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Old 12-03-2012, 02:06 AM   #1
Boomjay
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Default 3 gallon or 5 gallon mash tun?

I've done a couple extract brews, but am thinking of going to partial mash recipes. I'm looking at getting a mash tun, but was wondering if I should go with a 3 gallon or 5 gallon converted cooler. The only thing I've heard is that a 5 gallon mash tun is more difficult to regulate the proper temps. Suggestions.....!

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Old 12-03-2012, 02:08 AM   #2
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10 gallon round igloo or rubbermaid beverage cooler. I have not temp problems with 5 gallon batches.

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Old 12-03-2012, 02:09 AM   #3
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agree with 10 gallon rubbermaid or comparable.

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Old 12-03-2012, 02:16 AM   #4
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Ask yourself whether you're going to do partial mashes and stay at that, or whether you're going to do that for a while and eventually transition to all grain.

If you're not 100% sure you want to stick with PM, I would not invest any more than you must in equipment that won't serve your needs when you do AG brews. That rules out the 3 gal cooler, and the 5 gal is iffy. As the others said above, get at least a 10 gal. The fancy round ones are expensive, but you can find picnic-style coolers that will do the job for less than $50.

If you don't want to go with the big tun now, though, you can get by quite fine doing BIAB-style PM brews, using your kettle for a tun. It's not as great for temp control (I lose about 4 degrees during an hour-long mash), so you won't be able to do precise mashing. That's not a "real" problem, though---if you're doing PM, you don't have all that much control over fermentability because of the large amount of extract. My kettle is stable enough that I can choose between about 3 levels of fermentability by putting the temperature swing in the high, middle, or low mash temp ranges. It's not perfect, but for PM I think it's better than spending $$ on a tun that you risk obsoleting in short order.

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Old 12-03-2012, 02:19 AM   #5
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I have a 5 and a 10 gallon round cooler. I use the 5 gallon cooler for three gallon batches, and the 10 gallon for five gallon batches. I also batch sparge.

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Old 12-03-2012, 02:21 AM   #6
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http://www.amazon.com/Igloo-Gallon-B...+gallon+cooler

Under $50 shipped
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:39 AM   #7
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Read this thread. This is the topic of vociferous debate. Just find what works best for you.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/5-10...sh-tun-285345/

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Old 12-03-2012, 02:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khakijoe
donot use aluminum it will riun your beer
Here we go......
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesleyS View Post
Here we go......
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