Rubbermaid cooler question - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Rubbermaid cooler question

Thread Tools
Old 07-05-2007, 12:18 AM   #1
gnets99's Avatar
Jun 2007
Posts: 61

Quick question regarding the rubbermaid coolers for use in mashing- I just scored one off craigslist for $10. It's only a 5 gallong, though. Will this work for mashing enough grains for a 5 gal batch or will this only be good to do pm's. I'm really looking to make the jump into AG, but if this will only work for partials, I guess I'll only make a small jump.
Thanks folks!
"I like beer. I'll even drink a beer to celebrate a special occasion, such as the fall of communism or the fact that the refrigerator is still running" ~ Dave Barry
Primary: Holiday Ale
Secondary: Rapsberry Wheat
Kegged: Dark Lord of the Stout, Blonde Bombshell
Bottles: Bad Shark Ale, Summer Ale

Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2007, 12:22 AM   #2
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,733
Liked 8009 Times on 5598 Posts

It's big enough to do 5 gallon AG batches, as long as the og is under about 1.060, I think. I'm not sure how much it will hold (I have a 10 gallon) but it seems like it would hold up to 10 pounds of grain and the mash or sparge water fine. You probably don't have enough room in it to do step infusions or make "big" beers but for regular batches it'll be fine.
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2007, 12:46 AM   #3
EdWort's Avatar
Jul 2006
Bee Cave, Texas
Posts: 11,912
Liked 342 Times on 169 Posts

The main thing is that you may have to do TWO batch sparges with a 5 gallon where as with a 10 gallon, you will mash out, then add only one batch of sparge water to finish. That's about the difference.

Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2007, 01:20 AM   #4
FlyGuy's Avatar
Jan 2007
Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 3,605
Liked 183 Times on 53 Posts

You can get about 12 or 13 lbs of grain in a 5 gallon cooler (slightly less if you use a false bottom). That equates to a maximum gravity of about 1.065 or 1.070 depending on your efficiency. Sparging gets a bit tricky at this point, but like Ed says, you can always do multiple batch sparges, or just be really careful fly sparging.

If you want to brew higher gravity beers, you will have to brew smaller batches, that's all.

Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2007, 02:16 AM   #5
Senior Member
ajf's Avatar
Oct 2005
Long Island
Posts: 4,646
Liked 105 Times on 99 Posts

What the others have said is about right if you are batch sparging, but I've managed to mash 13 lbs grain (with a false bottom) and fly sparged to get an OG of 1.074. It is possible, but takes practice.


Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Electric HLT/Herms Rubbermaid cooler Question maxbing Kettles, Mash Tuns & Hot Liquor Tanks 0 08-07-2009 05:22 PM
max for 10 gal Rubbermaid cooler? Neddy All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 7 06-09-2007 02:11 PM
MLT from Rubbermaid cooler apparatus All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 21 04-03-2007 01:36 AM
Rubbermaid vs. Gott cooler Ivan Lendl All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 35 05-01-2006 04:25 PM

Forum Jump