All the grains that can fit into an Igloo Cooler??

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gERgMan

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Question- I know I have read this but I need to know before I go to the LHBS today and I don't have the book with me. How many pounds of grain (and consequently, water) will fit into a 5 gallon Igloo cooler (orange ones) for a single-step mash infusion? I want to say 10lbs, but not sure.

Also, while I am thinking. I am making a Belgian-style strong ale (Rochefort clone) and the base malt is Belgian 2-row pilsner. I was planning on just doing a single-step infusion at 150F for 90 minutes. Would people advise against this and recommend an acid rest with this or some other decotion/2-3 step infusion? I am thinking the Belgian malt is fairly modified and a single step will be enough. I know it doesn't hurt to do a multi-step infusion, but I have found it to be a pain in the ass in a cooler, especially if it is maxed out with grains. Thanks!
 

rdwj

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I don't have one, but I seem to remember people claiming to have used 13 pounds, but that it was pretty tight.
 

CBBaron

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12 pounds fit in my cooler with normal mash thickness of about 1.25 quart/lb. If you go a little thicker you can probably do 13 or more pounds. At these sizes you have to drain the tun 3 times to get the required boil volume. I think with 10 lb or less you can get better than 6 gal with only 2 drainings.
So you can do a decent AG IPA with the 5gal cooler without much problem.
Craig
 
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gERgMan

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Thanks for the input everybody. The "Can I mash it?" site is pretty slick and simple, thanks for the link.

I think I will just do 10lbs to make life a little easier and that way I can add one 3lb. bag of DME to make up the difference.

Any suggestions on a single or multi-step infusion? I see the "Can I mash it?" site has a calculator for this, but I am wondering if it will make a huge difference.
 

CBBaron

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gERgMan said:
Any suggestions on a single or multi-step infusion? I see the "Can I mash it?" site has a calculator for this, but I am wondering if it will make a huge difference.
I keep is simple and just do a single step mash.
With 10# of grain you will have room to do a mashout step at the end of the mash which might help your sparge some. Modern grains are highly modified and don't really require the multi-step mash.
Craig
 
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gERgMan

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Thanks Craig for the input, that was the way I was leaning.

What is your reason for doing the mashout step? I mean, I know what the mashout is suppose to accomplish, but wouldn't sparging with boiled water that has cooled slightly be as efficient? I am fairly new to all grain, so bear with me. I assume if you suggest "mashing out", I would add some hot water to the mash-in and raise the temperature and then proceed with lauter and sparge. Thanks for the suggestions!
 

Willsellout

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This is what 10.5 lbs of grains looks like with 1.25 quarts per pound. You could easily fit another couple pounds in there.



Dan
 
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gERgMan

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Willsellout- Thanks for the pic, I can see that there is plenty of room left. Maybe I will just go all grain.
 

CBBaron

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gERgMan said:
Thanks Craig for the input, that was the way I was leaning.

What is your reason for doing the mashout step? I mean, I know what the mashout is suppose to accomplish, but wouldn't sparging with boiled water that has cooled slightly be as efficient? I am fairly new to all grain, so bear with me. I assume if you suggest "mashing out", I would add some hot water to the mash-in and raise the temperature and then proceed with lauter and sparge. Thanks for the suggestions!
My understanding is that is accomplishes 2 things. First it raises the temp of the mash to the point it denatures the enzymes stopping further activity so that your wort does not become too fermentable and thus produce an overly dry beer if you don't want this. Second the sugars become less viscous at this temp allowing them to more easily flow out of the grains and into solution.
If you have room it sounds like a good idea. If you have a full cooler from the mash then just drain the cooler then add 180-185F water for your first batch sparge.
I'm only a couple batches ahead of you in experience so this is mostly based on my research not experience.
Craig
 

ajf

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I've managed to mash 13 lbs grain in a 5g cooler, but it was a thick mash (1 qt per lb) and I fly sparged. There wasn't enough space left for batch sparging.
10 lbs fits in fine with 1.25 qt per lb, and leaves plenty of space for a batch sparge.
I find the mash out very useful, not to stop the conversion, but to raise the sparge temperature to 170, as hot water dissolves the sugars much more readily than warm water. When batch sparging, you can simply add hotter water for the first batch to raise the temperature, but with fly sparging (which I usually do), it's virtually impossible to raise the temperature.

-a.
 
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