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Old 01-21-2013, 05:14 AM   #11
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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).
Yes my plan with that would be to use my kettle as a HLT. I'm kicking around a lot of ideas. I'm also considering picking up a Blichmann kettle since the guys at the LHBS rave about it and it's ability to hold temps so long term I would like to get 3 of them for my mash, lauter and kettel to run an EB system but I'm debating on just starting with one for the HLT like a 20 gallon with the auto-sparge.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:33 AM   #12
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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.
The cost to convert a 5 or 10 gallon Igloo is the same if you are using SS braid. For $10 I would buy the 5 and spend the savings (from purchasing a new 10 gallon) on the items needed to convert. Make some <1.050 beers and see if you like brewing all grain. Then if you want to move to a larger cooler you can take all the stuff you used to convert the 5, put it into the next cooler, replace the original equipment back on the 5 and sell it for $10.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:23 AM   #13
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Another idea....in most cases you can get away with 5gal cooler for a HLT. You may have to up your mash to a little over 1.25qt/lb ratio in some cases, but no big deal.

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Old 01-21-2013, 12:24 PM   #14
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I used a five gallon cooler tun(5 gallon batches) for years before upgrading(I do larger batches now).The Most Grain I used in my five gallon tun was 16lbs, with decent effeciency. You just have to sparge more to get the volume you want. The one issue I have noticed is if you are doing smaller beers, or smaller batches is that you hold heat better with the smaller tun, and it becomes more critical that you pre-heat the larger one. Thick mash, and less free space in the tun contirbute to better heat retention in my experience.....as always, your results may vary.

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