Originally Posted by Tidwellc
I am getting ready to dive into all-grain pretty soon and getting started on a cooler conversion first. I have an old Rubbermaid cooler that I never use but I am not really sure how big it is, the volume isn't printed anywhere on the thing. So I busted out the old tape measure and calculator, and the thing comes out to about 47 quarts (that's 47qts, bottom to the very rim!). Would that be too small? the 48qts seem to be popular but I'm not sure if that's measured to the very top or not.
Should I do it? Or should I refrain from ruining a perfectly good cooler and go buy a bigger one that will better serve its new purpose?
Well, the orange round ones that most people use here are 40 qts, so you're fine for 5/6 gallon batches of just about anything. It sounds like you have the rubbermaid from home depot or similar, that's all you need unless you're doing 10 gallon batches of high gravity stuff. Just keep it, spend a few bucks to fit it for the mash tun, and save your money.
Here are the instructions if you need them: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/cheap-easy-10-gallon-rubbermaid-mlt-conversion-23008/
I'm 35 batches deep on my rig and haven't needed to fix a leak or replace a thing.