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Old 04-14-2010, 11:22 PM   #1
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Default How much grain in a 5 Gallon Mash Tun Converted Cooler?

So I just picked up two 5G coolers that I'm converting to mash tun. I'm going to start out with grain bags. Yes.... slippery slope to all grain.

So instead of figuring this out myself, can one of you tell me how much grain I can realistically put into a 5G upright cooler? (the get the football coach a Gatorade shower kind.)
Also it would be great to know how many quarts of water and any practical related advice

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Old 04-14-2010, 11:30 PM   #2
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The "Can I Mash It?" calculator on this page http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml will tell you how much grain you can squeeze into your tun and at what water ratio.

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Old 04-15-2010, 12:02 AM   #3
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TY - exactly what I needed. Great tool.

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Old 04-15-2010, 12:06 AM   #4
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Just be aware Oaky, just cause you can mash it, ya still have to sparge, which will take additional volume.

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Old 04-15-2010, 12:12 AM   #5
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By that you mean I should account for the additional volume from sparging in my total batch calculation? If I use 10 pds of grain it shows that it would be 4 gallon - which I would think leaves me with 1G to spare - which seems like more than enough for sparge and possibly some other stuff (LME/DME etc.) does that seem about right?

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Old 04-15-2010, 12:17 AM   #6
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why would you put DME in your mash??

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Old 04-15-2010, 12:43 AM   #7
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I was trying to see whether I could make a higher gravity beer with one of these 5G - from what I can see I can do about 4G for a 10 pd of grain combo. I'm going to have to add some additional fermentable to reach 6-7% and above... That's why I'm trying to figure out how many pounds of grain. Seeing I have 2 of these coolers I may not need to supplement DME/LME afterwards.

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Old 04-15-2010, 12:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oaky View Post
By that you mean I should account for the additional volume from sparging in my total batch calculation? If I use 10 pds of grain it shows that it would be 4 gallon - which I would think leaves me with 1G to spare - which seems like more than enough for sparge and possibly some other stuff (LME/DME etc.) does that seem about right?
Well, kind of. If you batch sparge, you can drain all of the first runnings, which will free up some space. Since you HAVE to have water in the mash, you will never fill the tun to the brim with grain. You may have to double batch sparge, or even triple if you really stuff the thing full. When making a really large batch with my 5 gal tun, I would go for a slightly thicker mash, drain the tun after the rests, then add as much water as I could, drain (repeat) until I used all of my sparge water. If you fly sparge, you will want to account a little bit of dead space so your aren't in fear of overflowing too easily.
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Old 04-15-2010, 02:03 AM   #9
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OK. so I looked up all kind of videos on both fly and batch sparging. So let me make sure I understand this - based on the calculation of grain and water - I get that into the cooler, set the temp say at 150 and close it for an hour seeking to maintain that temp. From there - I drain the running and then sparge (with batch I would just add more hot water - like 185 or so?) until I get to the desired volume? The fly sparge looks a bit freaky. Now - do you recirculate the wort as a sparge? I think I saw that (or is that fly sparging?) Sry.. kind of noobish questions but the videos I saw did not explain fly sparging well.

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Old 04-15-2010, 02:43 AM   #10
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In addition to the Rackers.org calculator, I wrote a slightly different "how much can I mash" calculator. Instead of putting in the amount of grain you want to mash, you put in the size of your vessel and it tells you how much grain you can fit. Basically it answers your question directly without trial-and-error

You can find it here. At 1.25 qt/lb, you can mash 12.8# of grain in your 5-gallon cooler.

-Joe

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