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Old 12-21-2012, 12:50 AM   #1
siler
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Im just weening off of extract brewing and I want to make a mash tun from a cooler. I dont want to have to step up the size in 6 months, so room to grow would be nice. nothing to crazy, but something that is good for any kind of mash. also any tips for a beginner would be awesome

 
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:52 AM   #2
Billybrewer09
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I made mine out of a 48 quart igloo ice cube. I made a cpvc manifold for it.
Works great for five gallon and will hold 25# of grain!

 
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:54 AM   #3
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I'm very happy with a 10 gallon Rubbermaid cooler. Not too fancy, not too expensive, versatile. I did just opt to buy a stainless false bottom for it, but there are MANY more options.

Do your research on this site by searching your butt off - there is a vast amount of knowledge here.

Happy brewing!

 
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:12 AM   #4
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Figure out what you want to brew and go from there...it's really based on grain bill. For capacity figure 1.5qts/lb of grain and another .08 X grain weight for the "volume of water" that the grain represents.

So for a 15lb grain bill you would need (1.5 X 15)/4 = 5.6 gallons plus .08 X 15 = 1.3 gallons of "grain space" so your MLT would have to be at least 5.6+1.3=6.9 gallon capacity.

EDIT: A 20lb grain bill is a reasonable limit to 10 gallon coolers...guys have gone more and you can thicken the mash ratio to go higher...my calculations are conservative.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helibrewer View Post
Figure out what you want to brew and go from there...it's really based on grain bill. For capacity figure 1.5qts/lb of grain and another .08 X grain weight for the "volume of water" that the grain represents.

So for a 15lb grain bill you would need (1.5 X 15)/4 = 5.6 gallons plus .08 X 15 = 1.3 gallons of "grain space" so your MLT would have to be at least 5.6+1.3=6.9 gallon capacity.

EDIT: A 20lb grain bill is a reasonable limit to 10 gallon coolers...guys have gone more and you can thicken the mash ratio to go higher...my calculations are conservative.
This is a good starting point for sizing.

I want to give on piece of advice. Buy bigger than initially calculated. I bought a decent cooler when I started. Then I went to an all electric pump driven rig, with the dead space in the pipes a little bit of wort is lost, add more grains. Then I started doing bigger beers, add more grains. Then I had a phase where i experimented with no sparge, add more grains. . . you get the picture.

 
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:54 PM   #6
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I have used just about every container that I had handy. I started with a 48 qt rectangular igloo with a pvc manifold then I graduated to a 150 qt marine cooler with a pvc manifold. I now use a 30 gallon aluminum pot in a herms system.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billybrewer09 View Post
I made mine out of a 48 quart igloo ice cube. I made a cpvc manifold for it.
Works great for five gallon and will hold 25# of grain!
Same here. You can do just about anything for five gallons and ten gallons of most recipes. The Ice Cube (at least the one I have) has an indentation in the middle of the front at the bottom, which is perfect for drilling an installing a spigot.
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