Originally Posted by jldc
This is essentially what I do.
Glad to hear that you do the same as me. I don't hear of many people doing this technique, and I can't understand why. I see a lot of posts about people bragging about how cheap they can get into all grain with a braided hose and converted cooler, but I'm like, why even bother with the hose?
For me, the grain bags that I found were not fine enough to really strain out all husk materials, but I haven't seen the one you mentioned in person.
My five gal paint strainer hangs just right in my 5 gal cooler, but I usually prop it up from the bottom about an inch with a saucer just to give the bag some support. If the bag is too heavy, the top of the bag will slip off the rim of the cooler, which is annoying, but not a huge deal.
I've never pushed the limits of my system beyond 10lbs or so, but I have no problem thinking that its possible to do 13-14lbs if you are careful. One thing I notice is that with 10lbs of grain, my single batch sparge comes right up to the rim of the cooler without overflowing, so you might need to split the sparge into 2 if you are short on space.
And yeah, stuck sparges are basically impossible. Did a pumpkin ale with 60oz of roasted pumpkin goo in the mash and didn't have a stuck sparge.
Kegged: Mr. Hyde's Dark Hearted English Ale, Pumpkin Lager, Bro'Hemian Pilsner
Resting: Stinky Pete's Midnight Wheat
No-Chill: Graham's Cracker Brown Ale
Bottled: Lowland Oatmeal Porter, Adieu Travail Belgian Sour, Golden Blossom Braggot