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Old 05-29-2009, 01:57 AM   #1
Nov 2008
Jay, Adirondack Mountains, NY
Posts: 2,415
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Will a 36 qt. cooler be big enough to mash and batch sparge 5 gallons in? I know I could go bigger, but I don't see myself brewing more than 5 gallon batches at a time.
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Old 05-29-2009, 02:01 AM   #2
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wilserbrewer's Avatar
May 2007
Jersey Shore, New Jersey
Posts: 9,803
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36 qt is an excellent size for 5 gal batches...just about perfect IMO. This link is useful in determining mash volume..."can I mash It"

Green Bay Rackers--Mash Calculators

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Old 05-29-2009, 02:04 AM   #3
The Pol
Feb 2007
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36 is great, yes

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Old 05-29-2009, 02:12 AM   #4
eriktlupus's Avatar
Jan 2007
Cereal City, USA
Posts: 2,618
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pretty much it equates to 1qt capacity=1qt beer @1.060
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kegged:simcoe blonde, crystal pale ale, yellow jacket golden ale, lemon shandy blonde

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extraction calculator
grains in pounds(G) X 36(average points per gallon of grains) / batch size in gallons(g) = maximum efficiency(ME)
OG / ME = brewhouse efficiency

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Old 05-29-2009, 10:07 AM   #5
rico567's Avatar
Apr 2008
Central IL
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The usual recommendation is a 10 gal. cooler MLT conversion for a 5 gal. batch.....that's 40 quarts, so your 36 qt. is close, and should be great. I picked up the Rubbermaid "Home Depot" label 10 gal. job last week, and am in the process of completing my conversion, ready to do my first AG batch sometime next month. My refractometer came in yesterday from 'Happy Luck Trading Co. of Hong Kong' so I'm one step closer.......
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:18 PM   #6
MN_Jay's Avatar
Apr 2008
Posts: 267
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I use a 36 qt and usually brew grain bills of 10-12 lbs and haven't come close to filling it up.

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Old 05-29-2009, 12:31 PM   #7
May 2009
Virginia, USA
Posts: 273
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My MLT is 20 quarts, which is a little too snug for a 10 lb. grain bill. I do it on a regular basis, but it requires a thick mash and careful stirring. If you ever find that your mash capacity is too low (for a barleywine or whatever), just add some DME to bring up your OG.

Did you find a cooler with smooth sides, or does it have grooves in it to hold dividers? I keep looking for a bigger cooler for a MLT, but they all seem to have grooves in the sides.

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Old 05-29-2009, 06:43 PM   #8
Dec 2008
Yankee Hill, CA
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That's definitely a good size, you could probably do up to a 16 or 17lb grain bill if you mash 1.5qts/lb.

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Old 05-29-2009, 10:36 PM   #9
Mar 2009
Beaverton, OR
Posts: 164
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I picked up a 36 qt. Coleman Xtreme cooler for my setup yesterday. The built-in drain channel works great with the Bazooka screen. I measured 4 oz of deadspace with water. It was $30 at Bi-mart. I figure I can always upgrade to a bigger cooler in the future if I end up doing 10 gal batches, and use the 36 qt. one to hold the beer for a trip to the beach.

I'm in the middle of my first AG mash BTW... Woot!

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