Author Topic: 5 gallon Igloo mash tun is best for me?  (Read 11037 times)

Offline denny

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Re: 5 gallon Igloo mash tun is best for me?
« Reply #45 on: June 22, 2015, 11:49:01 am »

One problem I have is I do not have software or know how to do fancy conversions for OG calculations. I would like to brew 5 gallon batch Imperials and can't see myself brewing anything above the 1.100 mark. A little more help with be much appreciated! Not sure what kind of grain I'll be using either, as I'm preparing myself to get into all grain. Lots of people recommend 10 gallon cooler over the 5 gallon, but I'd just like to know how big of a beer (with an actually number to show how "big") can a 5 gallon mash for 5 gallon batches

Using a 48 qt. cooler, I can make 5 gal. of a 1.100 beer if I go with 1 qt./lb.  It's a very tight fit and hard to stir.  I'd recommend at least a 70 qt. for what you propose.  That's rectangular, not round.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: 5 gallon Igloo mash tun is best for me?
« Reply #46 on: June 22, 2015, 11:58:50 am »
Using a 48 qt. cooler, I can make 5 gal. of a 1.100 beer if I go with 1 qt./lb.

That doesn't sound right. At 1.09 qt/lb including the grain, you should be able to fit 40+ lb in there and get to at least 1.130. I've mashed 1.120 beers in my 50 qt cooler, and that's for 7 gal pre-boil wort.

Is it possible your cooler is smaller than you think? I mean, if you only look at it from one angle…

Edit: Anecdotally, I've heard some cooler manufacturers use grossly inaccurate methods to arrive at total volume. Including the space above the rim but still "inside" the lid, for example.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2015, 12:22:17 pm by a10t2 »
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Offline 69franx

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Re: 5 gallon Igloo mash tun is best for me?
« Reply #47 on: June 22, 2015, 12:11:35 pm »
Beersmith tools tell me that in theory I could mash 27.5# at 1qt/# for 5.5gall @1.127 in my 50 qt cooler. It says I would have 0.04gallons left empty in the cooler, really not enough room to stir or even work with. It does look like the max in the 50qt though. If I dropped to 5G batch, same 27.5# @ 1qt per pound, it would yield OG of 1.14 again, just in theory.
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Offline Alchemist

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Re: 5 gallon Igloo mash tun is best for me?
« Reply #48 on: June 22, 2015, 12:50:20 pm »
Beersmith tools tell me that in theory I could mash 27.5# at 1qt/# for 5.5gall @1.127 in my 50 qt cooler. It says I would have 0.04gallons left empty in the cooler, really not enough room to stir or even work with. It does look like the max in the 50qt though. If I dropped to 5G batch, same 27.5# @ 1qt per pound, it would yield OG of 1.14 again, just in theory.

Awesome info! Can you please run the numbers for me for a 28 qt cooler. The max grain pounds is 17# at 1.25qt/# and the resulting OG is???? This is the last piece to my puzzle!!!!

I just found a 7 gallon gatorade round water cooler that I think & hope will be just enough space to mash Imperials for 5 gallon batches.

Offline 69franx

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Re: 5 gallon Igloo mash tun is best for me?
« Reply #49 on: June 22, 2015, 12:52:48 pm »
Software says at 1qt per #, you can mash those 17# with 1.42G of extra space for a 5G batch @ 1.086
Frank L.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: 5 gallon Igloo mash tun is best for me?
« Reply #50 on: June 22, 2015, 01:00:06 pm »
You can always bump your OG with DME or sugar for an Imperial style if you can't fit everything in the mash tun.

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Offline Alchemist

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Re: 5 gallon Igloo mash tun is best for me?
« Reply #51 on: June 22, 2015, 01:02:46 pm »
Software says at 1qt per #, you can mash those 17# with 1.42G of extra space for a 5G batch @ 1.086

I see you ran the number for 1qt/# vs 1.25qt/#. Can you up the pound to 20 keeping 1qt/#? Thank you so much, I need to buy that software your using.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: 5 gallon Igloo mash tun is best for me?
« Reply #52 on: June 22, 2015, 01:05:09 pm »
Software says at 1qt per #, you can mash those 17# with 1.42G of extra space for a 5G batch @ 1.086

I see you ran the number for 1qt/# vs 1.25qt/#. Can you up the pound to 20 keeping 1qt/#? Thank you so much, I need to buy that software your using.

