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chip82 02-25-2011 12:56 AM

MLT Cooler Help
Sorry if this has been posted before, I did some searching and couldn't find anything.

I am looking at making my own MLT. I have read a good portion of FlyGuy's threat about making one out of a cooler. Is there a major difference between a round or rectangular cooler for making an MLT? I have been looking and the rectangular ones are cheaper but I want what is the best one. If it makes a difference , I make 5 gallon batches.

Thanks in advance,


weirdboy 02-25-2011 12:59 AM

The only real difference IMO is if you get a cooler that is so large that you don't get enough grain bed depth if you plan to fly sparge.

chip82 02-25-2011 01:12 AM

Thanks, one more if you all don't mind. If i were to go with a round cooler would a 5 gallon work for 5 gallon batches, or would you recommend a 10 gallon cooler?


microbusbrewery 02-25-2011 01:24 AM

I'd recommend going with a 10 gallon. I also brew 5 gallon batches and started out with a 5 gallon round cooler. It works for some beers but not all. If you want to brew higher gravity beers you're going to have volume limitations with a 5 gallon cooler. I replaced mine with a 10 gallon cooler after about a year. There are some cube shaped ones (I think they're made by Igloo and are marketed as "ice cubes") that are usually cheaper than the round ones but they more square than rectangular so they still give you a pretty good grain bed. If you want round, I found that Home Depot had the best price on Rubbermaid round coolers.

rudu81 02-25-2011 01:25 AM

I've seen a lot of the cube style coolers that allow for a large grain bed, so that could be an option as well. Just be sure that you can get your mash paddle into the corners.

In terms of size, check out the following. You can also search for it.


Originally Posted by Bobby_M (Post 1377506)
There seems to be a huge uprising in the number of new all grain brewers and the persistent question is "how big of a tun do I need?" It depends on what your batch size, efficiency, and desired OG is. Here's the easy way for you to decide based on your needs.


Keep in mind that even if you think you might want to do both 5 and 10 gallon batches, odds are your really high gravity beers will be 5 gallon batches. Who needs 10 gallons of barleywine?

Just for example, a 10 gallon mash tun can do 5 gallons of 1.118 barleywine (~11% ABV) and 10 gallon batches of 1.060 IPA (~6% ABV). I personally think something in the 50-60qt range is most flexible in that regard if you don't mind a square/rectangular cooler.

If you want to figure for larger or smaller batch sizes, take the number in the "Max Gravity Units" column and divide that by your desired batch size.

chip82 02-25-2011 04:06 AM

Thanks everyone

You have made my decision making process alot easier.



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