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Old 01-26-2007, 12:45 PM   #1
grnich
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Default Cooler heat loss

I converted a 48 qt. Coleman(non Extreme) cooler to a mash tun and I
tested it last night for temperature control. It did very poorly as the
water I put in at 156F went to 126F(!) in an hour. I believe the grain
will hold heat better, but I think I'm still loosing a lot of heat
through the poorly insulatated cover. I could feel the heat escaping
the whole time, even though I had a blanket on it.

Does anybody use this cooler? What do U do to keep the heat in? I'm
planning on buying one of those hot water heater foil insulators to wrap
around it. Any other suggestions? I might also put my brewbelt under
the insulation to keep it hot in there. it's funny that none of the websites I looked at put any more insulation on the cover and they seemed to work.

GReg



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Old 01-26-2007, 12:50 PM   #2
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Run a test with pre-heating the tun. Boil some water, add it to the cooler, let it sit ten minutes. Drain and add your "mash" water (at 154). See how it holds then before worrying too much.



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Old 01-26-2007, 01:17 PM   #3
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Well i did put some hot water in, but i didn't boil it. Regardless, it still looks like I'm losing alot of heat.

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Old 01-26-2007, 01:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grnich
Well i did put some hot water in, but i didn't boil it. Regardless, it still looks like I'm losing alot of heat.
But it is expected that you will lose heat if you put hot water into a cold cooler. You either need to pre-heat the cooler or put in water that is heated to a temperature ABOVE your mash temperature to compensate for the loss (the latter can be calculated fairly precisely). Here is a good suggestion from another post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bandt9299
There is a little program out there also it's called mashcalc.exe you put in your ratio and rest Temp and it will tell you how much water to mash in and @ what temp, this is the best program I've seen so far for hitting your mash temp, no warming up the tun just right on the money every time so far, I use Beersmith and its always 5 degrees lower, I'm curious how much this would affect the first rest Temp, anyways good luck, It's not hard at all.
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Old 01-26-2007, 01:27 PM   #5
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I usually bring the water up to about 10-15 degrees above the strike temp I need, pour it in the cooler, and wait for it to cool to the desired strike temp. This is more time- and fuel-efficient than pre-heating the cooler with water that will just get dumped out. (I believe it was Rich Brewer who pointed this out to me.)

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Old 01-26-2007, 01:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cweston
I usually bring the water up to about 10-15 degrees above the strike temp I need, pour it in the cooler, and wait for it to cool to the desired strike temp. This is more time- and fuel-efficient than pre-heating the cooler with water that will just get dumped out. (I believe it was Rich Brewer who pointed this out to me.)
Ah -- you didn't say this. I think your original post said that you started with 156 degree water (not 166 or 161). I understand now.

Try that foil-like insulation they use on water heaters. I bet that would help more than a blanket.
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Old 01-26-2007, 01:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyGuy
Ah -- you didn't say this. I think your original post said that you started with 156 degree water (not 166 or 161). I understand now.
Confusion alert! I'm not the originator of this thread.
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Old 01-26-2007, 01:34 PM   #8
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I use a beverage cooler with the screw on lid, I preheat the tun, I also run a calculation to determine strike temps. I lose about 1 degree per hour, I think that is pretty typical. You are right too, the more grist you have in there, the better it will insulate itself.

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Old 01-26-2007, 01:34 PM   #9
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I would also think that the mash would assist in holding the temperature. I've never done all-grain, but sugar (and I can only assume starch) holds heat very well - ever stick something sweet in a microwave? The grain itself would probably act as an insulant as well.

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Old 01-26-2007, 01:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cweston
Confusion alert! I'm not the originator of this thread.
Oops -- end of the week -- too early in the day -- need coffee....


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