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01-21-2013, 04:44 AM   #1
hoppyhoppyhippo
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 Mashtun Question

So I was wondering me and my brother are gonna eventually move to all-grain brewing and we're going to brew 5 gallon AG batches. For the Mashtun can I use a 5 gallon igloo cooler for my mashtun or do I need a 10 gallon cooler for 5G batches?

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01-21-2013, 05:17 AM   #2
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You can use the 5 but you'll max out around 12-13 lbs of grain so you couldn't do higher gravity recipes all in one mash (or without supplementing with extract).

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01-21-2013, 05:21 AM   #3
hoppyhoppyhippo
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Thanks for the advise, I was just wondering cause someone near me is selling a 5 gallon igloo cooler for 10 but if it won't work no reason to spend the money I need to spend converting it. The extra 40 bucks for the Rubbermaid 10 gallon at Lowes will work out better for me.

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01-21-2013, 05:24 AM   #4
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IMHO you are better off just going to the 10 gallon right off. You can estimate how large you MLT needs to be by multiplying 0.1 times the grain weight and adding your strike water volume to that. The 0.1 factor represents how space your grain takes up in "gallons".

So a 13 pound grain bill needs about 13x1.5 = 19.5qts/4 = 4.9 gallons plus the 0.1x13 = 1.3 gallons so a total of 6.2 gallons of MLT volume.

You can mash thicker (<1.5 qts per pound) to make it fit but you can see that you run out of room fast with a 5 gallon MLT.

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01-21-2013, 05:25 AM   #5
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If you are going to batch sparge, look at the rectangle coolers, they are cheaper. If you are going to fly sparge, look at the cube coolers and make a manifold. Both of those would be cheaper. Now if you are exclusively going to fly sparge and have no problem spending the extra money, then definitely get the round coolers for \$50 or so. You could still use a cube or rectangle (or kettle, if you have an extra) for your HLT.

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01-21-2013, 05:31 AM   #6
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JoshuaW has a great point, the MLT geometry is really only an issue with fly sparging since you want a rather tall and narrow grain bed for it.

The rectangular coolers have much larger capacity for less money and if you batch sparge is a better way to go.

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01-21-2013, 05:42 AM   #7
hoppyhoppyhippo
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by JoshuaW If you are going to batch sparge, look at the rectangle coolers, they are cheaper. If you are going to fly sparge, look at the cube coolers and make a manifold. Both of those would be cheaper. Now if you are exclusively going to fly sparge and have no problem spending the extra money, then definitely get the round coolers for \$50 or so. You could still use a cube or rectangle (or kettle, if you have an extra) for your HLT.
I'm looking at a few options. This is gonna be a slow build we're still on extract and assuming that this batch turns we'll step up to Partial Mash then maybe consider BIAB but I think we'll just go to AG.

I'm not 100% sure if I'll fly sparge or batch sparge, Fly sparge seems like it would require more initial equipment. Is there a way to so that without a kettle with a spigot?

Also how big of a kettle should I look at getting? We have a 7.5 gallon work or should we ramp up? I know it would likely be a close fill but would that work? We're gonna eventually convert a keg to a keggle but I was wondering if we coudl start earlier.
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01-21-2013, 05:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by hoppyhoppyhippo I'm looking at a few options. This is gonna be a slow build we're still on extract and assuming that this batch turns we'll step up to Partial Mash then maybe consider BIAB but I think we'll just go to AG. I'm not 100% sure if I'll fly sparge or batch sparge, Fly sparge seems like it would require more initial equipment. Is there a way to so that without a kettle with a spigot? Also how big of a kettle should I look at getting? We have a 7.5 gallon work or should we ramp up? I know it would likely be a close fill but would that work? We're gonna eventually convert a keg to a keggle but I was wondering if we coudl start earlier.
Yep, batch sparging would require less equipment (hot liquor tank, sparge arm etc). 7.5 gal Kettle is really too small for a full 5 gal batch, but you could certainly scale back just a bit and use it till you come up with a good deal on a 10 gal or so. As for the spigot on a brew kettle, it is a nice to have, not a must have.
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01-21-2013, 06:01 AM   #9
hoppyhoppyhippo
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How would you fly sparge without a spigot? Siphon?

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01-21-2013, 06:03 AM   #10
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I think an 8 gallon kettle is minimum for a 5 gallon batches. I used an 8 gallon turkey fryer before moving up to my 20 gallon kettle. A general rule-of-thumb is to have a kettle that is twice your batch size.

I'm not sure I understand your kettle spigot question. If you are using the kettle as your HLT also you would need a spigot to fly sparge. If you batch sparge, you can just pour from the HLT into the MLT or use a large saucepan/pitcher to transfer the HLT water to the MLT for sparing.

For fly sparging you need gravity (2-tier system) or a pump (single-tier) to get from the HLT to the MLT...hence the spigot requirement if using your kettle as the HLT. The problem is, with fly sparging you need to be draining the MLT at the same rate as you are filling it so a third vessel is required (hard to use your kettle dual purpose fly sparging).

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Kegged: Cider, German Pils, Belgian Tripel, Bedeviled (Bel. Golden Strong), AHA Summer Ale, Sonoma County Organic Cider, Maibock Bock, Ommegang Abbey Ale Clone
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