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Old 05-08-2006, 07:21 AM   #1
Daznz
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Mar 2006
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Hi
Im all new to partial mash brewing. Im looking at making a mash tun out of a rubber maid water cooler . With this amount of grain in a recipe 2# 2-row 1/2# crystal,
1/2# cara pils. would a 1.65 gallon water cooler be to small. reason why i ask is thay only had two sizes 1.65 gal and 4.62 gal and a big price difference between the two..
Thanks Daza

 
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Old 05-08-2006, 08:22 AM   #2
RichBrewer
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Take a look at this thread if you haven't already.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=8805
I found this cooler at Walmart. It was about $18.50. I think it would be a great size for partial mash brewing. You could easily mash up to five pounds of grain.
It is small enough that the grain bed would be deep enough to aid efficiency and it wouldn't take up much room when stored.
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Old 05-08-2006, 08:37 AM   #3
RichBrewer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daznz
Hi
Im all new to partial mash brewing. Im looking at making a mash tun out of a rubber maid water cooler . With this amount of grain in a recipe 2# 2-row 1/2# crystal,
1/2# cara pils. would a 1.65 gallon water cooler be to small. reason why i ask is thay only had two sizes 1.65 gal and 4.62 gal and a big price difference between the two..
Thanks Daza
You are looking at a grist of 3 pounds. This require about 3/4 gallons of water for the mash and 1 1/2 gallons for the sparge. The smaller one might work but it may be close. You would do a batch sparge so you don't have to worry about having that much water in the cooler all at once. The other thing you want to consider is will the small cooler maintain a constant temp for one hour? With that small volume of mash it may not. If the cooler is reasonably priced it may be worth experimenting with. If you do let us know how it works.
I am going to experiment with the one I have as well. I will be out of town most of this week but I plan on playing when I get back.
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Old 05-09-2006, 02:01 AM   #4
Lost
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Aug 2005
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If you can get away with the larger cooler and maintain a decent grainbed depth (really only important if you're using a manifold anyway) then you should go with the 5 gal cooler. When, not if, you decide to transition to all grain the 5 gal cooler will work for virtually all your 5 gal AG batches. Then, when you step up to larger batches you can use the 5 gal round cooler for a sparge tank.

But hey, I'm just planning ahead here. Like you, cost is a factor for me, but you can get a cooler for very cheap at walmart. Yes I hate them but I'll bite the bullet and shop there if it'll help my brewing.

 
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Old 05-09-2006, 11:05 AM   #5
Daznz
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Mar 2006
New Zealand
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In the end i got 7gal square cooler and im making a manifold for it so i hope i get enough grain depth with my small recipe. What would be a good grain depth
above the manifold? i am using extract in this recipe as well.
thanks Daza

 
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Old 05-10-2006, 09:18 PM   #6
cgcaudle
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May 2006
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Lost-
You said you can use a 5 gallon (round) cooler for AG batches...how much is too much for the 5 gal cooler? I am gathering my equipment togather so I can attempt my first AG batch so I was wondering how many #'s of grain can the 5 gal cooler hold efficiently?
Some recipes look like almost 10#'s of grain for just a 5 gal batch. Can the Gott style cooler hold this and do its magic properly? Or do I need to go buy a 10 gallon round cooler to make 5 gal AG batches?

Thanks!

 
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Old 05-10-2006, 09:27 PM   #7
DesertBrew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgcaudle
Lost-
You said you can use a 5 gallon (round) cooler for AG batches...how much is too much for the 5 gal cooler? I am gathering my equipment togather so I can attempt my first AG batch so I was wondering how many #'s of grain can the 5 gal cooler hold efficiently?
Some recipes look like almost 10#'s of grain for just a 5 gal batch. Can the Gott style cooler hold this and do its magic properly? Or do I need to go buy a 10 gallon round cooler to make 5 gal AG batches?

Thanks!
I can get about a max of 13-14# grain bill in my 5g cooler. 1.25 ratio although probably more towards 1.0 or 1.15 with this much grain. It's right to the top.

 
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Old 05-10-2006, 09:36 PM   #8
cgcaudle
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May 2006
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Oh nice...thanks desert. I got worried for a little bit there by reading the other posts.

 
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Old 05-10-2006, 10:35 PM   #9
Beer Snob
 
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Last Saturday at Homebrew Day I saw a few 10 Gal coolers, but they were 10 gal batches, not 5. Most were like Desertbrew described...right up to the top (with the 5 and 10 gal coolers incidently). There were a few people whos mash was not right up to the top but they were using 15.5 Gal kegs converted. Man I can't believe how much I learned by just walking around and talking to people and seeing what they were doing with their setups. Can't wait for the next event to come around.
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Old 05-10-2006, 11:14 PM   #10
cgcaudle
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May 2006
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Well, I just read that most people are having a hard time with the rubbermaid coolers since they are warping...now I have to go buy another. Does this happen with everyone's rubbermaid?

 
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