Author Topic: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?  (Read 9671 times)

Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2012, 04:39:22 PM »
I haven't had issue with my five gallon mash tun cooler, but then I'm only on batch 4 of AG brewing, only brewing up to 5 gallons, and I'm not making rocket fuel.  When the time comes to step up, I will.  For now, it seems to be working just fine.  It's a five gallon igloo water cooler converted to a mash tun with braided stainless hose and copper coil.  When I get around to building the ten gallon, I'll probably use the false bottom method but might keep the braided mesh/copper coil setup as a backup.

Offline davidgzach

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2012, 05:37:49 AM »
I haven't had issue with my five gallon mash tun cooler, but then I'm only on batch 4 of AG brewing, only brewing up to 5 gallons, and I'm not making rocket fuel.  When the time comes to step up, I will.  For now, it seems to be working just fine.  It's a five gallon igloo water cooler converted to a mash tun with braided stainless hose and copper coil.  When I get around to building the ten gallon, I'll probably use the false bottom method but might keep the braided mesh/copper coil setup as a backup.

Save the $100 and stick with the s/s braided mesh for $8.
Dave Zach

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2012, 09:07:18 AM »
If you're fly sparging, you could put a little thought/investment into your lautering setup.

If you're batch sparging, the lauter design doesn't matter.

References:

If you're fly sparging: http://www.howtobrew.com/appendices/appendixD-1.html

If you're batch sparging: www.dennybrew.com
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2012, 10:09:49 AM »
I bought the 10 gallon because people said someday I'll brew batches bigger than 5 gallons and need the extra space. I went the other way; I brew mostly under five gallons. So for me the ten gallon cooler is too big and I lose a little heat from the excess airspace. I've often thought about trying to rig up bags of some kind of insulation to hang in the airspace but never gotten around to it.

Personally I'd recommend unless you drink enough that you might reasonably expand to brewing more than five gallons at a time starting with a five gallon cooler. It's not so prohibitively expensive that you couldn't have both or sell off your five gallon cooler when you upgrade.
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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2012, 11:08:25 AM »
Personally I'd recommend unless you drink enough that you might reasonably expand to brewing more than five gallons at a time starting with a five gallon cooler.

If you're planning on brewing any high-gravity beers, 5 gal might not be big enough. Even at 0.8 qt/lb that would only let you mash about 17 lb of grain, or about 1.085 OG.
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Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2012, 07:08:50 PM »
I haven't had issue with my five gallon mash tun cooler, but then I'm only on batch 4 of AG brewing, only brewing up to 5 gallons, and I'm not making rocket fuel.  When the time comes to step up, I will.  For now, it seems to be working just fine.  It's a five gallon igloo water cooler converted to a mash tun with braided stainless hose and copper coil.  When I get around to building the ten gallon, I'll probably use the false bottom method but might keep the braided mesh/copper coil setup as a backup.

Save the $100 and stick with the s/s braided mesh for $8.

Good to note hoss! :D

BTW I just brewed again with my braided mesh hose and I had a very good brew day.

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2012, 09:33:40 PM »
Personally I'd recommend unless you drink enough that you might reasonably expand to brewing more than five gallons at a time starting with a five gallon cooler.

If you're planning on brewing any high-gravity beers, 5 gal might not be big enough. Even at 0.8 qt/lb that would only let you mash about 17 lb of grain, or about 1.085 OG.

Agreed - my 15 gal cooler is the bottleneck when I started to do really big beers or double batches. It doesnt hurt to size up, and its nice to have some headspace for stirring, pulling decoctions, adjusting temp with additional water, etc.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2012, 06:12:09 AM »
If you are looking to expand in the future, go with the 10g cooler.  If you are looking to stay at 5g or smaller, then stay at 5g.  I would go with the 10g for the reasons above:
-Ability to perform Hochkurz mashes and decoctions
-Ability to make big beers if desired
-Ability to jump to 10g batches
-10g batches are great when you are ready to start kegging
-Room for stirring without making a mess

Dave
« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 06:20:30 AM by davidgzach »
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Offline anje

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2012, 11:15:26 AM »
I'm considering a red rectangular cooler. What kind of efficiency reduction should I expect if I do this instead of blue?
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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2012, 11:48:01 AM »
I'm considering a red rectangular cooler. What kind of efficiency reduction should I expect if I do this instead of blue?

I'd guess your efficiency would be about -238%.  It would in effect make grain disappear. ;)
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Offline 1vertical

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #40 on: December 20, 2012, 12:20:00 AM »
I'm considering a red rectangular cooler. What kind of efficiency reduction should I expect if I do this instead of blue?

I'd guess your efficiency would be about -238%.  It would in effect make grain disappear. ;)
LMAO thanks for the laff...gud un! BTW, mine is blue but i have lost the braid and settled for
a 6 inch square folded ss screen with cpvc couplers inside to keep it from collapsing.  The thing
cuts so much sparge time out of my brew day....how fast can you lauter?
Thot you said open the valve and let er rip....I vorloff till clear and we run fast...good beer so far!
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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2012, 07:20:20 AM »
I'm considering a red rectangular cooler. What kind of efficiency reduction should I expect if I do this instead of blue?

I'd guess your efficiency would be about -238%.  It would in effect make grain disappear. ;)
Everytime I mash in my orange cooler by beer fridge ends up empty. My net brewing efficiency is terrible!
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #42 on: December 20, 2012, 07:28:31 AM »
"Everytime I mash in my orange cooler by beer fridge ends up empty. My net brewing efficiency is terrible!"


I have the same problem!  Where does all that beer go?   ???
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Offline ajk

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5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #43 on: December 23, 2012, 05:53:38 AM »
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.

I haven't seen anyone mention the coffee lid trick in response to this concern.  Just throw a coffee can lid on top of the grain bed and pour any liquid you want to add to the mash on top of the lid.  The lid will disperse the impact of the liquid.

If you batch sparge then bed depth won't matter and a 10-gallon cooler will work fine for smaller batches.

True, but you may still need to reintroduce liquid into the mash during vorlauf.  I batch sparge, but I use the coffee lid for this vorlauf step.

As for tun size, considering my 48-quart cooler can be a bottleneck for really big beers, I recommend the 10-gallon at least.

ajk

Offline topher.bartos

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Re: 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« Reply #44 on: December 26, 2012, 11:43:54 AM »
I would get the 10-gallon cooler.

Think about it this way, you can use it for smaller batches, yet if you feel it necessary to increase your batch size you can do that as well.
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