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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks > DIY Mash Tun - 7 Gal Rubbermaid Big Enough?
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Old 07-22-2008, 05:01 PM   #1
BrothersTrout
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Default DIY Mash Tun - 7 Gal Rubbermaid Big Enough?

I can't seem to find 10 gallon Rubbermaid coolers anywhere, but I see online that Wal-Mart stocks the 7 gallon version. Is that big enough for a 5 gallon all-grain batch? I don't know how much room the grain takes up when you add it to the water, so while this might seem like a stupid question, it just may not be

Thanks!

~JT

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Old 07-22-2008, 05:23 PM   #2
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Yes, a 7 gallon cooler will be fine for a 5 gallon batch. You should be able to get about 18 lbs of grain in there using 1.25 qt/lb which would get you up to a gravity of approximately 1.089.

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Old 07-22-2008, 05:36 PM   #3
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Rock on, thanks jfrizzel! And most of the recipes I'm looking at call for much less grain (under 9 pounds roughly, for a Bitter), so I think I'd be in great shape.

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Old 07-22-2008, 05:56 PM   #4
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I'd really try to find a 10 gallon if you can. 7 gallons is going to max out pretty quickly if you want to make anything bigger than a pale ale(or bitter, blonde, etc.).

You also do not have to use a Rubbermaid, you can use any type of cooler. many of the people on this site use square coolers, as they are available with larger capacities. Rubbermaids are used because of the spigot - they are ready to convert. However, a different type of cooler will work just fine, but might require a bit more effort to install your braid, bullet screen, SS shank, etc.

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Old 07-22-2008, 08:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blacklab View Post
I'd really try to find a 10 gallon if you can. 7 gallons is going to max out pretty quickly if you want to make anything bigger than a pale ale(or bitter, blonde, etc.).
I totally disagree. You can EASILY do gravities of 1.10 and up with a 7 gallon cooler, especially if you do a slightly stiff mash. I would only really worry about it if you wanted to move up to 10 gallon batches at some point.

For reference, I own both a 5 gallon and 10 gallon cooler, and I only ever have to break out the 10 for grain bills of 16 pounds or more. A 7 gallon cooler will do just fine for practically any 5 gallon batch of beer you want to make short of some sort of mega ultra barleywine partigyle nightmare.
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:33 PM   #6
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I use one of the 7 gal's and they work GREAT. I have made beers up to about 1.068 (my house IPA and its done well. They hold heat for 9 pound batches great (1.25qt/lb). In fact I got 0 temp loss on a 90 minute mash the other day.

In mine I made a CPVC square manifold, and get about 77% mash efficiency, but I am curious what a stainless braid would do.

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