5 gal MLT?

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webbie99

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I have only brewed one extract kit, and already kicking the AG option around. (I'm hooked) I saw that igloo has a max therm 5 gallon beverage cooler (approx. $40) that has an insulated lid and supposedly keeps ice for 5 days @ 90 F. Would this be worth a look at making a MLT? How big of a grain bill would this handle if kept to 5 gal batches? Or should I just go for the 10 gal to be on the safe side?
 

joebou4860

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I use a 5 gal MLT. If I had to do it again I would have opted for the 10 gal.
Dont get me wrong, the 5 is perfectly usable for most brews but there are times when I am approaching the upper limits for the amount of grain I can use. I would spend the extra $$$ and get more versatility from the larger cooler
 

Alamo_Beer

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Seems like lots of people use a 5 gallon cautiously but would prefer a 10 gallon.

How about the Igloo Cubes or whatever...the square ones. They are pretty cheap and plenty big.

The "MLT Geometry" only really matters if you decide to fly sparge....so, how do you plan on sparging?
 
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webbie99

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I would batch sparge just to keep it simple. Isn't there an issue about the cubes not having an outlet in a good location? I think they are slanted at an angle out of the bottom. Is there any problem with heat loss by not fully utilizing the 10 gal capacity? I won't be ready for a brew pot big enough for 10 gal boils until i get a new house.
 

Alamo_Beer

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Are you trying to do 10 or 5 gallon batches?

yeah the cubes spigot is in a weird place but I think people have gotten around it...

I've got a square 24qt cooler that I drilled a hole in the side...put a a cpvc manifold in it and a peice of cpvc sticking out that i siliconed up. works fine for me!
 
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webbie99

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Probably only 5 (5.5) gal batches for the next year or so. I actually have a cube at home, but it serves duty as an actual cooler for camping, parties, etc.
 

Alamo_Beer

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webbie99 said:
I won't be ready for a brew pot big enough for 10 gal boils until i get a new house.

This was the reason I asked...

I think with batch sparging your better off with a square cooler or one of those cubes (I keep coming back to them bc it's what I want :p ) because the Gott style round coolers are a bit pricey
 
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I too have a five gallon mlt and wish that I had gone for the 10 gallon. The five works pretty well for lower gravity batches though.
 
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webbie99

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Thanks guys, I think I will either look into the cube, or just go for the bigger one. I may not get to go for 10 gal batches anytime soon, but I would definitely like to try a high gravity beer.
 

Blender

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If you are batch sparging I would recommend the rectangular 48-52 quart cooler. They ought to be nicely priced this time of year. Check this page out.>> DennyBrew
 

zoebisch01

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Another vote for "I have a 5 gallon cylindrical and wish I had a 10". I have yet to fail brewing a high gravity beer in it, but let me tell ya my efficiency seems to go down a few points when I max it out and I think it's usually because I end up with a really thick mash. That and it is harder to hit the right sparge amount then imho, cause with a 5 gallon you'll be fly sparging.

So go with the 10 if room to store it isn't an issue. You want that extra headroom for things like "Oops, my mash is too cold! GLAD I HAVE LOTS OF ROOM TO ADD MORE WATER :D", or "Oops, I didn't realize it would be so much grain for that 1.087 gravity brew...GLAD I HAVE LOTS OF ROOM TO ADD MORE" hehe, I am sure you get the picture. That being said, I have done I think a little over 13 lbs with a really really thick mash in it.
 

kappclark

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The 5 MLT is just big enough to do the famous Haus Ale...

Like everyone else, I wish I had gone with a 10, but I can always do it later ...
 

malkore

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I have 1 PM and 2 AG's under my belt and I just finally located a 10gallon cooler and snatched up up pronto.

it was very tight with about 11lbs in a 5gallon cooler, making the porter I have in secondary.

Thought I was set, but post boil volume was only 4.5gallons.

home depot is a good place to find the 10gallon rubbermaid coolers. one store in town had em, the other didn't even have a shelf space for em...and luckily the first store got a pallet's worth in last week.

go for 10 and save some money by not replacing it in a month.
 

brett

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I have a 5 gallon MLT. I'm pretty happy with it. Then again I brew 3 gallon batches. I'll be upgrading/buying a lot of other equipment before I worry about upgrading the MLT to a 10 gallon though. Like my brew pot, burner, keg system, kegerator, etc, etc.

