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Old 09-15-2010, 05:55 PM   #1
brewinginct
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Default Igloo vs. Rubbermaid Coolers - Which is better?

I have the option of either building a MLT with either an Igloo or Rubbermaid cooler. Both are 10 gallons, I'm buying them used for cheap so I don't have any specifics about either.

So which one would you go with based on past experience? Does one brand typically retain heat better than the other? Is one more durable; I think I heard somewhere that ? Which has a better reputation? I've heard that latches on Igloo coolers tend to break easier but that they're higher quality?

Thanks for the help!

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Old 09-15-2010, 06:46 PM   #2
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I've never used an Igloo cooler, but I can give you the rundown on my round Rubbermaid cooler.

Basically, it has worked like a champ for me on close to 30 batches. There was a bit of warping on the interior after the first couple of batches, but it seemed to stabilize after that. Regarding heat loss - when I do single infusion mashes, I do not re-open the lid to stir during the 60 minute rest. In these cases, I lose about 2 degrees over the hour.

You probably can't go wrong with either, as I've seen tons of people with both on the forum. But, for the sake of good research, you'd be wise to collect a few more opinions. Good luck!

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Old 09-15-2010, 06:53 PM   #3
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Kupish - Thanks for the quick response, sounds like you had an overall positive experience with your rubbermaid? Is a loss of 2 degrees over an hour going to make any impact on mash or is it negligble?

Anyone else care to weigh in?

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Old 09-15-2010, 06:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewinginct View Post
Kupish - Thanks for the quick response, sounds like you had an overall positive experience with your rubbermaid? Is a loss of 2 degrees over an hour going to make any impact on mash or is it negligble?

Anyone else care to weigh in?
Yes, I have had a very positive experience with my Rubbermaid cooler. Also, I have not noticed the 2 degree loss making an impact on my mash and the fermentability of the wort.

One thing to keep in mind regarding the temperature loss - people have developed workarounds (putting a blanket on top, filling the lid with spray foam, floating a piece of styrofoam on top of the mash, etc). You can use one of these to minimize the temperature loss even further. I haven't done so because, as noted above, I've found the 2 degree loss to have no impact on my wort fermentability and quality.
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:37 PM   #5
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I've had bad luck with Igloo KNOCKOFFs, but otherwise have nothing bad to say about them.

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Old 09-15-2010, 07:55 PM   #6
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With my 5 gallon igloo, I tend to lose 2-3 degrees in a 60 minute mash. But have been quite happy with it and do not regret buying igloo over Rubbermade. Only reason I went with Igloo is because they were much cheaper than the rubbermade's I found. And by much cheaper I mean $25 cheaper.

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Old 09-15-2010, 08:37 PM   #7
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I have an igloo 12gallon (?) ice cube....and it works a charm. Lose 1-2 degrees in an hour ... and this is with opening it a couple times to get a good stir in.

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Old 09-15-2010, 08:47 PM   #8
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I have an igloo 12gallon (?) ice cube....and it works a charm. Lose 1-2 degrees in an hour ... and this is with opening it a couple times to get a good stir in.
That's impressive - is the lid insulated on that cooler?
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:26 PM   #9
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My rubbermaid 10 gallon doesn't seem to lose anything over the course of an hour. I just put a towel over the top to help insulate the cover.

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Old 09-15-2010, 09:38 PM   #10
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My rubbermaid 10 gallon doesn't seem to lose anything over the course of an hour. I just put a towel over the top to help insulate the cover.
Yea, I've heard putting a towel on the lid does wonders at curbing heat loss. I've just never had enough motivation to do so.

Do you do single infusion mashes or step mashes? Do you stir at all during the mash?
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