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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > 5 Gallon Igloo
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Old 07-31-2006, 02:58 PM   #1
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Default 5 Gallon Igloo

Is this to big of a vessel to do partial mashes? I just bought one and now thinking it might be to big.

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Old 07-31-2006, 03:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brew-boy
Is this to big of a vessel to do partial mashes? I just bought one and now thinking it might be to big.
I don't think it's too big for PM but it IS large enough to do AG with up to 15lbs of grain. Anything over 15lbs would be pushing it.
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Old 07-31-2006, 03:07 PM   #3
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A five gallon cooler can probably mash up to about 11-12 lbs of grain, which is just barely large enough for "regular" gravity (up to the 60s) AG batches.

That size is probably ideal for larger partial mashes--like maybe 6-7 lbs of grain and collecting 4 gallons of wort or more.

If you're looking to only collect 3 gals of wort, then I might think that cooler is a little too large.

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Old 07-31-2006, 03:19 PM   #4
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Well, a lot of people around here use a 5 gallon cooler to do partial mashes. I bought a 5 gallon Rubbermaid about a month ago and modified it, although it's still virgin. Lots of people have the same cooler and have used it with good success. For partial mashes, you might not be able to do fly sparging, as the grain bed may not be deep enough, but it sounds like people have been fine using it for batch sparging.

One thing, though - before you begin adding your mash, pre-heat the cooler by letting some very hot (near-boiling) water sit in it for ten or fifteen minutes. I did some experiments on a smaller cooler, and this made a HUGE amount of difference with regards to heat retention. Adding a mash to a cooler that hasn't been pre-heated is likely to result in a lot of heat loss initially, so get it up to temp ahead of time.

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Old 07-31-2006, 03:26 PM   #5
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Froget about the PM all togeather man, if you got the 5 gal cooler step up to the plate and make AG, its hardly diffrent and if you want to reach that level why not jump in with both feet? I made one PM batch as my first brew and was not impressed, price wise, beer wise, brewing expirence, all of it. Go AG!!

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Old 07-31-2006, 03:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cweston
A five gallon cooler can probably mash up to about 11-12 lbs of grain, which is just barely large enough for "regular" gravity (up to the 60s) AG batches.

That size is probably ideal for larger partial mashes--like maybe 6-7 lbs of grain and collecting 4 gallons of wort or more.

If you're looking to only collect 3 gals of wort, then I might think that cooler is a little too large.
I agree. With smaller PM brews, the grain bed would be pretty shallow and I'm not sure the wort would clarify when you recirculate causing small particles of grain and husk to get into your brew pot.
Just do like cweston suggests. Do 6-7 pound PM brews. You will need at least a 20 quart pot if not bigger however.
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Old 07-31-2006, 04:44 PM   #7
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I do partial mashes as small as 4 pounds in my 60 quart Ice Cube. I use the Very Big Grain Bag and when the mash is done, I drain the wort & dump all of the sparge water into the cooler & stir for five minutes.

The VBGB is actually intended to be used in a grape crusher and is about 18x40.

Good point about pre-heating, makes a huge difference.

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