Who here uses coleman xtreme cooler for a MLT?

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BeerPressure

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My temps have not been holding as of late. Today I noticed steam escaping from the lid when it was closed. Anyone have this problem, and have a solution? I am brewing a wit right now and i had temp problems in the bed, some spots were right on 154, other spots were colder. That could be due to that I had it up on saw horses which were not level and the front of the cooler was lower than the back.
 

giligson

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Shouldn't really have a problem if you do a 60 min mash and do a decent stir initially. Are you sure your thermometer is OK?

I have done 20Liter one hour infusion mashes in a plastic bucket insulated with a closed cell foam wrap (camping mat) in a 0 degree Celcius garage with no appreciable loss of temp.
 

gmarcek

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I noticed the same problem when I first started using one. I put a dish towel in between the lid where it closes (near the handle). This seemed to be the place that steam was coming out most. With preheating there is no problem holding temperature for an hour.
 

the_bird

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I use that cooler, and have never noticed this being a problem. I've brewed outside in the cold, and never noticed any stream escaping; never had any problems with losing temp. :confused:
 
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BeerPressure

BeerPressure

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Yes i just got a new thermometer and it was calibrated in ice water. Maybe my preheating procedure isnt right. I dump about 2.5 gallons of 140 degree water into it and let it sit for a half hour before I dough in.
 

Evan

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i used one, and i've noticed a little when its cold. i just put an old blanket over it or sit something heavy on top. the only times i've had problems keeping temp is doing a really small beer and not preheating. i usually preheat with 3 gallons around 180, and let it sit for an hour.
 

Big10Seaner

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If you're preheating your mash tun you need to preheat with something like 165F degree water, then allow it to drop to the proper strike temperature and add your grains. I've been hitting mash temps almost exactly by doing it this way.
 
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BeerPressure

BeerPressure

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Alright, thank you. i will try preheating with hotter water. I did a wit with a protein rest today. The rest stayed at 122 but the sac rest was what i had problems with... Hot spots, cold spots. I did hit my preboil grav though.

Edit: I usually preheat, drain that water then pour in my strike water and grain.
 

portlandbeergeek

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I use one of these and have no probs keeping heat. I usually preheat with about two gallons of boiling water and let that sit while the strike water heats. I dump the preheat water so the tun is probably in the 190's when the grain and strike water are added. I lose 8-12 degrees between strike water and final mash temp. I always do single temp mashes, and once kept the mash at 148 for four hours....back when my colorblindness made my iodine tests nearly impossible to see :)
Keep stirring your mash, as I have noticed hot and cold spots in the first five minutes if everything isn't mixed well at the beginning.
 

the_bird

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I haven't even needed two gallons; I usually use maybe a half-gallon, at most. While heating my strike water in the kitchen, I put the tea kettle on; when it boils, I use that water to preheat. Shake it around, get any loose grains out of there, let it sit until the rest of the strike water heats up (usually another twenty minutes). So, preheating helps me do one last little cleanup, as well.

Dump the preheat water, add the grain and strike water, and go.
 

Medo

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Ahoy hoy,
I use a 70 qt extreme; and my preheating is a bit different then others. I fill my entire cooler to just under the lid indent, with the hottest water my hot water heater puts out, then put on the lid, and leave it till its time. I do this right before I start to grind grains, which is when i start heating my strike water. Since i do 2qts per pound, i usually have a strike amount of 7-10 gallons, which takes an hour to an hour and a half to get to about 170 or so (this is all indoors on my stove, outdoors under propane 1/4 heating time) so by the time its ready the coolers been preheating close to 2 hours. i then drain it, and refill it with the strike water. I also take into account ambient temps and stuff, and compensate as I feel the need, but Ive always found its easier to cool the mash once mixed, then to heat it, so better to have heat overkill, then under kill. It works great for me that way. Your milage may vary.
FYI
A great day to you all.
 

Saccharomyces

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I have a spreadsheet I use to calculate my strike temp for the given water/grist ratio and weight of grain. It's based on knowing 12 quarts of strike I lose 13*F, for 24 quarts about 6-7*F. For step mashes I made a best guess and then adjusted the coefficients until I got the output to match what I actually saw on brew day, I see about 7*F drop from strike and 7*F drop for the second infusion to the next rest. The temp settles out quickly enough I don't bother preheating (that didn't help much anyway), and once I get down to my desired temps it holds well as long as I don't putz with the lid.

View attachment xtreme70_mash_calc.zip
 
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BeerPressure

BeerPressure

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I have a spreadsheet I use to calculate my strike temp for the given water/grist ratio and weight of grain. It's based on knowing 12 quarts of strike I lose 13*F, for 24 quarts about 6-7*F. For step mashes I made a best guess and then adjusted the coefficients until I got the output to match what I actually saw on brew day, I see about 7*F drop from strike and 7*F drop for the second infusion to the next rest. The temp settles out quickly enough I don't bother preheating (that didn't help much anyway), and once I get down to my desired temps it holds well as long as I don't putz with the lid.

View attachment 10393
I am gonna use this spreadsheet for tomorrow's brew. Thanks for sharing it.
 

the_bird

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The key is to know your own system. Me, I know that if I preheat, I can just add 2° to the strike water temp that BeerSmith tells me and I know I'm golden. That's not going to work for everybody, though. If you're using someone else's spreadsheet, know that it's going to require more input to fit your particulars.
 
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BeerPressure

BeerPressure

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The key is to know your own system. Me, I know that if I preheat, I can just add 2° to the strike water temp that BeerSmith tells me and I know I'm golden. That's not going to work for everybody, though. If you're using someone else's spreadsheet, know that it's going to require more input to fit your particulars.
It's for the same cooler though.

Do you add the hot water, then wait for it to cool down and stabilize at a certain temp then add the grist?
 
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BeerPressure

BeerPressure

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Well, so far the spreadsheet worked great. I heated 20 quarts to 178 degrees (spreadsheet said 177.2, but i rounded up for the hell of it.) I shut the cooler after i poured it in and checked every 5 minutes and it stabilized at about 168... I doughed in and waited for it to come down to the 154-155 range then i shut the lid. I stirred at 30 minutes into the mash and the temp was at 154.0-154.5, just where I want it to be.

I also wrapped a dish towel around the brass ballvalve of the cooler because I think a lot of heat loss comes from that.
 

Saccharomyces

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For those of you using BeerSmith, it seems I get the right temps out for 'adjust for equipment' if I choose Plastic for the tun material, 17.5 gal as the volume, and put 32 pounds for the weight (that is double the actual weight... :confused:).

I'm using a copper manifold, likely the number would be a bit lower (maybe 30 pounds?) with a braid.
 

LagerLover24

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I use a 36 qt extreme. I preheat with boiling water, and cover it with blankets during the mash. I've never had a problem with this method.
 

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