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Old 10-05-2012, 03:42 AM   #1
IAbowhunter86
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Sep 2012
Waterloo, IA
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Ok well i just made a pretty sweet trade the other day for some new kettles, I got two 10 gallon kettles and one 15 gallon with ball valve thermometer and false bottom. I have two burners need to get one regulator for the one. My question is i see pretty much everyone using coolers to mash in will i be fine mashing in that 15gallon kettle and how much heat can i count on loosing per hour on the kettle vs the cooler? i was thinking i can use the one ten gallon kettle for sparge water and the other will be the boil kettle both have ball valves in them as well. Let me know what you guys think. Thanks in advance if this is a stupid question.

 
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:51 AM   #2
inhousebrew
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Aug 2012
minneapolis, minnesota
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This is a setup that people use so it is doable. I primarily use coolers for mashing because of the simplicity of them but have experimented with converted kegs and due to the learning curve of trying to regulate temperature I gave up on them. I think it is probably about learning to use your system, it likely won't be perfect at first (mine wasn't even with coolers) but if you take diligent notes I'm sure you can figure it out. I'm sure other people will be more useful but I thought I'd chime in. Worst case scenario; you could totally sell a 15 gallon kettle for enough to buy a cooler mashtun and then some.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:33 AM   #3
texasbrewer73
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Mar 2012
Frisco, Texas
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Not sure how to quantify exactly how much heat you'll lose, but here's what I would expect:

1) if you are doing a recirculation mash, you'll lose more heat in the process

2) if you don't insulate your MT in some way (reflectix, blankets, etc) you'll lose heat faster.

3) if you ambient temp is cooler, you'll lose a good amount of heat as well in both scenarios.

If you recirculate your mash, you can direct fire you MT manually to make up for the heat loss. Otherwise, bundle that MT up in 4-5 blankets. Regardless, watch your temps closely.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:37 PM   #4
william_shakes_beer
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Oct 2010
Maryland
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I do BIAB in a 15 gallon kettle. In the summer i heat the strike water, dough in and put a lid on the kettle then walk away. Never needed to add heat until the last batch. It was getting a bit cool outside and I had to fire the kettle for about 10 minutes at 40 minutes into the mash. Next brew I plan to fashion an insulation jacket from radiant insulation and velcro. Some people use blankets or down jackets. (just remember not to fire the kettle with the insulation on!!!) I loose less heat in a 10 gallon batch than a 5 gallon, due to the larger thermal mass and lower head space. I'm using stainless steel. Not sure how it compares to Aluminum.

 
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