Igloo industrial cooler vs Rubbermaid, 2 gallon vs 3 gallon, partial mash tun - Home Brew Forums
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:18 PM   #1
Apr 2010
Posts: 37

Downsizing my brewing equipment since I'm moving into a smaller place soon. I will now be a partial mash brewer. I've been in analysis paralysis regarding my choices for a tun. The Igloo Industrial ones (the yellow and red) look pretty heavy duty. The standard Rubbermaid ones don't look quite as sturdy, but I know they work well.

I'm also bouncing back and forth between the 2 and 3 gallon sizes. The 2 gallon ones are attractive because I can do extract + steeping grains batches in those as well. The 3 gallon is quite a bit wider, so I don't know how well steeping would work in there. There's also the size issue.

Any suggestions?

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Old 09-12-2012, 05:08 AM   #2
Apr 2010
Posts: 37


I think I've decided on a 3 gallon cooler. Anyone recommend Igloo over Rubbermaid, or vice versa? They both have very different dimensions. The Rubbermaid is tall and narrow, whereas the Igloo is short but fat. I was worried that the mash would be too thin in some cases with the Igloo one.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 10-20-2014, 09:43 PM   #3
Oct 2014
Pasadena, CA
Posts: 4

I am contemplating a 3 gallon MLT based on one of these coolers.

What did you end up doing?

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Old 10-22-2014, 01:38 AM   #4
Sep 2014
Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 29
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

I am doing mini mash currently in a tall skinny Rubbermaid one with a biab bag and wish that I had the shorter flatter one to work with. Seems like it would be easier to mash in. Can not complain to much since I got the cooler for free. I am only brewing 2.5 gallon batches right now but am looking at experimenting doing some low abv all grain batches with it this winter. With the mini mash set up.

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Old 10-22-2014, 01:49 AM   #5
troy2000's Avatar
Sep 2013
, California
Posts: 1,045
Liked 475 Times on 284 Posts

I don't have any experience with 2 or 3 gal coolers. But in 5 and 10 gal sizes, I prefer Igloo. Mostly because of the lids... I always seem to cross-thread the Rubbermaid lids, and once cross-threaded they hang on like grim death when I try to back them off and try again. Igloo lids, on the other hand, just jam into place like a cork. The Rubbermaid lids also let liquid slosh out - for example, when riding in the back seat of a car. Probably not a big deal for a mash tun...

As far as I know, there are two major differences between Igloo's industrial models and their cheaper ones. To begin with, the industrial models are UV resistant; they hold up better in the sun. Again, not a big deal for a mash tun...

Also, I believe the industrial models have insulated lids, whereas the others have hollow lids. I drilled a second hole in the hollow lid of the Igloo cooler I use now, and filled it from both sides with insulating foam from a can.
Joan Sprat went to brewing
A barrel of ale.
She put in some hops,
That it might not turn stale.

But as for the malt
She forgot to put that.
'This is sober liquor,'
Says little Jack Sprat.

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