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Old 11-28-2008, 04:06 PM   #1
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Default Rectangular vs Round cooler

Is there really a big enough difference in these so that I should not use one of the many rectangular coolers I've gotten over the years? I have a 3 gallon round, which I intend to use for small batches, but would rather spend any $$ I might have for ingredients for bigger batches, not on another cooler.

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Old 11-28-2008, 05:26 PM   #2
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There's nothing wrong with rectangular coolers. If you have one that will hold the heat in, then use it! 3 gallons is a very small mash tun.

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Old 11-28-2008, 05:36 PM   #3
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Default 5 Gallon round

I have been using a 5 gallon round igloo water cooler. It has been difficult at times to keep a consistent mash temperature which is very important. The round coolers give one advantage and that is that it provides a deep grain bed but because it is deep it is difficult to start with a consistent temperature throughout the mash. The rectangular are easier to get a consistent temperature. I am building a manifold for a 48 quart rectangular cooler today.

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Old 11-28-2008, 05:40 PM   #4
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The round coolers remain to be popular with those who fly sparge because (1) they readily accept off-the-shelf false bottoms, rotating sparge arms, etc., (2) they don't have corners at the bottom, which makes for more even lautering (especially with a false bottom), and (3) they are tall and cylindrical, which makes for a deep grain bed.

These benefits are generally of much less importance to batch spargers. The only (minor) benefits are that I find that the round coolers are a wee bit easier to stir, because there are no corners (possibly offset if you have a big, deep grainbed, however), and they are consistently well insulated (you have to shop carefully for well-insulated rectangular coolers as some are pathetic).

One big advantage of rectangular coolers is that they are the only ones readily available above 10 gals in volume. They also come in a wider range of sizes and shapes than round ones.

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Old 11-28-2008, 06:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyGuy View Post
One big advantage of rectangular coolers is that they are the only ones readily available above 10 gals in volume. They also come in a wider range of sizes and shapes than round ones.
I've had good luck finding the 10 gallon round coolers at Ace hardware stores, or order online from Ace (approx $49.00 w free shipping I think). Also Home Depot had them recently marked down under $40.00 (probably means they are not going to carry them anymore). I think Sam's has the 5 Gallon round coolers for around $13.00. I don't know why I like the round ones, I just do..

I think the rectangular will be significantly less expensive.
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Old 11-28-2008, 06:58 PM   #6
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round ones are better to maintain heat because there is less surface area, but are much harder to stir and get a smooth grain bed. also 3 gal is not nearly big enough for a good five gal batch. i personally had a 5 gal round cooler that i ditched in favor of a 52 qt rectangular. i am very satisfied. it is a coleman xtreme if anyone cares and loses 1 degree over an hour if preheated.

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Old 11-28-2008, 06:59 PM   #7
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I use a rectangle one and it works great. Ever since i read the thread about a false bottom breaking with all the weight i have kind of gone away from the round ones

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Old 11-28-2008, 07:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccarthy View Post
round ones are better to maintain heat because there is less surface area, but are much harder to stir and get a smooth grain bed. also 3 gal is not nearly big enough for a good five gal batch. i personally had a 5 gal round cooler that i ditched in favor of a 52 qt rectangular. i am very satisfied. it is a coleman xtreme if anyone cares and loses 1 degree over an hour if preheated.
Good call on the Coleman xtreme. Very well insulated with little temerature loss and almost no deadspace.
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Old 11-28-2008, 07:45 PM   #9
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I use the square blue Igloo 12.5 gallon with a CPVC manifold and I loose 1-2 degrees over the hour and average 82-85% efficiency. So round or square should do you fine.

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Old 11-28-2008, 09:32 PM   #10
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also dont waste your time with a false bottom, just make a manifold or shell out the $25 for a bazooka screen; they work wonders.

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