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Old 11-12-2011, 12:13 AM   #1
saintjondoe
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Default Can I use this cooler for mashing?

Good day,

I'm looking make the move from all extract to partial mash brewing. I'd like to try to make a lautering system using a camping cooler, but the problem is that there are not a lot of options in terms of actual coolers to choose from. (I live in Japan).

At the local hardware store I could only find one (I've attached pictures). Can I turn use this cooler for lautering, or should I keep searching? Notice the drainage slots at the bottom--I don't know if these slots will help or hurt with the lautering process. Also, I don't know the dimensions of the cooler, but I could easily go and get that information.

Any opinions?

Thank you for your help.


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Old 11-12-2011, 12:21 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saintjondoe
Good day,

I'm looking make the move from all extract to partial mash brewing. I'd like to try to make a lautering system using a camping cooler, but the problem is that there are not a lot of options in terms of actual coolers to choose from. (I live in Japan).

At the local hardware store I could only find one (I've attached pictures). Can I turn use this cooler for lautering, or should I keep searching? Notice the drainage slots at the bottom--I don't know if these slots will help or hurt with the lautering process. Also, I don't know the dimensions of the cooler, but I could easily go and get that information.

Any opinions?

Thank you for your help.
Do you know how many days it's supposed to hold ice for? I'm more unsure of its ability to hold heat.

But... other than that, it should be fine. The internal geometry of the cooler doesn't matter too much unless you want to fly sparge, so the only thing I'd suggest is stick to batch sparging.


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Old 11-12-2011, 12:46 AM   #3
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it looks big for partial mash... looks perfect for all grain! the longer it holds ice... the longer it will hold heat.
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:50 AM   #4
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See if you can get the quart, or gallon, capacity of the cooler. That will let you figure out how much grain you'll be able to mash in it. I would also check to make sure the inside is HDPE, so that it's safe to use. How long it will hold ice is also important, as already mentioned.

Chances are, you'll be able to fit it with a 1/2" ball valve and manifold setup. You have options, but you might want to make one that uses the existing grooves in the bottom to better channel the wort out.

Personally, if it's not rated to hold ice for at least 5 days, I'd move along to something else.
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Old 11-19-2011, 01:52 AM   #5
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I'm really sorry I couldn't reply sooner, things in general got really crazy/busy soon after I posted so I couldn't make time.

I really, really appreciate the advice. I haven't been able to look at the Japanese cooler so I don't know how well it would retain heat. As luck would have it, I was able to find a Coleman beverage cooler! (Coleman - 5 Gallon Beverage Cooler - Blue -) I think that these are commonly used for mashing, right?

I don't want to jump into full mashing yet, so are you suggesting that I spring for a smaller cooler? I was able to find the 5 gallon and 2 gallon versions, so will the 2 gallon one work better for my purposes?
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Old 11-20-2011, 12:50 AM   #6
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Coleman - 5 Gallon is pretty small for all grain it can be done but it gets really tight for higher gravity mashes, most people use 10 gallons.
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Old 11-20-2011, 02:41 AM   #7
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yup, go for it.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:35 AM   #8
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Great, thank you for the advice!


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