Cooler or Kettle for HLT

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bladefist

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I am looking to buy my first setup for my first all grain experience.

If I go the cooler route, will I constantly be having to pour in hotter/colder water for my mash, then for my sparge at 170?

I want to do this right the first time. I'm just worried about the cooler HLT way will require constant work.
 
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If I go the cooler route, will I constantly be having to pour in hotter/colder water for my mash, then for my sparge at 170?
Only if you want to do step mashes. Lots of us (perhaps most of us!) get great results with single-step mashes in coolers, which generally only lose a degree or two over an hour.

Furthermore, you can do step mashing and mash out by adding water like you described, and it's not all that difficult. It's doesn't take a lot of boiling or cold water to make the adjustments. Some guys use steam injection to raise mash temps.
 

The Pol

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I vote cooler... but I am biased. I say cooler with a water heater element installed in it! :D
 
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bladefist

bladefist

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I am going to go with a cooler HLT, MLT, and do a single tiered system. However, I don't plan on doing RIMS/HERMS yet.

I was thinking of just using a pump, but still brewing w/ the same equipment as you would use with a gravity 3 tiered system.

See any issues w/ this?
 

The Pol

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Sounds like a plan!! You can easily upgrade later if you desire.
 
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I vote cooler... but I am biased. I say cooler with a water heater element installed in it! :D
Any trouble getting those heating elements to seal in the wall of a cooler? I'd love an electric HLT like that, but I've had a hard enough time just getting thermometer bulkheads to seal correctly in my round coolers. Electricity + leaks = bad idea! Sounds like you've got it figured out though.
 

TwoHeadsBrewing

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I am biased too...but I prefer a keggle for the HLT. I love The Pol's setup with the cooler, but I was going for simplicity and economy with my build. I run a single burner now, so I have to jockey my kegs around but I've got a new Bayou SQ-14 burner on the way. So, with one burner under the HLT and one under the boil kettle I can stop moving stuff around. That being said, if someone had run a 220v into my garage I would have headed down the electric HLT path.



HLT pumping into the Mash/Lauter Tun:
 
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