It's all about priorities. What will improve the quality of your beer and lessen your stress the most? If that answer is a big ol' MLT, then go for it.

:fro:
 

Thalon

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+1 for "originally bought a 5 gal, returned it after 2 AG brews and bought a 52qt (13 gal) Coleman Xtreme cooler". How does that saying go? Buy cheap, buy twice? Yeah, that's it. I can't believe how many times I've learned that lesson in life, yet I keep doing it. :mad:
 
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webbie99

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After reading the replys, I am pretty sure I am going to buy with the intent tha i can grow into a larger vessel rather than growing out of a smaller one. Now just need to find a good deal.
 

JamesKY

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I read somewhere that you may want to avoid a 10 gallon cooler unless you're brewing high gravity recipes or batches larger than 5 gallons. I think they said that if you couldn't get the grain bed thick enough (12 inches?) that it wouldn't filter the sparge water well enough.

I guess my question is, in the long term, would it be ideal to have both and use the 5 gallon cooler for low gravity recipes and the 10 gallon for high gravity recipes? Assuming of course that you are only brewing 5 gallons at a time?

When I go to purchase one, I think I will get a 5 gallon cooler and if I need to brew a high gravity recipe, I will only do 3 or 4 gallons of it. Does that sound like a good idea?
 

FlyGuy

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JamesKY said:
I read somewhere that you may want to avoid a 10 gallon cooler unless you're brewing high gravity recipes or batches larger than 5 gallons. I think they said that if you couldn't get the grain bed thick enough (12 inches?) that it wouldn't filter the sparge water well enough.

I guess my question is, in the long term, would it be ideal to have both and use the 5 gallon cooler for low gravity recipes and the 10 gallon for high gravity recipes? Assuming of course that you are only brewing 5 gallons at a time?
If you are using the round beverage coolers, I don't think this is a concern, especially if you batch sparge. There is plenty of grainbed depth, even for low gravity 5 gal brews.

And yes, if you are going to buy 2 coolers anyways (one for MLT, one for HLT) then having the two sizes makes some sense, particularly if you fly sparge. If you batch sparge it could be useful too, though. I would just buy bigger, say a 10 gal and a 60 or 70 qt -- that way you could do 10 gal batches too.

When I go to purchase one, I think I will get a 5 gallon cooler and if I need to brew a high gravity recipe, I will only do 3 or 4 gallons of it. Does that sound like a good idea?
Yes, that works too. But I bet you will wish you had the capacity to do 5 gals -- I would follow the collective advice here and get a 10 gal.
 

JamesKY

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I've been eyeballing the AG cooler sets that they have on morebeer.com. After reading your recommendation regarding purchasing 10 gallon round coolers, what do you think of this set?

http://morebeer.com/view_product/15631/102307

At $250 it seems like a good deal considering it comes with all of the modifications already in place plus the false bottom and sparger. I'm the do it yourself type but I don't have much experience with pipes and valves and whatnot so I'm afraid that I'll screw something up if I go out, buy the coolers, and try to make the modifications myself.

By the way, thanks for your help.
 

FlyGuy

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I am sure that MoreBeer system would be good. But you could build that yourself VERY easily, especially if you want to batch sparge (requires fewer pieces of equipment). I am not sure if you are a DIY guy, but this would be a pretty simple project.

I built a very similar batch sparge setup based on two 10 gal Rubbermaid coolers that the B3 system uses. The whole setup cost me about $100. I have instructions and a parts list in my signature. Everything is right off the shelf, although you might have a tough time finding the stainless steel washers that are required (if so, PM skifast1 and he has a bunch he is selling at cost).

7346-SIMS.jpg
 

Gregg Meyer

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I saw a 6 gal. igloo at a local Ace tonight, it was a cube style with an insulated lid and the spigot was not in a wierd place. It was at the bottom. The outside dimention was a cube but the internal was a tube shape. What do you think it 6 gal a good size? Almost forgot $35.00 for it.

Gregg
 
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