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Old 11-08-2009, 08:35 PM   #21
Erik53
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I've heard several people mention that the lid being hollow would cause heat loss, but it was my understanding that air is an excellent insulator because it doesn't conduct heat very well. I could be wrong here, but I would like to know if anyone has ever tested this theory out and documented heat loss before filling the lid and compared it to after the lid was filled with 'great stuff'?

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Old 11-08-2009, 09:46 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Erik53 View Post
I've heard several people mention that the lid being hollow would cause heat loss, but it was my understanding that air is an excellent insulator because it doesn't conduct heat very well. I could be wrong here, but I would like to know if anyone has ever tested this theory out and documented heat loss before filling the lid and compared it to after the lid was filled with 'great stuff'?
You have a good point. Still, there's something nagging at the back of my head which I can't quite make out (from my old physics classes eons ago). The way the thin lids are constructed, it makes me think that they aren't very effective insulators.

Anyhoo, since nothing beats empirical evidence, and since I have two virtually identical coolers, I will "fill" one lid, dump in equal amounts of hot water, let sit and measure the temp. I'll do this in the next couple of days and report back here.

Thx,

-e
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Old 11-08-2009, 11:11 PM   #23
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Anyhoo, since nothing beats empirical evidence, and since I have two virtually identical coolers, I will "fill" one lid, dump in equal amounts of hot water, let sit and measure the temp. I'll do this in the next couple of days and report back here.

Thx,

-e
Water will behave differently than a mash, you might get data that would vary from actual brewing conditions??
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Old 11-08-2009, 11:31 PM   #24
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Maybe this is obvious to everyone but me, but does it work well for 5 gl batches also?

Just wondering if the larger size made the grain depth too shallow for a low OG 5 gallon batch?

I REALLY want to start all grain and have looked at this exact cooler a few times and have failed to pull the trigger, because of I was unsure on the size.

This looks like a great project.

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Old 11-08-2009, 11:42 PM   #25
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Water will behave differently than a mash, you might get data that would vary from actual brewing conditions??
Won't do it very scientifically correct, really. Just interested in seeing if there's a significantly higher drop in temp in one cooler over the other.


Thx,
-e
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:29 AM   #26
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Maybe this is obvious to everyone but me, but does it work well for 5 gl batches also?
Good thought. I'll find out when I do my first batch in it next month. My first batch will be a 5 gallon pilsner. I think that as long as the cooler is pre-heated and there isn't an exorbitant amount of temperature loss, then it shouldn't make any difference. I'll let you know what happens.
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:43 AM   #27
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good looking forward to seeing if it works for 5 gl.

I feel as long as the cooler is not to large and you can get a decent grain bed depth it will work.

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Old 11-11-2009, 09:02 PM   #28
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Won't do it very scientifically correct, really. Just interested in seeing if there's a significantly higher drop in temp in one cooler over the other.


Thx,
-e
Ok, so I did a very basic experiment

First, I filled the lid of one of the coolers with insulation foam purchased at Lowe's for 3.98/can. It was clear when I was spewing the sticky stuff into the lids that I wouldn't be able to get "full coverage everywhere"

The next morning, the lid had swelled up a bit, but I put it on the floor and stood on it until it regained most of its original shape. The foam had spread out better than the night before, but there were still a few blank spots.


I then heated about 8 gallons of water to 200 degrees and put 4 gallons into each cooler. Before closing the lids, I measured the temperature to about 183 degrees - the loss came from hot having preheated the coolers and using 1-gal pitchers to move the water over. There was, in other words, lots of empty headspace.

An hour and a half later, the temps measured

* Cooler with insulated lid: 169F
* Cooler with regular lid: 167F

So - the difference in temp loss was relatively minor and likely not enough to make me concerned during the mashing.

However, I continue to be concerned about the overall temp loss of the water in the coolers. 14-16 degrees over an hour and a half is a lot. I'll have to do another check with full volume to see how that goes, if near-zero headspace helps keep the temp stable


Thx,

-e
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:50 AM   #29
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ah, interesting results...thanks

I think from the data we can conclude that insulating a cooler lid does not do a significant amount towards retaining heat.

I also think we can can conlude that a mash will perform differently, and retain much more heat than water alone. Hot water will cool much faster as it is free to circulate during the rest. A mash is a different animal and will retain heat differently / better. I would not be concerned about the ability of the cooler to retain the heat of the mash unless the head space is overly large.

I have always surmised that any cooler will retain enough heat to be an adequate mash tun, so long as it is not too big.

thanks again...interesting.

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Old 11-12-2009, 10:24 AM   #30
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how has the cooler's oring held up? i imagine it will eventually fail after benig exposed to high temps for a while.

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