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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Mash Tun. Round or Rectangular Cooler
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:03 PM   #1
Hebby5
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Default Mash Tun. Round or Rectangular Cooler

Thinking about going AG and will need to build a Mash Tun out of a cooler. I've seen videos and read testimonials about both round and rectangular coolers being used as MLTs. I'll be doing 5 gallon batches but realize that you need more volume than that.

Looks like you may have a little more "elbow room" with a 10 Rectangular Cooler over the round Rubbermaid 10G. Does one hold the temp better than the other? Any comments from the HBT peanut gallery?

I appreciate the help as always.

Chris

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Old 07-10-2011, 06:07 PM   #2
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Can't speak for how well the round is over the square - but I have the round 10 gallon igloo cooler (Home Depot Special) with the conversion plan I got right on this website. I loose less than 1 degree in an hour and get efficiencies around 75 - 80% consistantly.

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Old 07-10-2011, 06:19 PM   #3
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I've seen instruction videos on cooler conversion on YouTube and step by step instruction (with pictures) on HBT. Awesome stuff. Just got to figure out which cooler to get. I think the round ones may store easier in my garage but the rectangular ones look easier to stir all grains.

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Old 07-11-2011, 05:55 AM   #4
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are you going to Batch sparge? if the answer is yes, it does not matter the shape, just try to stay around the 10 gallon or 40qt size for 5gallon batches. if you go to big like 70qt with a 5 gallon batch, there is a lot of empty space and hitting your strike temp can be a little tricky especially on a cold day. At least thats my experience trying to mash in my 80qt cooler a 8lb grain bill...duh

If you plan on continuous of fly sparge you need to be more concerned about grain bed depth, and i think the consensus is the round cooler are better. Personaly I continuous sparge most my beers and I use a Square cube cooler. 40qt for 5gallon batches and 80qt for 10gallon batches. I'd just say avoid the rectangular cooler if you are going to continuous sparge, but I'm sure there are people who have been are successful with them too.

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Old 07-11-2011, 05:59 PM   #5
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Looks like Sears has a good price ($20 each) for Coleman 48Qt coolers (rectangular). No time like the present to get started converting them.

Thanks!

Chris

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Old 07-11-2011, 06:16 PM   #6
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Just my .02 I have read about guys with square coolers complain about the top leaking and lowering the temp over a period with the hd 10 gal drink cooler the lid screws on and probably seals better

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Old 07-11-2011, 07:02 PM   #7
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I went with a 10 gallon round cooler and a false bottom, works great. I tried the stainless steel braid at first and I couldn't get it to work for the life of me. Other people say it works great, I am going to blame it on operator error.

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Old 07-11-2011, 07:19 PM   #8
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I actually just "upgraded" and went out and got the 10g home depot rubermaid cooler. It's exactly the same cooler as anywhere else but this is bright orange with home depot on the side. I switched from the rectangular Colman. The hardware is exactly the same. The home depot one is better, it keeps heat much better and is easier to manage. The top of the Colman is completely hollow so basically I really had to wrap is very very well. I love the home depot cooler conversion, hole thing was under 50$ and I lost less than a degree over several hours when I did actually wrap it which I am not 100% is needed but I do it out of habit anyway. It really keeps it's temperature very well. Also if you want to switch up to fly sparging, this is the only way to go.

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Old 07-11-2011, 07:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dd2000gt View Post
can't speak for how well the round is over the square - but i have the round 10 gallon igloo cooler (home depot special) with the conversion plan i got right on this website. I loose less than 1 degree in an hour and get efficiencies around 75 - 80% consistantly.
+1

I lose 1-2 deg over 60 minute mash, 75% efficiency on most batches.

If you plan on batch sparging, get a bazooka screen.
If your going to fly sparge, get a false bottom.
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:41 AM   #10
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I haven't ever tried a square cooler so I can only tell you my experience with my round 10 gallon cooler. It works great with the SS braid. . . as long your careful to make sure it stays on the bottom when you stir your grains. For that reason I'm seriously considering switching to a false bottom.

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