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Born Brewing Co.

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I am beginning to put my all grain brewery together. Will a 10 gallon igloo/rubbermaid cooler keep mash at 152 +/- for an hour or so? Anyone else use the rubbermaid coolers as a liquor tank and mash tun with success? From a financial point that seems the way I can go right now. Thanks.
 

Dude

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My igloos hold within 1 degree for 90 mins+.

In fact, last time I brewed I dumped out my leftover sparge water (which was at 160 some degrees) about 30 hours after I brewed and the water temp was still 87 degrees! That's holding some heat!!!!
I have the Igloo maxcold coolers as a MLT and HLT.
 

brewman82

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I use a ten gallon Rubbermaid - loses 1 degree in an hour mash - pretty standard from what I have seen. In hindsight, althought the round cooler is neat and compact and all, I should have saved some cash a bought a cheap rectangular cooler - these are way easier to find and easier on the wallet (think $15 as opposed to $60). Something to consider when you have lots of new AG stuff to buy, save that cash on the cooler choice and spend it on a grain mill or something! At any rate - AG rocks you'll never look back.
 
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Born Brewing Co.

Born Brewing Co.

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I was lucky to have two 10 gallon coolers given to me free! I cleaned them up and good as new. I was fortunate, I looked at them in stores and they have a hefty $ tag.
 
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Born Brewing Co.

Born Brewing Co.

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Brewman,
Thanks. I'm nervous to go AG. :confused: The four brews I've done to this point have all been extract kits. They have turned out super! I'm scared to ruin a good thing as I've only been at this for a month. That's right 4 brews in the past month, I'M HOOKED!. AG set up is nearly complete, I just need to build/buy a wort chiller and ingredients and I'm good to go. I'll start with a simple AG recipe, single infusion and hope for the best.
 

Dark_Ale

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Born Brewing Co. said:
Brewman,
Thanks. I'm nervous to go AG. :confused: The four brews I've done to this point have all been extract kits. They have turned out super! I'm scared to ruin a good thing as I've only been at this for a month. That's right 4 brews in the past month, I'M HOOKED!. AG set up is nearly complete, I just need to build/buy a wort chiller and ingredients and I'm good to go. I'll start with a simple AG recipe, single infusion and hope for the best.
Those of you that use the rubbemaid's and igloos what temp do you get the water before you add it to the cooler. Just wondering how much temp was lost after putting in the grain. I thought about heating some water up and adding it to the cooler just to heat it up first, then once the cooler was hot mabe I would not loose as much when I add my water and grains?
 
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Born Brewing Co.

Born Brewing Co.

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I read in Charlie Papazian's The Home Brewer's Companion that the grain may absorb 12-15 degrees of heat. Hence, to mash at 150 degrees your initial water temp should be about 162-165. However, I have yet to do full grain. Perhaps someone could address this.
 

brewman82

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BornBrew -
Yes that is true, the grain will absorb some heat - the cooler walls will absorb heat as well as the unit heats from room temp up to your mash temp. Some choose to pre-heat their cooler to solve this problem - I just heat my initial infusion water to a higher temp. I usually between 178-182 depending on my mash temp and mash thickness. Now the amont of heat the walls will absorb varies from cooler to cooler. I use Promash, and it has a feature where you can enter the thermal mass of your cooler (determined experimentally by how much heat loss you see as you add the initial infusion) and it will correct the strike temp for you. Basically - I recommend getting Promash :D Actually, they have a trial version on their website you can download for free and give it a try. I think it is only $20 anyway - it is probably the most useful brewing tool I own!! If not - and you do end up with the 10 gal rubbermaid that I have as well, use the high end of the temp range (182 or so) - that way if youend up above your desired temp you can easily bring it down by stirring and adding small amounts of cool water - it is MUCH easier to cool a mash down slightly than to raise the temp. Good luck - study up hard and don't sweat it and your AG will go just fine.
 

Ken Doggett

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Born Brewing Co. said:
I am beginning to put my all grain brewery together. Will a 10 gallon igloo/rubbermaid cooler keep mash at 152 +/- for an hour or so? Anyone else use the rubbermaid coolers as a liquor tank and mash tun with success? From a financial point that seems the way I can go right now. Thanks.
I have used these coolers with great success. If you warm your water to the proper temperature to get the mash temp at 152, you should have no problem. I mash for an hour and sometimes a bit more, and I have never had a variation in temperature. One day I will move up to a sculpture brewhouse, but hats off to the simplicity of Igloo coolers in the mash process.
 

Ken Doggett

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Dark_Ale said:
Those of you that use the rubbemaid's and igloos what temp do you get the water before you add it to the cooler. Just wondering how much temp was lost after putting in the grain. I thought about heating some water up and adding it to the cooler just to heat it up first, then once the cooler was hot mabe I would not loose as much when I add my water and grains?
I do 170 to 172 degrees. It usually mashes at 152-154 depending on the amount of grain your are mashing. I just did 11 pounds of 6 different grains for an IPA, and mashed at 152 on the button with water heated to 172.
 

