Can I figure my cooler dead space this way?

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kedash

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I searched this site for quite a while and didn't find my answer, so I'll ask.

I've got all the equipment (finally) for my first all-grain and now I'm planning out my first brew day.

I know that I need to figure my cooler dead-space.

Can I just pour five gallons of water in my cooler, drain it, measure it and the missing water is obviously what's left in the cooler? i.e. I drain off 4.5 gallons, so my dead-space is .5 of a gallon or does the weight of the grain "push" more water out than when using just water to figure dead-space?

Thanks in advance.
 

Jolly McStanson

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I measured my dead space by measuring the water left in the cooler after I emptied it. I Tilted the cooler to get even less dead space. I mash with the cooler flat then tilt it when sparging.
 

ChemE

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That is a perfectly valid way to measure dead space. It is true that grains in the dead space will reduce the volume of wort left so if you wanted to multiply by 0.4 that would be reasonable too. 0.4 isn't arbitrarily chosen, that is the void fraction in a bed of closely packed spheres. Now, one could debate at length about how well a grain bed is approximated by spheres but...
 
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