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-   -   smaller cooler? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/smaller-cooler-326475/)

thomasben 05-05-2012 06:43 PM

smaller cooler?
I have a 70 qt extreme cooler. Same brand a lot of brewers use and was wondering if I'd benefit from holding temperature and getting higher efficiency with a smaller cooler. My set up is designed for more higher gravity beers. I get about 72% everytime but lose 5-6 degrees during my 90 MIN mash. Even with the cooler wrapped in blankets. The corners even drop more

chumpsteak 05-05-2012 06:55 PM

I have a 48 qt cooler and when I do 5 gallon batches I lose about 2 degrees in 60 minutes. With 10 gallon batches and the cooler as full as I can get it I lose 0 degrees in 60 minutes. So yes, I would say you would benefit from less open space. Get a smaller cooler or make bigger batches.

thomasben 05-05-2012 07:33 PM

So the dead space is whats doing it basically?

webgodhog 05-05-2012 10:58 PM

The dead space will only affect the temperature if you open the lid during the mash. The temp will stabilize (lose maybe 1 degree to do this) and after that, it should stay the same. I've never had problems with a 60 qt cooler for my 5 gallon batches. I just set it and leave it and lose at most 1 degree

thomasben 05-05-2012 11:26 PM

Something is wrong with my insulation then because I never open it

webgodhog 05-06-2012 01:20 PM

Do you pre-heat your cooler? Being that much larger than your mash, I would think that could be a problem if you don't

ChemE 05-06-2012 01:33 PM

If you haven't already, try running aluminum foil over the edges of the cooler before you close the lid and wrap everything in blankets. Hot mash has a very low emissivity meaning it readily loses heat via radiation to the cooler lid. If the lid's surface is aluminum rather than plastic a massive portion (around 95%) of that energy is radiated back to the mash which readily takes it back up due to its low emissivity. It also has the added benefit of decreasing convective losses since these picnic coolers lack gaskets (that would be another way to boost your heat retention btw).

thomasben 05-06-2012 10:19 PM

I've always preheated but I'm wondering if I'm using hot enough water or even enough water for that matter?....how much water would you guys use to preheat a 70qt mash tun. Sometimes I use hot faucet water or like.130-150 degree. Maybe half full

chumpsteak 05-07-2012 01:25 AM

I've found near boiling water works the best in my cooler. I throw in about a gallon, slosh it around and let it sit for a few minutes.

ron,ar 05-07-2012 04:21 AM

I use a 10 gallon round cooler for MLT and always preheat. I bring my HLT water up to 185-190. I preheat using the correct amount of mash water with the lid on the cooler. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, then open the lid, check temp, add grains at about 175 to 180 works for me, but a tall round mlt heats up easier because heat rises more uniformily.

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