Author Topic: 5 Gal Mash Tun  (Read 1536 times)

Offline mmuniz276

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5 Gal Mash Tun
« on: October 24, 2014, 10:06:42 PM »
I came across a 5 gallon water cooler at work that is no longer in use. Is 5 gallons to small? I see most mash tuns about 10 gains. Whats ur guys thoughts?

Offline Stevie

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Re: 5 Gal Mash Tun
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2014, 10:29:05 PM »
You can make it work. Will hold about 10-12 lb of grain depending on the thickness. Free plus a $10 to make it into a mashtun sounds good to me.

Offline GolfBum

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Re: 5 Gal Mash Tun
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2014, 02:23:09 AM »
I had a 5 gallon cooler that I made into a mash tun before upgrading to a 10 gallon cooler. It worked great for beers up to about 7ish %, which will work for most styles. I thought it worked out fine for the time I used it. I am now using it as my berliner weiss mash tun.

Offline erockrph

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Re: 5 Gal Mash Tun
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2014, 03:05:30 AM »
It's perfect for 3-gallon brewing, if that's something that interest you at all.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: 5 Gal Mash Tun
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2014, 03:38:24 PM »
When I made my mash tun I went with a ten gallon cooler because everybody insisted I would want to do bigger batches in the future and the extra size would come in handy. In five or so years I have not brewed larger than a 5.5 gallon batch. In retrospect I should have started with a five gallon cooler.

Definitely take it from work if it isn't going to be used. If you don't have a use for it I am sure some other brewer in your area will gladly take it off your hands.
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Re: 5 Gal Mash Tun
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2014, 11:45:12 PM »
In my humble opinion, a 5-gallon beverage cooler is the perfect size for normal gravity 5-gallon batches when continuous sparging, as it provides for a better bed depth than a 10-gallon beverage cooler.  A 5-gallon beverage cooler also makes for a good 3.5-gallon normal and high gravity tun when continuous sparging. That being said, you will probably opt for batch sparging, which is will work with just about anything that will hold temperature and take some kind of straining device.  With batch sparging, ease of stirring should be factored into the equation.  It's easier to stir in a picnic cooler than it is a beverage cooler.

Offline mmuniz276

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Re: 5 Gal Mash Tun
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2014, 03:57:20 PM »
Thanks guys, Awesome info. I am going to home depot today to buy all the parts to finish it off. Thanks agian

Offline stpug

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Re: 5 Gal Mash Tun
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2014, 12:09:43 AM »
I use a 5 gallon water/beverage cooler for every brew and my batch size is 5.25G into the fermenter. I have a 10 gallon water cooler downstairs complete with manifold, 3-piece ball valve, and the works - just haven't found a need to bust it out :D. I've done batches ranging from 2.9%-10.4% ABV with the majority being in the 5-8% range, using only my 5 gallon MLT. I guess what I'm trying to say is: a 5 gallon water cooler is a perfectly capable MLT. My absolute max grainbill in the 5G is 15 lbs, but it's a workout.

Offline colinhayes

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Re: 5 Gal Mash Tun
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2014, 12:35:52 AM »
I can fit my smaller beers into 5 gal of volume of my 10 gal cooler if they're single infusion. Multi steps won't work. I end up having to decoct larger beers because I'd run out of volume if I infused... even just going 131-150-170.

Offline stpug

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Re: 5 Gal Mash Tun
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2014, 02:42:17 PM »
Very good point about step mashing in 5G cooler. I am able to step mash in my 5G cooler but my grainbill generally needs to be no greater than 10 lbs. For me, this can still translate to an ~6% beer and most recipes that I would step mash would fall at 6% or under. I have had to implement a quick decoction for the final mash step once or twice, but part of that was about learning :D

Offline colinhayes

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Re: 5 Gal Mash Tun
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2014, 04:44:03 PM »
Yea, and if you run out of volume for the mash out, decocting is easy as you can just drain off the amount you need rather than having to scoop and measure.

Offline denny

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Re: 5 Gal Mash Tun
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2014, 06:41:44 PM »
Yea, and if you run out of volume for the mash out, decocting is easy as you can just drain off the amount you need rather than having to scoop and measure.

Or you can just skip the mashout.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: 5 Gal Mash Tun
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2014, 07:06:31 PM »
Yea, and if you run out of volume for the mash out, decocting is easy as you can just drain off the amount you need rather than having to scoop and measure.

Or you can just skip the mashout.

Except for the rare occasion when I overheat my sparge water, I don't mash out, eitherftp://
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