for the equipment that allows you to grow.

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Old 01-23-2012, 07:57 PM   #3
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I use a 48 qt for most of my batches, and those are mostly 5-6 gallons. It is a bit big for a very small grain bill e.g. for a mild or bitter, but still works fine. I know some people here on HBT make a foam insert wrapped in plastic that they stick on top of their mash for such occasions.

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Old 01-23-2012, 08:20 PM   #4
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I use that cooler with a simple rectangle manifold, seems to work fine.

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Old 01-23-2012, 08:25 PM   #5
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I used a 48qt for awhile, but quickly outgrew it. I now am mashing in a 120qt cooler with steel braid and ball valve. I'm brewing 10G batches and have the ability to upgrade to 15G easily without upgrading my MT.

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Old 01-23-2012, 09:10 PM   #6
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That's the same model I have (mine's a bit older) and it works great for five gallon batches. Rectangle manifold of PVC as noted by others.

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Old 01-24-2012, 01:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrBudro
I have a 70qt Coleman that I use for my 5 gallon batches and it works great. I batch sparge, so grain bed depth isn't quite as important as long as I give it time to settle. I've done small beers using 8lbs of grain, up to 10 gallon batches requiring 30lbs.

Just make sure to pre-heat the tun to make hitting your temps easier.

I have yet to see anyone post on this forum that they wish they didn't buy the larger MLT/Boil Kettle/Fermenter. I always recommend going for the equipment that allows you to grow.
Thanks everyone! Probably going to get my copper or pvc tubing on the way from getting the cooler.

@Dr....how do you preheat? Just fill with hot water? I'm assuming u don't put the cooler on the stove top. Lol.
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:57 PM   #8
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We actually use that same cooler for our 5 gallon batches, and a 72 qt version of that cooler for our 10 gallon and larger batches. It works great. We went with a braided hose as our filter rather than the pvc or copper.

Also, we preheat ours with a gallon of boiling water. Just boil up a gallon, dump it in, close lid and let it sit while you heat up your strike water. As simple as that.

and btw, GO PACK!

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Old 01-24-2012, 02:47 PM   #9
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I have used that same cooler with good results. As with any cooler, PREHEAT and it will hold mash temps reasonably well. Thread below details the cheap and easy braid installation I used on it.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/ten-...ersion-125108/

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Old 01-24-2012, 02:53 PM   #10
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I like to preheat by adding strike water about ten degrees hotter than needed and simply waiting 5-10 minutes for the cooler to preheat. I would not add boiling water to a cooler...my .02.

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