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Old 07-14-2012, 01:26 PM   #1
smbuckley
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Default Cooler vs keg or SS pot for HLT?

I was thinking of getting a 5 gallon cooler to serve as a HLT and complete my 3 tier system. I was gonna just heat my sparge water and dump it in the cooler then attach a valve (similar to my mash tun) and attach some silicone tubing to that which attaches to a fly sparge over my mash tun. So, what is the difference between coolers, kegs, and pots for HLT? What have your experiences been? And if I get a cooler do you think 5 gallons is big enough (I'm only doin 5 gallon batches now)? Thanks

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Old 07-14-2012, 01:44 PM   #2
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5 gallon should be large enough for some brews you might have to dump in an extra gallon part way through the sparge not the end of the world. The big difference with a kettle is that your go directly from fired kettle to sparging but you'll have to run the burner to maintain your sparge temp. (or deal with losing a few degrees during your sparge. So with a kettle you might find that you need (or really want) a burner at the too of your stand.

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Old 07-14-2012, 01:45 PM   #3
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Coolers work fine with a ball valve for MLT's. I'd get a 10 gallon size. To pitch 5 gallons you need 5.5 gallons in the kettle. To end with 5.5 gallons in the kettle, you may have to start with 7 or more gallons before a 90 min boil. That may require sparging with over 5 gallons of water. Get a 10 gallon cooler and that's not a problem.

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Old 07-14-2012, 02:29 PM   #4
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A 5 gallon HLT would work for most brews however for a high gravity beer or a 90 minute boil more than 5 gallons of sparge water may be required. If you only have 1 burner and plan to use gravity to fly sparge (3 tier) a cooler would probably be your best solution because they will hold heat better than an ss pot or keg. Good luck and happy brewing. Cheers

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