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Old 07-21-2008, 05:32 PM   #1
polarbearbrewing
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So after i get a couple extract batches under my belt, I want to make the switch to all grain as soon as possible. I will convert a cooler into an MLT and i was wondering what the ideal size of cooler is? Also do most of you guys fly or batch sparge?

noob question i know, but cut me some slack

 
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:38 PM   #2

Read this; http://www.howtobrew.com/appendices/appendixD-3.html

It depends on what type of beer would be a typical beer.

This website has a convient size calculator. http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:39 PM   #3
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Well, you'll hear many different opinions on this, but I'll start with mine! I like a 10 gallon MLT, even though I've yet to make a 10 gallon batch. I was leaning towards a 5 gallon round MLT, but the others here on the forum talked me out of that and into the 10 gallon. The reason is actually pretty simple- I can make just about any 5 gallon beer batch I want. I can use 9 pounds of grain, or 18 pounds of grain without maxing out my cooler. I can add mashout water to my MLT with plenty of room. I think a 5 gallon cooler would be maxed out pretty easily. I never tried a rectangular cooler, so that might be something to consider, too.

I batch sparge, but am thinking about getting an HLT and flysparging. I like having the flexibility to do that if I want.
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:41 PM   #4

I have three cooler MLT's;

12 gallon - bigger/higher gravity batches
5 gallon -standard batch lower gravity beers
2 gallon - for partial mashing
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:50 PM   #5

BTW - I have used the 12 the most. The 5 gal once and the 2 gal twice.

A few times I felt that the 12 was too big, I seemed to loose temp too fast with 9lbs of grain. I had to keep adding strike water to bump up the temp.

The next time I have a smaller grain bill I will try the 5 again.
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Old 07-21-2008, 09:28 PM   #6
polarbearbrewing
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thanks guys i will go with a 10-12 gallon cooler (round or rectangular...whichever one is cheaper).

one more thing...
copper manifold or SS braid?

 
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Old 07-21-2008, 09:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polarbearbrewing View Post
thanks guys i will go with a 10-12 gallon cooler (round or rectangular...whichever one is cheaper).

one more thing...
copper manifold or SS braid?
Either will work, I use a cpvc manifold, cheap and easy to make.

 
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Old 07-22-2008, 04:37 PM   #8
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Copper = most expensive
CPVC= prolly cheapest but still gotta drill lots of holes,
SS Braid, easiest, maybe mor expensive the CPVC
I use SS personally and haven't had any stuck sparging. I even left the tube inside it notched.
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Old 07-22-2008, 05:04 PM   #9
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it's been said that round coolers don't promote channeling the way that rectangular cooler do. I don't know for sure because I don't use a cooler mlt. But if I did I would go round just for more even sugar extraction.
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