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Old 01-25-2007, 04:51 PM   #1
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Default When is a 5 gal mash tun not enough?

For making AG five-gallon batches...

What kind of recipes cannot be made with a 5 gal (converted cooler) mash tun?

Just curious...

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Old 01-25-2007, 05:07 PM   #2
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Im curious about this as well.


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Old 01-25-2007, 05:11 PM   #3
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I can get a maximum of about 12lb in mine. I've heard some people get up to 14, but I think that would be cutting it a little close for me. I like to have a little extra room so that I can add boiling water if I need to raise the temp.

So I guess the answer to your question would be: any recipe that calls for more than 12-14lb or grain.
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Old 01-25-2007, 07:34 PM   #4
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Hrm, I like to brew higher-gravity beers now and then, and I would imagine more grain would be required. Looks like I want a 10-gallon cooler.
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Old 01-25-2007, 07:38 PM   #5
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My take on it....

If you're just getting started, go with a bigger cooler. If you plan to batch sparge, the 9-gallon Coleman Xtreme works great. I do 5-gallon batches, and even relatively small beers (without a ton of mash mass), the cooler doesn't lose any temp (or, less than a degree) in an hour (assuming you preheat the cooler). It wouldn't be ideal for fly sparging, but it's a great cooler for $30. Spend an extra $10 upfront and leave yourself the option down the line of either really BIG beers, or 10-gallon batches.
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Old 01-25-2007, 07:57 PM   #6
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I would have to suggest getting a larger cooler or a 15.5 gal keg. THis would allow you to do larger OG beers, as well as do 10 gallon batches.
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Old 01-25-2007, 08:10 PM   #7
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I did a 70 beer in mine and it was fine (ie. room to spare). Plus there are a few other factors in there. One is your efficiency. If you get better efficiency then you need less grain in general. Like was mentioned above...Batch sparge needs more room. That all being said, I use a 5 gallon and it is great for what I need, fly sparging with good (84%+) efficiency. But if I want to go really big, that is probably an issue. Plus, if I wanted to increase my volume of final wort, again problems. I would go 10 if you want some overhead and don't have a cooler yet. If you have a 5 gallon, it will suffice for most styles save the Imperial category, which would be a stretch.
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Old 01-25-2007, 08:33 PM   #8
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I just built my 5-gallon and today at lunch picked up exaclty 12lbs of grain. I'll fill to capacity and run off wome wort to reheat if I need to bump the temp a bit. Then I'll remash the second batch at a couple degrees higher and hold again. I'm going to try and follow the instructions on Pauls Brewing Page.

This is a Porter recipe and my first AG attempt so wish me luck.
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Old 01-25-2007, 11:56 PM   #9
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I use a 5 gallon Igloo and FWIW I wish I had a 10 gallon one. I get by using 12 Lbs or less but would like the extra room.
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Old 01-26-2007, 12:50 AM   #10
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I used a 5 gallon first, but ran out of room so I donated it to my son's Boy Scout Troop and picked up a 10 gallon. Life is much better now.

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