Any thoughts on planning for a setup with a mash tun for single step infusion mashing (the cooler type) vs a multi step infusion mashing vessel (with a burner)? I haven't tried either and definitely appreciate the advice about getting a few all grain batches down prior to building anything. Thought I'd take a consensus though- are there particular advantages or drawbacks to either setup?
The cooler will hold temperatures really well and is cheap to construct. You can do infusion step mashes or HERMs temp control using a cooler as well. If you undershoot your dough in temp, just ad boiling water and stir. The opening on a rectangular cooler being larger makes it a lot easier to dump in your grain as well.
I have a lot of equipment envy, but have never had any inclination to move to a fired steel mash tun over my 70 qt cooler. I can see the benefit of adding a little fire to maintain temps or step mash, but most of what I do is single infusion and the cooler has not let me down.