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Old 12-15-2006, 11:28 PM   #1
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Default 5 gallon round cooler vs 10 gallon

Ok, another question about my MLT that I"m going to get. has the five gallon rubbermaid cooler mash tun for $84. I know that's twice as much as I could build one for, but my husband said go ahead and get it. It has the false bottom and the fittings done. They have the same design in the 10 gallon cooler for $114.

I am thinking the 5 gallon would meet my needs. Is there any reason I should get the 10 gallon instead? I never do large batches (nor do I intend to). I like 5 gallon batches with the o.g. around 1.050 or so. Would the 5 gallon cooler MLT be big enough?

Thanks again for answering all my dumb questions-

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Old 12-15-2006, 11:36 PM   #2
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Just my way of looking at it. Why not buy a 10 gallon cooler and convert it to a mash tun yourself. I bet it'd cost less than the store bought 5 gallon mash tun. Then use the extra money on ingredients for another brew
If moneys no problem then go for the 10 gallon anyway.

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Old 12-16-2006, 12:32 AM   #3
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Seems this subject has come up again! OK, here goes:

*climbs back up on soapbox*

If you're going to invest in a cooler, get the bigger one. The 5 gallon one may suit your needs at the moment, but I have never heard of a homebrewer that didn't outgrow his/her 5 gallon cooler. Sooner or later the itch to make that big Bock or even bigger Belgian or even bigger bigger Barley Wine or Wee Heavy will overcome you and you won't have the equipment. Or maybe you will suddenly want 10 gallon batches. Who knows? The point is, you can make a small beer/batch with a big cooler, but you can't make a big beer/batch with a small one. At least you're options will be open. Oh, and the same logic goes for boiling pots, too.

OK I'm done preaching

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Old 12-16-2006, 12:49 AM   #4
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if you are already paying $16/gal of tun you may as well pick up the other 5 gallons for only $4/gal.

If you ever pick up a brewing buddy you may want to have 5 gallons each. You may also have need to make a gift batch or a double batch in case of impending bad weather etc. Always good to have your options open, especially for a relatively small additional investment.
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Old 12-16-2006, 12:53 AM   #5
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I agree with ablrbrau, however, I have only a 5 gallon cooler and can get by just fine. If all you want is to is 5 gallon brews around 1.050 then it will work fine. If you do something a little larger, say around 1.065 it starts to get tight for mashout (that is of course if you are adding hot water for that). The max OG I've got out of mine pushing it to the limit is 1.073. Higher than that I scale down to 3 gallons.

After saying all of that, I'm looking into a 10 gallon mash tun...
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Old 12-16-2006, 01:41 AM   #6
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I also don't intend to go with a HUGE beer, but I bought the 10 Gal cooler anyway. I got it on a closeout for around $40 or $50. Put another $20 in stainless parts in and I got a great MLT. I agree with your husband in that sometimes it may be easier to just buy something ready made, but that's a pretty steep price differential. You could make it yourself and use the savings for ingredients.
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Old 12-16-2006, 01:47 AM   #7
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Old 12-16-2006, 02:35 AM   #8
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Old 12-16-2006, 02:44 AM   #9
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ten... i'm looking for another one retail, and having some trouble, but one will be found!
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Old 12-16-2006, 02:48 AM   #10
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Get the 10! You can always brew a smaller beer or partial mash in the bigger cooler, but it's hard to go the other way around.

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