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Old 10-26-2012, 08:44 PM   #1
The_Canmancan
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Should I use a cooler or a kettle for a mash tun?

 
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:59 PM   #2
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It depends on what you're doing.

I use a cooler myself and I'm happy with it, but it's a monster size and kind of an odd one to come by.

If you're doing five gallon all grain batches, then I'd definitely do a cooler. If you're making the step to 10 gallon batches with pumps, then maybe it's time to step up to a kettle.

 
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:23 PM   #3
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And there lies the problem. I currently brew 5 gal batches, use a cooler, and use a pump to move things. I may move to 10 gal batches in the future. I'm contemplating how I want to build my brew sculpture.

 
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:29 PM   #4
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What size cooler are you using? If you are using a 5 or 10 gallon round cooler pretend its a 10-15 gallon pot and build your system with that in mind. That way you can upgrade to a kettle/keggle or stick with the cooler. Just mind the flames around the cooler.
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:37 PM   #5
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Right now I use a 36 quart rectangular cooler. It works pretty well, but I'm always interested in improving my skills and knowledge.

 
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Old 10-28-2012, 04:02 AM   #6
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If it works don't rush to change it. Plenty of good beer is mashed in coolers.
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Old 10-28-2012, 04:24 AM   #7
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Keep in mind that if you start mashing in a kettle you'll have to deal with heat loss. Unless you're planning on doing batches larger than 15 gallons, I'd stick with a cooler. You can get coolers large enough for 15 gallon batches for about the same price as a used 1/2 bbl keg. Less fabrication with the cooler and no need for additional insulation or heat control.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:23 AM   #8
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If you don't intend to build some kind of circulation system I would stick with cooler.
As said SS kettle will have heat loss so you"ll have to heat it some way to maintain constant mash temperature.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBL_Brewer View Post
Keep in mind that if you start mashing in a kettle you'll have to deal with heat loss. Unless you're planning on doing batches larger than 15 gallons, I'd stick with a cooler.
This says it all! Just be warned that a SS MT comes w/ set of issues that must be managed for small batch brewing, and if not managed well you are better off w/ a cooler IMHO.

 
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:38 PM   #10
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I just recently went to a keg for an MLT, but I still use my cooler at times for smaller batches. It's lighter, holds heat better, and is super easy to clean. The cooler works fine, if you're not doing step mashes.
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