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Old 10-16-2009, 11:05 PM   #1
chefLenT
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Default Ideal Cooler Size

I have searched this site but I'm still a little unsure.What is the ideal cooler to make a mash tun to do high gravity brews using the batch sparge method ?I'm leaning towards the 36 qt. Coleman extreme.

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Old 10-16-2009, 11:15 PM   #2
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In the equipment section there is a sticky for this. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/how-...-needs-123585/. It depends on the batch size you will usually do and the gravity. Its all in the chart.

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Old 10-16-2009, 11:27 PM   #3
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That's not very big. I have a 52 quart and have done 1.038 to 1.110 beers, it's a good all around size.

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Old 10-16-2009, 11:39 PM   #4
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I love my 10 gallon round cooler from HD.

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Old 10-17-2009, 01:19 AM   #5
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I have a old 42 qt cooler. For a five gallon batch it doesn't limit me.

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Old 10-17-2009, 01:56 AM   #6
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I dunno if this is right, but I look at it like keeping fish. Get the biggest you can afford. I may not need it, but I really don't see a harm in getting a 60 qt cooler. OTOH, if BobbyM comes in and says "you don't need a 60qt cooler unless..." I would listen to him.

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Old 10-17-2009, 02:09 AM   #7
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I would recommend getting a taller rather than wider cooler.

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Old 10-17-2009, 02:17 AM   #8
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Per Bobby M's chart,, you could fit 18-19 lbs of grain in there at 1.25 qt/lb. For five gallon batches this seem adequate to me. How "high gravity" are you talking? For me, having a tun that is too big would be an inconveniense to handle / empty and clean it. I use a basic cheapo 48 qt coleman and am very satisfied. Unless you are brewing outdoors in rather cold conditions, IMO the "extreme" coolers are not needed.

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Old 10-17-2009, 04:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hcarter View Post
I dunno if this is right, but I look at it like keeping fish. Get the biggest you can afford. I may not need it, but I really don't see a harm in getting a 60 qt cooler. OTOH, if BobbyM comes in and says "you don't need a 60qt cooler unless..." I would listen to him.

No disrespect to BobbyM, but in this case, I don't care what he says. You can do a little with a big cooler, but you can't do a lot with a little cooler. Don't limit yourself. Go big or stay home.
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Old 10-17-2009, 06:41 AM   #10
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One thing to consider in a MLT is how much unused space you have. The more of the MLT you are not using, the more temp loss you are going to have. I peronally have 2 MLT's, I have one that is good to about 11 pounds of grain at 1.5 qts/lb. It is a 28qt coleman. I also have a 38qt igloo that I switch to once I get to a grainbill of more than 11lbs. I figure I can do a fairly big Barleywine in the 38qt.

I'm not saying to go out and buy two MLT's, the only reason I have two is through the course of "upgrading" over the last couple of years. You also have to consider the dimensions of the cooler. IMO, the thickness of the grainbed is important, even in batch sparging. You don't want it too thin or too thick. But I think it is best to err on the thick side.

I would say get something close to 40qts, give or take a couple qts. This all considers doing 5 gallon batches.

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