Mash Tun - 5 or 10 gallon cooler? - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Mash Tun - 5 or 10 gallon cooler?

View Poll Results: What size batch/MLT?
5 gallon batches/5 gallon MLT 15 22.06%
5 gallon batches/10+ gallon MLT 38 55.88%
10+ gallon batches/10+ gallon MLT 15 22.06%
Voters: 68. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-02-2009, 07:49 AM   #1
boogyman
Recipes 
 
Feb 2009
Folsom, CA
Posts: 435
Liked 8 Times on 6 Posts



Background: Right now, I'm doing 5gallon partial mashes, but I'm thinking about just going all grain/batch sparging. I don't plan on ever doing batch sizes over 5gallon.

Should I buy the 10gal cooler even if I still do a few more partial mashes and then switch to AG? Would it really be that bad if I did a partial mash with only a few lbs of grain in a 10gal cooler? After searching quite a bit, it seems that there are a mix of people that are happy with their 5gal and happy with their 10gal. I suppose it comes down to this: does it hurt anything to have a much bigger cooler than you would ever use, even if there's lots of extra headspace? Or should I just stick with the 5 gal cooler since that should theoretically meet all my brewing needs?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 08:07 AM   #2
ruffdeezy
 
ruffdeezy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2009
New West, BC
Posts: 403
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts


I use a 5 gal rubbermaid drink cooler with a false bottom. I double batch sparge with it. It can hold a max of about 17lbs of grain depending on the ratio you use. I think it is perfect. It would probably work great for you unless you are making very high abv beers.
A bigger cooler would allow you to have a bigger grain bill and single batch sparge.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 10:13 AM   #3
Lefty
 
Lefty's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Mar 2009
WR, Georgia
Posts: 116
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts


I have the same question as my Christmas gift to myself is a AG setup. Everything I have read is pointing to the fact that I need larger than a 5 gallon cooler. I plan on going with the 10gallon.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 11:09 AM   #4
corvax13
Recipes 
 
Jul 2009
Savannah, GA, US
Posts: 294
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lefty View Post
I have the same question as my Christmas gift to myself is a AG setup. Everything I have read is pointing to the fact that I need larger than a 5 gallon cooler. I plan on going with the 10gallon.
+1

I am slowly switching to better All Grain setup (doing BIAB for now), but when the time comes, I'm getting a 10g, because even though I plan on sticking to 5g batches, from what I have read you can't really do high gravity brews comfortably on a 5g MLT - might as well just get the 10g and be ready for anything.
__________________
Furry Friend Brewery

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 03:06 PM   #5
wilserbrewer
BIAB Expert Tailor
HBT_SPONSOR.png
 
wilserbrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
May 2007
Jersey Shore, New Jersey
Posts: 9,688
Liked 1456 Times on 1107 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffdeezy View Post
I use a 5 gal rubbermaid drink cooler with a false bottom. I double batch sparge with it. It can hold a max of about 17lbs of grain depending on the ratio you use. I think it is perfect. It would probably work great for you unless you are making very high abv beers.
A bigger cooler would allow you to have a bigger grain bill and single batch sparge.
Wow...17 lbs in a five gallon tun...oh my! W/ a false bottom no less. 17 lbs at .8 qt / lb is five gallons, how do you batch sparge?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 03:19 PM   #6
Revvy
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Revvy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,921
Liked 3198 Times on 1886 Posts


I've been using a 5 gallon with braid for several years and never have had a problem.
At 1.25 quarts/pound you can get 14 pounds in there, and like someone else said, you can squeeze more in by changing the grist to water ratio. I am limited by space, so I couldn't really go larger with a cooler.

And honestly I've not come up to a recipe yet where I've needed to use a larger cooler.
__________________
Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 03:45 PM   #7
seanmichaleen
Recipes 
 
Oct 2009
Sacramento, CA
Posts: 33

I could squeeze 15# of grain in my old 5 gallon cooler with a hose braid (1.0 qt/lb ratio). With my regular efficiency of about 90%, that much grain would give me a 1083 beer but realistically the efficiency drops when my gravity goes up so the cooler can probably handle about a 1073 beer.

I found that if I wanted to do a bigger beer, I would have to do two consecutive mashes with half the grain in each mash. With a 30 minute mash and batch sparging, it doesn't add too much time to the brew day but it was enough to make me upgrade to a 52 qt square shaped cooler.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 03:51 PM   #8
motobrewer
I'm no atheist scientist, but...
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Recipes 
 
Oct 2009
Thiensville, Wisconsin
Posts: 8,308
Liked 498 Times on 386 Posts


wow, 17lb in a 5 gallon cooler....and I thought 10lb was nuts...

guess i'll have to take off the sally pants.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 04:02 PM   #9
bernerbrau
 
bernerbrau's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jun 2008
Nashville, TN
Posts: 8,511
Liked 27 Times on 26 Posts


My 5 gallon was nice... but I had to do really thick mashes if I wanted anything over 1.050. The other thing was once I switched to the 10 gallon I could use the 5 gallon as a HLT for fly sparging.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2009, 04:44 PM   #10
JuanMoore
 
JuanMoore's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Oct 2009
The Old Pueblo
Posts: 22,365
Liked 3736 Times on 3549 Posts


I used a 5 gal because it was free, but after only two batches bought a 10 gal. I like making higher gravity beers like IIPA's and barleywines pretty regularly, so the 5 gal just didn't cut it for me. Just like bernerbrau, I now use my 5 gal as a HLT.

jhw_murphy Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2 Gallon Cooler for partial mash Willie3 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 8 09-13-2012 07:37 PM
Turning 10 gallon cooler into mash tun talenos All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 6 06-29-2009 06:18 AM
10 gallon cooler for mash tune < 57.00 bluehouse Equipment/Sanitation 2 04-28-2009 12:08 AM
mini mash in 3 gallon cooler question gasman All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 6 03-06-2009 04:20 PM
7 gallon water cooler for mash tun mynamestanner Equipment/Sanitation 15 10-08-2008 02:54 AM


Forum Jump