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Old 04-01-2007, 03:04 PM   #11
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You can use the 5 gallon cooler now and then move up to a 10 gallon tun later. The 5 gallon can then be used for your Hot Liquor Tank.

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Old 04-01-2007, 03:13 PM   #12
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Excellent point, Rich. I suspect I may eventually get a 10 gal. and I will probably do just that.

What I have noticed so far with my 5 gallon setup is that it is fine for up to 12 lbs. of grain. The only thing I see is that if you wanted to use more than that (they claim you can squeeze up to 15 lbs. in it) you would not have enough room for water to do a mashout. I have done two batches so far, one with about 10 lbs., the other with 12 and I found that when I added enough hot water to raise the temp to 168 at the end (is that the right temp?) the cooler was nearly full.

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Old 04-01-2007, 03:15 PM   #13
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wally world has a 54qt cube for< 25 bucks

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Old 04-01-2007, 03:24 PM   #14
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I struggled with a 5 gallon vs 10 gallon for a while, then the people here on HBT talked me into going with the 10 gallon. It's big, bigger than I thought I'd need- but I"m so glad I got it. Friday's beer had 13.5 gallons of grain and it was about half full. The grain bed is always plenty deep enough, too. (That was one of my worries initially). Currently, I batch sparge but might fly sparge someday.

The big 10 gallon cooler was $39 at Home Depot yesterday. I'm not handy around the house at all- so I just bought it with the false bottom and bulkhead fitting. But you could easily build it and it wouldn't cost much more than the 5 gallon one. And use the 5 gallon for you HLT.

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Old 04-01-2007, 04:21 PM   #15
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Just to throw out another idea, I think the best answer to the 5 vs 10 gal cooler MLT debate is that you need both. That may sound a bit silly at first, but having two coolers (one for mashing and one for holding sparge water) is very practical. It avoids requiring two burners and two pots (assuming you don't mind a small amount of lifting water), and coolers cost far less than burners and pots.

The nice thing about having both is that if you do a smaller grainbill (say <12 lbs) you can use the 5 gal MLT for the mash, and have a really nice grainbed depth. Then the 10 gal gets used for holding sparge water. If you do a bigger grainbill, then mash with 10 gal and use the 5 gal to hold sparge water.

I ended up buying two 10 gal coolers for this purpose, but now I wish I had bought one of each size. But two 10 gal coolers is still better than two 5 gal MLTs. (See my cheap 3-tier, steam-heated system in my signature links below.)

EDIT: Just noticed RichBrewer's post above. I agree.


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Old 04-02-2007, 06:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boo boo
Couldn't agree more. I wish I had the foresight to do just that when I first started. I have since aquired for free another 5 gallon gott type if I need the extra space, but it still is a pain to use.
And I'm too cheap/frugal to get another just yet.
Interesting point.
I started with a 5G and it worked but it was tight.
Now I'm doing 10G batches and using a 12G cooler.
Works fine, for nominal strenght beers too.
In retrospect, even slightly larger would have been a good idea.
But IIRC, the 12 G cooler was somewhere between $12 and $18 when I bought it. So overall, not a bad choice.
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Old 04-02-2007, 09:56 PM   #17
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If you already have the 5g cooler, then it's quite big enough gor brews with an OG of up to about 1.060. With care, and fly sparging, you can stretch the gravity up to about 1.075. (There isn't enough space left in the cooler to add the sparge water for batch sparging, unless you want to do a lot of batches.)
If you have space, a 10g cooler is probably more flexible, but as has already been said, you can use the 5g as a HLT.
I make do with a brace of 5g's (one MLT and one HLT). They're fine for everything except very big beers, and if I were to make such a beer, I would make a 3g batch.
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Old 04-02-2007, 10:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichBrewer
You can use the 5 gallon cooler now and then move up to a 10 gallon tun later. The 5 gallon can then be used for your Hot Liquor Tank.

NOT!!!!
I wish I had a nickle for every time I've used 6, 7, or more gallons of sparge water! I've got two 10 gallon coolers and am glad I do! I suppose you could fill the sparge tank twice, but what a PITA.........



Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyin' Lion
It does seem like the general consensus is to go bigger, but what about someone who eventually plans to do full 10 gallon boils? Will a 10 gallon cooler be big enough, or do you fall into the realm of converting a second keggle as a mash tun?

I do ten gallon boils all the time. It can handle gravities up to 1.060 or so. Anything bigger and I make a 5 gallon batch. I'm not saying I'll never go to the keggle tun, but not yet. Never say Never
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Old 04-02-2007, 11:42 PM   #19
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Uhhh...

Guys???

I think you can quit debating now.

Apparatus checked out after the second reply. 28 minutes....

Me suspects there is a five gallon brew going on somehwere.

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Old 04-02-2007, 11:44 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie Brewer
NOT!!!!
I wish I had a nickle for every time I've used 6, 7, or more gallons of sparge water! I've got two 10 gallon coolers and am glad I do! I suppose you could fill the sparge tank twice, but what a PITA.........
You use 7 gallons of sparge water on a 5 gallon batch of beer???

I think everyone was discussing only 5 gallon batches, not 10 gallon batches.
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