Author Topic: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?  (Read 9068 times)

Offline fmarlo

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5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« on: November 26, 2012, 07:48:18 PM »
I'm trying to take the "next step" into doing both partial and full mashes. I've seen a lot of discussions and instructions for converting a cooler into a mash tun, and I feel pretty confident that I can do it. I know that you pretty much need to have the 10-gallon tun if you're doing all-grain and that a 5 gallon is generally fine for partial mash recipes.

My question is: Is there any reason NOT to build a 10 gallon rather than a 5? Would, for example, having only a few pounds of grain in the 10 gallon be a mistake? Am I right in thinking that a 10 gallon is suitable for both full and partial mash recipes?

Thanks for your help.

Offline aa7yy

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2012, 08:21:38 PM »
Just been thru this. Did the 72 quart Coleman as that should be all I need. Kept having temperature problems on 5 gallon batches. Bought a 36 quart Coleman and all is good. The big one for heavy 5's and 10 gallon batches. The "little" for all of the rest. One extra cooler another $32 bucks. Pretty cheap in this hobby and a lot easier. More time and more headaches might of fixed it, but now the problem is gone. The problem was preheating the MT and the amount of liquor required.

Didn't really answer the 5 to 10 gallon question, but same principal.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 08:24:47 PM by aa7yy »

Offline sparkleberry

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2012, 09:08:18 PM »
I've got a 70 qt cooler. I got it to begin batch sparging and accommodate large batches when needed. that said I still continue to brew 3 gallon batches regularly in the rather large cooler with no problem. these batches haven't been over 8lbs, so I'd say that a few pounds of grain shouldn't be a problem. as I understand it, batch sparging isn't dependent on x amount of grain.

if you can get the 10 gallon, I'd say do it.

cheers.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 09:10:37 PM by sparkleberry »
cheers.

rpl
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Offline thetooth

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2012, 09:57:51 PM »
My only concern with using the 10 gallon cooler for partial mash small beers is that you may end up with the grain bed too shallow to reasonably act as a filter.

Honest question:  Why bother partial mashing?  If you are going through the effort to partial mash and you are willing to build a 10 gallon mash tun, you can just as effectively go all-grain.  you'll save a few bucks and have even more control over your process.  Just something to consider.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2012, 11:09:12 PM »
If you batch sparge then bed depth won't matter and a 10-gallon cooler will work fine for smaller batches.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline davidgzach

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2012, 06:36:57 AM »
I bought the 10G Home Depot cooler years ago and still use it for 5 and 10 gallon batches.  Works great.  Have only changed out the toilet connector 3-4 times now as maintenance.

Dave
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Offline dcdwort

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2012, 07:02:18 AM »
I have been using a 10 gal Home Depot water cooler for my 5 gal batches.  Have not had any problems keeping the temperature steady now with sparging.  now I am set if I need to go to 10 gal batches.
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Offline thebigbaker

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2012, 07:22:58 AM »
I'm currently doing three gallon batches in a 48qt rectangle (blue!) cooler and have no issues holding temps.  Will be going to 5 gallon batches soon and will continue to use the same cooler.  Picked up my cooler on Craigslist for $10.
Jeremy Baker

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2012, 09:35:06 AM »
I say don't get either.  Get a rectangular cooler, either 48 or (preferably) 70 qt.  Either will be fine for 5 gal. batches.  With a rectangular you get more volume for your money and they're easier to use due to the larger opening.
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Offline In The Sand

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2012, 09:53:04 AM »
I say don't get either.  Get a rectangular cooler, either 48 or (preferably) 70 qt.  Either will be fine for 5 gal. batches.  With a rectangular you get more volume for your money and they're easier to use due to the larger opening.

70-qt good for 10 gallon batches?
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Offline a10t2

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2012, 10:29:58 AM »
70-qt good for 10 gallon batches?

Up to about 1.070, yes.
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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2012, 10:30:07 AM »
I say don't get either.  Get a rectangular cooler, either 48 or (preferably) 70 qt.  Either will be fine for 5 gal. batches.  With a rectangular you get more volume for your money and they're easier to use due to the larger opening.

70-qt good for 10 gallon batches?

Unless it's 10 gal. of a really high gravity, yep, no problem.  For 10 gal. batches of BW (1.100+) I use a 152 qt. cooler.
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Offline fmarlo

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2012, 02:35:17 PM »
Interesting. I ruled out the rectangular cooler because I thought I heard/ read that it's not as good at smaller, partial mashes. I'm also not sure how to make the adjustments. I'm assuming that you pop out the plug at the base and replace it with the same valve you'd use in the circular cooler, but is the rest of the process the same as with a circular? Would a false bottom be needed, or can you just use a stainless steel braid?

Online Slowbrew

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2012, 02:45:01 PM »
you can use the same valve kits as a round cooler.  Some folks just push plastic tubing through the port that came with it and use a clamp for their valve.  A braid works great for batch sparging.  It's a very easy conversion.

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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2012, 02:56:19 PM »
you can use the same valve kits as a round cooler.  Some folks just push plastic tubing through the port that came with it and use a clamp for their valve.  A braid works great for batch sparging.  It's a very easy conversion.

Paul

That's me, I didn't even bother with a clamp. I just stick the loose end of the tubing through the handle of the cooler so it is above the liquid level. works like a champ. I can mash 5-6 lb all the way up to 35lb although at the top end it's pretty tight with liquid coming right up to the edge of the cooler.

my set up consists of;
1 72 qt coleman extreme
1 3 foot length of plastic tubing forced through the drain hole
1 ss worm clamp
1 ss toilet braid attached to the plastic on the inside of the drain with the worm clamp.
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