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Old 03-08-2008, 04:26 AM   #1
pdxhophead
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So I am really itching to do an all grain batch but I don't want to shell out a lot of cash. I found a guy on my local Craigslist selling coolers for $5 for a 48 qt and $1 for smaller ones, and he had about a dozen or so in different sizes. So I went to his house and picked up one of the 48 qt and a 24 qt Rubbermaid for $6. They were a little grungy but after some scrubbing with bleach and comet they are looking good. Only problem is the larger one looks like the outer shell cracked and someone glued it. The smaller one is in near new shape after cleaning it, so I was thinking about using that one to make a mash tun. So is 24qts big enough to make a mash tun for a 5 gallon batch? Also there's no drain spout on it so should I drill it on the end for the ball valve, or the side, does it matter?
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Old 03-08-2008, 03:36 PM   #2
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I just got into AG recently and I went with the 48qt cooler. You can use a 5gal cooler, however I think you'll find out really quick that you wished you would have went bigger. Your limited to the types of beer you can do (no bigger beers) with a smaller MLT. I Just bought a bunch of brewing stuff off of Craig's list in Corvallis and the guy had a 5gal cooler in the mix, I'm going to use mine for a HLT and continue to use my 10gal for mashing. I would try to fix the 10gal and use that for mashing and use the 5gal for a HLT but if the 10gal cooler is really in bad shape then you have to do what you have to do.
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Old 03-08-2008, 08:06 PM   #3
pdxhophead
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Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farmbrewernw
I just got into AG recently and I went with the 48qt cooler. You can use a 5gal cooler, however I think you'll find out really quick that you wished you would have went bigger. Your limited to the types of beer you can do (no bigger beers) with a smaller MLT. I Just bought a bunch of brewing stuff off of Craig's list in Corvallis and the guy had a 5gal cooler in the mix, I'm going to use mine for a HLT and continue to use my 10gal for mashing. I would try to fix the 10gal and use that for mashing and use the 5gal for a HLT but if the 10gal cooler is really in bad shape then you have to do what you have to do.
Thanks for the response. I think you're right I might use the 48qt. It's not in that bad a shape just not as nice as the smaller one. I'm planning to batch sparge (for now) so I probably wont be needing a HLT right away, maybe I'll just use the smaller one to keep cold home brews handy
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:22 PM   #4
wilserbrewer
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A 24 qt will do "most" 5 gal. batches. For larger grain bills you can sparge twice. A little more time and effort but it will work! The extra 4 qt will help compared to a 5 gal. 20 qt. cooler. The 48 qt. might be a better choice though if larger brews are forecasted. If your lookin to do this on the cheap, I would suggest not even using a valve. All you do is drill a hole at the bottom level of the cooler that is a 1/16" smaller than the tubing. Then make a long (3-4") diagonal slice in the end of the tubing so it is tapered and will start through the hole in the cooler. Just push the tubing partially through the hole and then grab it on the inside w/ pliers and pull it through. Trim the tubing square, and hose clamp or zip tie a lenghth of braid on the end of the tubing and you are all set. Just wire or attach a small clamp for the tubing to the top of the cooler during the mash, and lower the tube to empty.

Works fine...simple and cheap!

Mike


 
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