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Old 12-04-2011, 08:03 PM   #1
SocalNat
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I have an old Coleman 70 qt Xtreme cooler and I want to convert it into a mash tun. I read somewhere that for 5 gal batches of all grain a bigger cooler is not necessarily a better one. Question, will this one work with quality results or am I wasting my time?
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:07 PM   #2
Daver77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SocalNat View Post
I have an old Coleman 70 qt Xtreme cooler and I want to convert it into a mash tun. I read somewhere that for 5 gal batches of all grain a bigger cooler is not necessarily a better one. Question, will this one work with quality results or am I wasting my time?
It's rather big but should work just fine. You could use that for 10 gallons if you decide to go that way.
What kind of sparging will you be doing?

 
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:17 PM   #3
mcaple1
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daaaaang....that be a lot a cooler. you will be fine.....that's what I use for my 5 and 10 gallon batches. no issues with efficiency or mash problems.

 
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:23 PM   #4
EdWort
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I use it for 15 gallon batches just fine.


 
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:54 PM   #5
SocalNat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daver77 View Post
It's rather big but should work just fine. You could use that for 10 gallons if you decide to go that way.
What kind of sparging will you be doing?
Fly sparging. Wouldn't that be a better way If I have more surface area of grain? I will build a CPVC manifold to cover the whole bottom of the cooler.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:58 PM   #6
djfriesen
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Bigger the better. If you find you are losing temps during your mash, you can cut out some foam insulation inthe approximate shape and lay over your mash to try to prevent temp loss in the headspace.

The bigger the tun you have, the bigger gravity beers you can do, or the bigger volume of normal-gravity beers you can do.

Read this thread for a pretty in-depth discussion of tun sizes as related to allowable volumes and gravity numbers. It's very helpful.

@EdWort

This is the first post of yours I've seen since bottling my first attempt of your Haus Pale Ale. The green beer left over after bottling tasted amazing, and I have incredibly high hopes for the finished product. I'm sure you hear it all the time, but thanks for posting such a great recipe.

Cheers!

 
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:44 PM   #7
SocalNat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djfriesen View Post
Bigger the better. If you find you are losing temps during your mash, you can cut out some foam insulation inthe approximate shape and lay over your mash to try to prevent temp loss in the headspace.

The bigger the tun you have, the bigger gravity beers you can do, or the bigger volume of normal-gravity beers you can do.

Read this thread for a pretty in-depth discussion of tun sizes as related to allowable volumes and gravity numbers. It's very helpful.

@EdWort

This is the first post of yours I've seen since bottling my first attempt of your Haus Pale Ale. The green beer left over after bottling tasted amazing, and I have incredibly high hopes for the finished product. I'm sure you hear it all the time, but thanks for posting such a great recipe.

Cheers!
I just ran a test in the cooler by adding approx 3 gal of 160 deg water and left it in for 90 mins. after 90 mins the temp dropped to 138 deg so I lost 12 dergrees. I would think the grain bed would do a better job of retaining heat than just water. Am I correct? If I was to fit a piece of insulation ontop of the grain bed I would just remove it prior to sparging because I am not so worried about heat transfer at sparging, correct? I am not to worried because like all the rest of the brewing process I will become this crazy insane nervous beast and everything will most likely come out fine. I enjoy this whole thing because each brew becomes a situation when you learn new things and become an expert in others. With all grain I am excited but at the same time I feel I am geting in over my head.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:03 PM   #8
djfriesen
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Ya, you'd just leave it on during the mash. Assuming you're batch sparging, you'll be stirring the grain anyway, so you can't have the foam on it. I suppose you could leave it on while fly sparging, but you'd have to experiment, and I doubt it would be necessary.

And in this test, did you preheat the cooler? If not, a lot of that heat is leeching right into the plastic walls.

 
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:12 PM   #9
SocalNat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djfriesen View Post
Ya, you'd just leave it on during the mash. Assuming you're batch sparging, you'll be stirring the grain anyway, so you can't have the foam on it. I suppose you could leave it on while fly sparging, but you'd have to experiment, and I doubt it would be necessary.

And in this test, did you preheat the cooler? If not, a lot of that heat is leeching right into the plastic walls.
Ah, preheat the cooler, I forgot, thanks.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:28 PM   #10
djfriesen
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Run it again and see. I bet the temp holds much better.

 
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