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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Can non-converted Igloo cooler work as a mash tun?
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:58 PM   #1
bmurph
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Default Can non-converted Igloo cooler work as a mash tun?

Currently I do BIAB with my partial mashes in 6 gal stockpot and attempt to maintain temperature with direct heat from a stove burner. What I've found with this method is that I get very uneven temperature distributions, the temp near the bottom being dangerously high for enzyme activity and the temp near the top being much lower than optimal, even with lots of stirring. I looked into converting an igloo cooler but I don't have the equipment to do so. My question is if I got a bag big enough to occupy the entire volume of the cooler, could I still BIAB and drain the cooler through the unmodified spigot?

This is the cooler I'm looking at
http://www.amazon.com/400-Coolers-Ca.../dp/B00002N6SB

I was thinking cylindrical because square/rectangular are prone to hot spots in the corners...right?


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Old 04-03-2011, 09:59 PM   #2
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lol, I don't see why not. That's actually an ok idea.


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Old 04-03-2011, 10:01 PM   #3
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It should work. You could also convert it on the cheap as well.
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HalfPint View Post
lol, I don't see why not. That's actually an ok idea.
Me either.

BTW I love your avatar. Big Floyd fan.
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:22 PM   #5
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It'll work, I've seen some BIAB users use that method. I'm actually thinking of doing the same because I'm having the exact same problem you are having in my 5 gallon pot, it's aluminum and not stainless steel, so the bottom is pretty thin.
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:25 AM   #6
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Alright then looks like that's what I'm gonna do.
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:30 AM   #7
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If you already have a cooler (or are going to get one), a CPVC manifold and the valve to turn it into a MLT are VERY inexpensive.

And that way you don't have to hold that damn bag of wet grain over the cooler while it drains
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:33 AM   #8
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I use a 5 gallon cooler and 2 foot x 3 foot bag and it works great, and it only cost $25 for both. The five gallon cooler can handle mashes that use 12-13 pounds of grain,so if you mostly brew moderate gravity beer it might be the way to go.

Rather than using the spigot, I find it easier to lift the bag out of the cooler after the mash, and then sparge in the brew kettle.
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoxofRain View Post
It should work. You could also convert it on the cheap as well.
I made this mash tun from the link above. It was cheap and easy to make and is really easy to use. It keeps temps really well too.

Maybe you could get the cooler and then get the parts as you have money to do so, then put it together.
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:31 AM   #10
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^ +1 to that. I would get a large enough cooler that in the future you can hook up with extra parts in case you want to stray away from the BIAB and go to a MLT setup. That's what I'm looking into, but for now I'm still doing BIAB for sure. I'm just waiting for a good sale to get my cooler!


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