You can download it and use it for a 21 day trial for free...
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Offline 69franx

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Re: 5 gallon Igloo mash tun is best for me?
« Reply #53 on: June 22, 2015, 01:05:10 pm »
On my way out of office, and on the road, maybe later when I get home if some else has not already
Frank L.
Fermenting: Nothing (ugh!)
Conditioning: Nothing (UGH!)
In keg: Nothing (Double UGH!)
In the works:  House IPA, Dark Mild, Ballantine Ale clone(still trying to work this one into the schedule)

Offline 69franx

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Re: 5 gallon Igloo mash tun is best for me?
« Reply #54 on: June 22, 2015, 01:05:43 pm »
Or brewersfriend.com has a free version as well with a recipe builder
Frank L.
Fermenting: Nothing (ugh!)
Conditioning: Nothing (UGH!)
In keg: Nothing (Double UGH!)
In the works:  House IPA, Dark Mild, Ballantine Ale clone(still trying to work this one into the schedule)

Offline denny

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Re: 5 gallon Igloo mash tun is best for me?
« Reply #55 on: June 22, 2015, 01:20:50 pm »
Using a 48 qt. cooler, I can make 5 gal. of a 1.100 beer if I go with 1 qt./lb.

That doesn't sound right. At 1.09 qt/lb including the grain, you should be able to fit 40+ lb in there and get to at least 1.130. I've mashed 1.120 beers in my 50 qt cooler, and that's for 7 gal pre-boil wort.

Is it possible your cooler is smaller than you think? I mean, if you only look at it from one angle…

Edit: Anecdotally, I've heard some cooler manufacturers use grossly inaccurate methods to arrive at total volume. Including the space above the rim but still "inside" the lid, for example.

Yep, that's it exactly...the concave lid is counted as part of the volume.  If you're just packing stuff in a cooler that's fine, but when you fill it with liquid not so much.  Believe me, I have plenty of experience to confirm the amounts I posted.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: 5 gallon Igloo mash tun is best for me?
« Reply #56 on: June 22, 2015, 01:40:55 pm »

Yep, that's it exactly...the concave lid is counted as part of the volume.  If you're just packing stuff in a cooler that's fine, but when you fill it with liquid not so much.  Believe me, I have plenty of experience to confirm the amounts I posted.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: 5 gallon Igloo mash tun is best for me?
« Reply #57 on: June 22, 2015, 10:47:07 pm »
Yep, that's it exactly...the concave lid is counted as part of the volume.  If you're just packing stuff in a cooler that's fine, but when you fill it with liquid not so much.  Believe me, I have plenty of experience to confirm the amounts I posted.

Makes sense then; I didn't think about that until after posting. If memory serves (after 10 years of homebrew), that's part of why I went with the 50 qt Cube - it's a full 50 qt liquid volume.
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Re: 5 gallon Igloo mash tun is best for me?
« Reply #58 on: June 23, 2015, 08:04:08 am »
One problem I have is I do not have software or know how to do fancy conversions for OG calculations. I would like to brew 5 gallon batch Imperials and can't see myself brewing anything above the 1.100 mark. A little more help with be much appreciated! Not sure what kind of grain I'll be using either, as I'm preparing myself to get into all grain. Lots of people recommend 10 gallon cooler over the 5 gallon, but I'd just like to know how big of a beer (with an actually number to show how "big") can a 5 gallon mash for 5 gallon batches

With 15lbs of grain, a hot liquor to grist ratio of 1 quart per pound, and an extraction rate of 32 points per pound, which is possible with imported base malt when continuous sparging, one can theoretically achieve an original gravity of 15 * 0.032 / 5 + 1.0 = 1.096.  However, that volume does not allow for the loss of wort that is left behind with hops and break when transferring the contents of one's kettle to one's fermentation vessel.  The biggest 5.75-gallon batch of wort that I have made with my 5-gallon Igloo beverage cooler had an original gravity of 1.072.  That batch was made with 13lbs of grain and a hot liquor to grist ratio of 1.25 quarts per pound. 

Now, to put things into perspective, we are talking about an extraction efficiency of 87% in order to hit the numbers that I quoted above. That extraction rate is not easy to achieve unless one has a well-tuned tun and is experienced with continuous sparging.  An inexperienced brewer risks producing a tannic wort by pushing the extraction rate into that territory. In practice, a 5-gallon beverage cooler is too small for most brewers when attempting to make 5-gallon batches of high gravity wort.