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Old 07-05-2007, 12:18 AM   #1
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Default Rubbermaid cooler question

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!

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Old 07-05-2007, 12:22 AM   #2
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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.

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Old 07-05-2007, 12:46 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 07-05-2007, 01:20 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 07-05-2007, 02:16 AM   #5
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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.


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