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When is a 5 gal mash tun not enough?

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faber

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For making AG five-gallon batches...

What kind of recipes cannot be made with a 5 gal (converted cooler) mash tun?

Just curious...
 

robnog

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I can get a maximum of about 12lb in mine. I've heard some people get up to 14, but I think that would be cutting it a little close for me. I like to have a little extra room so that I can add boiling water if I need to raise the temp.

So I guess the answer to your question would be: any recipe that calls for more than 12-14lb or grain.
 

ayrton

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Hrm, I like to brew higher-gravity beers now and then, and I would imagine more grain would be required. Looks like I want a 10-gallon cooler.
 

the_bird

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My take on it....

If you're just getting started, go with a bigger cooler. If you plan to batch sparge, the 9-gallon Coleman Xtreme works great. I do 5-gallon batches, and even relatively small beers (without a ton of mash mass), the cooler doesn't lose any temp (or, less than a degree) in an hour (assuming you preheat the cooler). It wouldn't be ideal for fly sparging, but it's a great cooler for $30. Spend an extra $10 upfront and leave yourself the option down the line of either really BIG beers, or 10-gallon batches.
 

RommelMagic

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I would have to suggest getting a larger cooler or a 15.5 gal keg. THis would allow you to do larger OG beers, as well as do 10 gallon batches.
 

zoebisch01

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I did a 70 beer in mine and it was fine (ie. room to spare). Plus there are a few other factors in there. One is your efficiency. If you get better efficiency then you need less grain in general. Like was mentioned above...Batch sparge needs more room. That all being said, I use a 5 gallon and it is great for what I need, fly sparging with good (84%+) efficiency. But if I want to go really big, that is probably an issue. Plus, if I wanted to increase my volume of final wort, again problems. I would go 10 if you want some overhead and don't have a cooler yet. If you have a 5 gallon, it will suffice for most styles save the Imperial category, which would be a stretch.
 

BierMuncher

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I just built my 5-gallon and today at lunch picked up exaclty 12lbs of grain. I'll fill to capacity and run off wome wort to reheat if I need to bump the temp a bit. Then I'll remash the second batch at a couple degrees higher and hold again. I'm going to try and follow the instructions on Pauls Brewing Page.

This is a Porter recipe :cross: and my first AG attempt so wish me luck.:rolleyes:
 

EdWort

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I used a 5 gallon first, but ran out of room so I donated it to my son's Boy Scout Troop and picked up a 10 gallon. Life is much better now.
 

Dark_Ale

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I did the biggest beer so far in my 10gal.....20 pounds of grain, batch sparge
75% efficency I ended up with 7gal of 1.075 cooked down to 5 gallon for an imperial stout......
 

ayrton

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All Wal-Mart has online is the Colemen Xtreme 70-quart (!). I don't want something that's excessive, right? It seems more surface area exposed to air = more temperature lost, even with the lid closed.

Edit: I should mention that I still have a $19 gift certificate to Wal-Mart, which is why I'd prefer to go there (even though I don't really care to shop there normally).
 

EdWort

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I don't shop at Wally World very often either, simply because I don't have one nearby. There's a lot of NIMBY folks here in Austin. In any event, they do have great prices on lots of stuff.
 

Schlenkerla

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I've got one of those square Igloo Cubes. Its a 12 gal cooler. I was thinking of turning into my mash tun.

Is there a down side of having this large of a cooler if your total mash volume is about 3 gallons? How much space does 8lbs of grain take up?

I plan on making Dude's Pub Ale as my first AG batch.

I was wondering about internal heat loss due to the extra air space.

Also wondering about the term "batch sparge" as to normal sparging after the 60 minute rest? Please explain.

Thanks!!!
 

silver02ws6

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the_bird said:
If you batch sparge, it doesn't matter. If you fly, round is preferred.

What is the difference between batch and fly sparging exactly. Im still learning.
 

ayrton

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silver02ws6 said:
What is the difference between batch and fly sparging exactly. Im still learning.
Me too. From what I've seen (and keep in mind I've never done all-grain), fly sparging utilizes a tricky bit of rigging that "rains" the sparge water down on the grain bed as the strike water is draining into the brew kettle. With batch sparging, you let the strike water drain completely and then pour in the entirety of the sparge water, making sure to let it clear again before letting it flow into the brew kettle.
 

RichBrewer

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A 5 gallon may hold temp slightly better but it really restricts your brewing. I've even brewed one 10 gallon batch in mine.
Go with a larger cooler. It is worth it. :mug:
 
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