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Old 08-07-2012, 04:27 PM   #1
MrMista
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Jul 2012
New York, NY
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Hi guys,

I am looking to try an all grain brew so I need to build a mash tun. The thing is that I am pretty confused about what size I should get. I do 5 gallon batches and really do not plan on brewing more than that at one time. I would like to get a mash tun that will support all types of beer (high gravity) for a 5 gallon batch. I also want to be able to maximize my efficiency.

Would a 10 gallon beverage cooler be big enough to mash any type of beer when making a 5 gallon batch? Or should I look into a larger rectangular cooler. I assume that I will need to fly sparge if I get a 10 gallon beverage cooler, because it wouldn't be large enough for a batch sparge. If I choose to fly sparge would I have to buy a second cooler to be able to hold the hot water pouring into the top of the grain bed?

I want to be able to get a really cheap cooler to be able to do this. Because of that would I be better off buying a larger rectangular cooler to do a batch sparge rather than a fly sparge?

Thanks for any help, I realize that a lot of these questions are probably pretty fundamental.

 
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:32 PM   #2
ChandlerBang
 
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I do 5 gallon batches in a 5 gallon cool. Double batch sparge. A 10 gallon round cooler is perfect or even a bit large for most any 5 gallon brews. Bigger than that and you'll have problems regulating temps because of all the deadspace.
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:40 PM   #3
Francis
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Apr 2011
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I just built a 10 gallon tun for about $80 (home depot) and love it. Plenty of room for bigger beers.

 
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:41 PM   #4
MrMista
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Jul 2012
New York, NY
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Perfect, I will probably go with the 10 gallon beverage cooler because it seems much easier to transform into a mashtun. Now I just need to watch some videos on batch sparging...

 
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:00 PM   #5
mccabedoug
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Nov 2010
Douglas, MA
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I've been using a cheap ($20) 48 qt rectangular cooler for years. Love it.

 
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:18 PM   #6
Denny
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I have used a 48 qt. rectangular cooler for 424 batches. I can do 10 gal. up to 1.050 and 5 gal. up to 1.100. I get between 80-85% efficiency with a single batch sparge.
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:43 PM   #7
brycelarson
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Jul 2012
Minneapolis, MN
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The 10 gallon is great for 5 gal batches. It's big enough to do high gravity 5 gallon batches. I batch sparge. a 5 gallon cooler would be really tight for high gravity brews.

 
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:01 PM   #8
DonMagee
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Dec 2011
Granger, IN
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I have a 10 gallon round cooler. It is perfect for 5 gallon batches.

 
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:05 PM   #9
alane1
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Jun 2012
South East Massachusetts
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Yeah a 10 gallon round cooler is a little more versatile than a 5 gallon.Save yourself from buying twice and go with the 10 gal. round

 
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:43 AM   #10
nukebrewer
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+1 on the 10 gallon cooler. I've got a 1.110 RIS planned and it is going to use all but .5 gallons of my 10 gallon cooler.
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