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Old 06-15-2005, 09:01 PM   #1
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Default Going all grain

I am beginning to put my all grain brewery together. Will a 10 gallon igloo/rubbermaid cooler keep mash at 152 +/- for an hour or so? Anyone else use the rubbermaid coolers as a liquor tank and mash tun with success? From a financial point that seems the way I can go right now. Thanks.

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Old 06-15-2005, 09:11 PM   #2
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My igloos hold within 1 degree for 90 mins+.

In fact, last time I brewed I dumped out my leftover sparge water (which was at 160 some degrees) about 30 hours after I brewed and the water temp was still 87 degrees! That's holding some heat!!!!
I have the Igloo maxcold coolers as a MLT and HLT.

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Old 06-18-2005, 05:36 PM   #3
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I use a ten gallon Rubbermaid - loses 1 degree in an hour mash - pretty standard from what I have seen. In hindsight, althought the round cooler is neat and compact and all, I should have saved some cash a bought a cheap rectangular cooler - these are way easier to find and easier on the wallet (think $15 as opposed to $60). Something to consider when you have lots of new AG stuff to buy, save that cash on the cooler choice and spend it on a grain mill or something! At any rate - AG rocks you'll never look back.

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Old 06-18-2005, 06:16 PM   #4
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I was lucky to have two 10 gallon coolers given to me free! I cleaned them up and good as new. I was fortunate, I looked at them in stores and they have a hefty $ tag.

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Old 06-18-2005, 06:25 PM   #5
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Brewman,
Thanks. I'm nervous to go AG. The four brews I've done to this point have all been extract kits. They have turned out super! I'm scared to ruin a good thing as I've only been at this for a month. That's right 4 brews in the past month, I'M HOOKED!. AG set up is nearly complete, I just need to build/buy a wort chiller and ingredients and I'm good to go. I'll start with a simple AG recipe, single infusion and hope for the best.

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Old 06-19-2005, 01:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Born Brewing Co.
Brewman,
Thanks. I'm nervous to go AG. The four brews I've done to this point have all been extract kits. They have turned out super! I'm scared to ruin a good thing as I've only been at this for a month. That's right 4 brews in the past month, I'M HOOKED!. AG set up is nearly complete, I just need to build/buy a wort chiller and ingredients and I'm good to go. I'll start with a simple AG recipe, single infusion and hope for the best.
Those of you that use the rubbemaid's and igloos what temp do you get the water before you add it to the cooler. Just wondering how much temp was lost after putting in the grain. I thought about heating some water up and adding it to the cooler just to heat it up first, then once the cooler was hot mabe I would not loose as much when I add my water and grains?
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Old 06-19-2005, 04:33 PM   #7
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I read in Charlie Papazian's The Home Brewer's Companion that the grain may absorb 12-15 degrees of heat. Hence, to mash at 150 degrees your initial water temp should be about 162-165. However, I have yet to do full grain. Perhaps someone could address this.

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Old 06-19-2005, 06:12 PM   #8
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BornBrew -
Yes that is true, the grain will absorb some heat - the cooler walls will absorb heat as well as the unit heats from room temp up to your mash temp. Some choose to pre-heat their cooler to solve this problem - I just heat my initial infusion water to a higher temp. I usually between 178-182 depending on my mash temp and mash thickness. Now the amont of heat the walls will absorb varies from cooler to cooler. I use Promash, and it has a feature where you can enter the thermal mass of your cooler (determined experimentally by how much heat loss you see as you add the initial infusion) and it will correct the strike temp for you. Basically - I recommend getting Promash Actually, they have a trial version on their website you can download for free and give it a try. I think it is only $20 anyway - it is probably the most useful brewing tool I own!! If not - and you do end up with the 10 gal rubbermaid that I have as well, use the high end of the temp range (182 or so) - that way if youend up above your desired temp you can easily bring it down by stirring and adding small amounts of cool water - it is MUCH easier to cool a mash down slightly than to raise the temp. Good luck - study up hard and don't sweat it and your AG will go just fine.

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Old 06-19-2005, 06:20 PM   #9
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Default Rubbermaid Coolers

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Originally Posted by Born Brewing Co.
I am beginning to put my all grain brewery together. Will a 10 gallon igloo/rubbermaid cooler keep mash at 152 +/- for an hour or so? Anyone else use the rubbermaid coolers as a liquor tank and mash tun with success? From a financial point that seems the way I can go right now. Thanks.
I have used these coolers with great success. If you warm your water to the proper temperature to get the mash temp at 152, you should have no problem. I mash for an hour and sometimes a bit more, and I have never had a variation in temperature. One day I will move up to a sculpture brewhouse, but hats off to the simplicity of Igloo coolers in the mash process.
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Old 06-19-2005, 06:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Ale
Those of you that use the rubbemaid's and igloos what temp do you get the water before you add it to the cooler. Just wondering how much temp was lost after putting in the grain. I thought about heating some water up and adding it to the cooler just to heat it up first, then once the cooler was hot mabe I would not loose as much when I add my water and grains?
I do 170 to 172 degrees. It usually mashes at 152-154 depending on the amount of grain your are mashing. I just did 11 pounds of 6 different grains for an IPA, and mashed at 152 on the button with water heated to 172.
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