Help with Cooler as an HLT

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cactusgarrett

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Through various means (read: error in making MLT), i've got an extra 12gal cooler rigged with a valve. I'm thinking the best use for this is an HLT. Being inexperienced with HLTs and fly sparging, i was hoping to get some info from the brain-trust around here.

What are my options for using this cooler as an HLT? I've got one burner, everything would be gravity fed, and i currenly do batch sparging. I've got a manifold, so performing fly sparging shouldn't be a problem, if that's the route i should take, and i don't want to invest/monkey around with pumps.

To me it seems like fly sparging would be best with a setup like that, based on the fact that batch sparging would still require measurements of the sparge water coming out of the HLT, and thus losing heat. Though, the mental roadblock i keep getting stuck at is the feasibility of maintaining the liquor temp in the would-be HLT for fly sparging, considering the sparge process would take at least 30min (with a proper runoff rate).

Am I thinking along the right track here? Thoughts?
 

Arneba28

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Yes your thinking right. you shouldnt need to use any pumps but you might just have to move your burner once. So if your HLT is a cooler then you need a brewpot to heat water in with a spigot, the HLT to store it in with a spigot, your MLT and your final boil pot.
2 pots, 2 coolers
 
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cactusgarrett

cactusgarrett

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Yeah, i was thinking of using my boilpot to get the spargewater to temp whilst mashing, then transfer the spargewater to the HLT. That got me thinking of how to hit/keep the proper sparge temp once in the HLT. Also, given the use of an HLT, does it go without saying that fly sparging is the most convenient?

If one was to do batch sparging, is the use of an HLT kinda redundant, unnecessary or moot?
 

wilserbrewer

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If it were my cooler, i would make it into an electric HLT, search around a bit, you can mount a 1500 W 120V heater element, or just use a heat stick or bucket heater. Never made sense to me to heat the water only to pour it into cooler prior to the mash??

Electric is also easy to automate w/ a timer to turn on prior to brewing.
 
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