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Dark_Ale said:
Those of you that use the rubbemaid's and igloos what temp do you get the water before you add it to the cooler. Just wondering how much temp was lost after putting in the grain. I thought about heating some water up and adding it to the cooler just to heat it up first, then once the cooler was hot mabe I would not loose as much when I add my water and grains?

I have the maxcold igloo coolers and to get a 154 deg mash, I have to heat my strike water to 173 degrees. Its worked perfectly the last 2 times at that temp. A lot is trial and error. It will also depend on how much grain you have. Promash will figure out the temp for you if you know the thermal mass of your cooler. I believe I came up with 3.7 for mine. Your TM will probably be very similar.
 
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I too am just now getting myself setup for all grain. I did my last kit beer yesterday so I got 2 weeks or so to get ready for all grain. Built my structure to support 3 tier etc.

Question though, I never anticipate going bigger than 5g batches so I ended up purchasing the 5g round rubbermaid. Is this too small? I thought I read on some other sites that the 5g is a good size for this size batch to mash in. Is this big enough for a "big beer"? I looked at the square cooler at Walmart and suspect that the mash depth would have been too shallow for a 5g batch of grain.

fyi - I went to an all grain class last week which was great. I'd recommend if available in your area; got lucky too as the head brewmaster of a place out here (Nimbus) was monitoring the class and provided lots of Q&A at the end.
 

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desertBrew said:
Question though, I never anticipate going bigger than 5g batches so I ended up purchasing the 5g round rubbermaid. Is this too small? I thought I read on some other sites that the 5g is a good size for this size batch to mash in. Is this big enough for a "big beer"? I looked at the square cooler at Walmart and suspect that the mash depth would have been too shallow for a 5g batch of grain.

I had the same question when I made mine--so I know the answer to this. You can get about 12.5 lbs. of grain (and water) into the 5 galllon cooler for a mash. That will get you right around the 1.060-1.064 mark for a SG. It sufficient enough until you decide to do BIGGER beers.
That SG is perfect for what I want to do right now, so I went with it.
 
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ORRELSE said:
I had the same question when I made mine--so I know the answer to this. You can get about 12.5 lbs. of grain (and water) into the 5 galllon cooler for a mash. That will get you right around the 1.060-1.064 mark for a SG. It sufficient enough until you decide to do BIGGER beers.
That SG is perfect for what I want to do right now, so I went with it.
Great thanks. Since I've hacked into it already it was money well spent then :eek:

Looking forward to the experience. With the wood etc to build my stand, cooler, copper, tubing, valves and a Phil's sparge arm the investment wasn't too bad. 'bout $85. I had a 10g plastic jug that I converted for the HLT and am good to go. Single infusion for me...
 

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my three tier system is just a table with a box, atop which sits my hot liquor tank (a square picnic cooler with a ball valve and tubing). next to the box on the table is the ten gallon igloo cooler with the ball valve and cpvc manifold and tubing. on the floor of the garage sits the turkey frier and the 8 gallon pot. i start heating the wort for the boil as soon as i've recirculated the initial runoffs and gotten about half a gallon in there. it is easy to control the flow in and out of the mash/lauter tun with the ball valves.

good luck guys :)
 

DeRoux's Broux

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i use the 5 gallon rubber maid cooler too. wish i'd gone with the 10 gallon though, so i can do Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA clones. but, i 'll use it until i get my gravity-fed system up and running too. you'll love doing the all-grain. yea, it takes longer, it's more involved, but the end result is so much better. every time i brew, i've added a "technique" to help my brews. from going all-grain, to yeast starters, lager freezer, etc. my current batch, i have an APA fermenting in my lager freezer set to 69 degrees (optimum temp range for the yeast i used). i've never been able to control ferm temps for ale's, so i am anxious to see the end result. maybe 69 degrees opposed to 74-75 will be quite noticable?????
cheers!
DeRoux's Broux
 
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DeRoux's Broux said:
I have an APA fermenting in my lager freezer set to 69 degrees (optimum temp range for the yeast i used). i've never been able to control ferm temps for ale's, so i am anxious to see the end result. maybe 69 degrees opposed to 74-75 will be quite noticable?????
cheers!
DeRoux's Broux
I noticed a very nice difference with a stable and optimal ferm temp once I started with a controlled environment (ferment chiller). Had two identical Hefe recipes (DME/steep) one with variable temps (76 or so) one controlled at 66. Much better tasting contolled batch. Didn't get that sweeter home brew taste. Had 2 buddies try; told them they were different recipes and they both picked the controlled batch.

At that all grain class I attended I asked the brewmaster who was sitting in what was his 5 most important things. I'll post in that thread we got going but he had temp contol as one of them.
 
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