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Igloo Cooler Experience

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troutab81

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Anybody had any issues with the Igloo 52 Qt Ultratherm? Using it as a mash tun and wanted to see if people had problems holding temp, etc.
 

Brew-boy

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Not sure about the Ultratherm, but my 52qt. Igloo Ice Cube holds within 1 degree over the 60 min mash.
 

Brew-boy

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I could have sworn I had this as well, but I dropped 8 degrees over an hour last Sunday. Granted, it was 44 degree outside.
You need to fill the lid with that liquid foam insulator stuff to make it work. Prior to me doing that I would loose 5-8 degrees too.
 
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troutab81

troutab81

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You need to fill the lid with that liquid foam insulator stuff to make it work. Prior to me doing that I would loose 5-8 degrees too.
Seems like a reasonable step to take to maintain temp.. I got some leftover from a insulation project...would work great
 
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troutab81

troutab81

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You need to fill the lid with that liquid foam insulator stuff to make it work. Prior to me doing that I would loose 5-8 degrees too.
Does anyone else have good tips for maintaining stable temps in MLT cooler?

I am testing out my cooler right now with about 3 Gal of 150 water to see how it holds. The lid is rather warm which probably tells me that part isnt very well insulated and leaking. If it drops more than 1 degree after my hour temperature check, how would you suggest I look to fix?
 
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troutab81

troutab81

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I could have sworn I had this as well, but I dropped 8 degrees over an hour last Sunday. Granted, it was 44 degree outside.
This my first go around with AG... how did you compensate? Did you raise your strike water temp? Did you stir and/or add more water?

If it does drop 5-8 degrees over the hour, is that a big problem?
 

Photopilot

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I have the 70 qt cube. Here is my experience with it on the my 3rd AG batch.
Up until now I had trouble reaching and keeping temps. I was constantly removing and heating strike water and mash water to get and hold temps. even after I had added foam insulation to the lid after the second time. I was beginning to doubt it suitability. My first two batches were 5 gallons. The last AG was a 10 gallon batch with 8 gallons of strike water. I heated the water up to temp and added to the MLT. It dropped quite a bit. I drew out about 1.5 gallons at a time and re-boiled. Finally I got the MLT to 168 degrees and then added the grain. After doe-ing in the mash was at 154 degrees. Even after pulling out multiple gallons to check temp and PH then adding back to the top. The mash temp stayed above 151. This was inside at around 60 degrees.

So my plan based with only 3 AG brew under my belt.

  1. Insulate the top
  2. Make sure the grains are room temp before starting
  3. Preheat the entire MLT up to 50% bulk with hot water. Even for 5 gallon batches then reserve the extra water for sparging if it is too much for mash.
  4. Preheat to 168 for 10 gallon batches before adding grains, I will test the parameters before deciding 5 gallon batches.

I am still trying to see the heat loss as a result of empty head space for smaller batches.
 

J-Malone

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I have the 60 qt Ice Cube and I just brewed my first AG last weekend and it only lost .5 degrees over the 60 min mash. I used a couple layers of aluminum layed across the top (under the lid) and closed the lid down on it and then put a beach towel and sleeping bag over the top. Worked great.
 
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troutab81

troutab81

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I have the 60 qt Ice Cube and I just brewed my first AG last weekend and it only lost .5 degrees over the 60 min mash. I used a couple layers of aluminum layed across the top (under the lid) and closed the lid down on it and then put a beach towel and sleeping bag over the top. Worked great.[/QUOTE

Thanks all, will try my first all grain soon. Worst case scenario I have to add more strike water to keep it stable.
 

shortyjacobs

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Can't speak to the 52 qt, but I have a 60 qt Igloo Ice Cube with the UltraTherm insulation, and love it. Squirt foam into the lid to increase insulation. I add my strike water, (all of it), at a temp higher than what beersmith says, (no exact readings here...just like 10 degrees higher, maybe even 15), and let it sit for 10 minutes to preheat. Then, I open the lid and stir until I hit strike temp.

Doing this, I lose about 0.5-1 degree per hour.

Also, testing a cooler with ONLY water doesn't work. A mash has much different thermal characteristics than pure water, (almost NO convective heat transfer within the bulk, different specific heat, etc.)....You need to test it with grain to know how it will perform.

I've used mine for 5 and 10 gal batches with excellent success so far.
 
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troutab81

troutab81

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Can't speak to the 52 qt, but I have a 60 qt Igloo Ice Cube with the UltraTherm insulation, and love it. Squirt foam into the lid to increase insulation. I add my strike water, (all of it), at a temp higher than what beersmith says, (no exact readings here...just like 10 degrees higher, maybe even 15), and let it sit for 10 minutes to preheat. Then, I open the lid and stir until I hit strike temp.

Doing this, I lose about 0.5-1 degree per hour.

Also, testing a cooler with ONLY water doesn't work. A mash has much different thermal characteristics than pure water, (almost NO convective heat transfer within the bulk, different specific heat, etc.)....You need to test it with grain to know how it will perform.

I've used mine for 5 and 10 gal batches with excellent success so far.
Thanks, best explanation yet to help me intro to AG
 
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