Author Topic: Coolers for All Grain Brewing  (Read 2150 times)

Offline hbrewer

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Coolers for All Grain Brewing
« on: January 15, 2011, 06:28:32 PM »
I am trying to dive in to all grain brewing from extract and I have been looking at coolers to purchase.  Eventuallly I would love to be able to get to a three keg system with pumps but that really is not in my budget at this time.  I am looking in to a gravity fed system and want to use a rectangular cooler as my MLT.  My ultimate goal is to brew 10-12 gallons at a time but will probably start off with 5 gallons.  That being said I have my eye on the Coleman 70 qt Xtreme Cooler.  Walmart and Amazon have this for $40.00.  Does anyone have this one in particular and are there any thoughts on the size of the one I am looking at??  I think the cost is reasonable for the size. . . thoughts?

Offline hokerer

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Re: Coolers for All Grain Brewing
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2011, 06:34:18 PM »
Lots of folks use the Coleman Xtreme (myself included) and love them.  The drain channel that's built in is ideal for sparging and you end up with almost zero deadspace.  As for the size, mine is the 36 qt which lets me brew about as high a gravity beer as I want but I only do 5 (actually 5.5) gallon batches.  The 70 qt will give you plenty of room if/when you move to 10 gallon batches and the extra size really won't hurt you with 5 gallons.
Joe

Offline Mark G

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Re: Coolers for All Grain Brewing
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2011, 07:11:01 PM »
I use that exact same cooler with a stainless steel braid and couldn't be any happier.
Mark Gres

Offline maxieboy

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Re: Coolers for All Grain Brewing
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2011, 07:18:16 PM »
70 qt. Coleman Extreme w/copper manifold here. Couldn't be happier. It's a MLT marketed as a cooler!
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Offline hbrewer

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Re: Coolers for All Grain Brewing
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2011, 07:20:18 PM »
Has anyone seen the cooler cheaper than $40 for the 70 qt?

Offline maxieboy

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Re: Coolers for All Grain Brewing
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2011, 07:24:34 PM »
Haven't been looking. Got mine around the time they came out. $24.   :P
A dog can show you more honest affection with a flick of his tail than a man can gather through a lifetime of handshakes." Gene Hill

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Offline Malticulous

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Re: Coolers for All Grain Brewing
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2011, 08:06:29 PM »
Here is my xtreme 52



I have a 70 but have not needed it yet.I used a 60 qt Gott before and it lost a lot more temp, so did the 20 qt Rubbermaid water jug I used before that. This one drains completely  without siphon too.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2011, 08:13:38 PM by Malticulous »

Offline hbrewer

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Re: Coolers for All Grain Brewing
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2011, 08:39:21 PM »
That set up looks nice.  If you dont mind sharing what is that made up of.

Offline tygo

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Re: Coolers for All Grain Brewing
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2011, 06:04:13 AM »
I use the 70 qt coleman xtreme as well.  I converted it using these instructions:  http://brewing.lustreking.com/gear/mashtun.html

Clint
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On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline Mark G

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Re: Coolers for All Grain Brewing
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2011, 07:05:43 AM »
Has anyone seen the cooler cheaper than $40 for the 70 qt?
I think I paid around $35 with free shipping through Amazon. That was about 6-7 months ago.
Mark Gres

Offline bassriverbrewer

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Re: Coolers for All Grain Brewing
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2011, 07:53:18 AM »
Any Disadvantage to using the 10 gal round Igloo or Rubbermaid water cooler?  Does anyone know how well they hold heat as compared to the colman

Offline Mark G

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Re: Coolers for All Grain Brewing
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2011, 08:00:47 AM »
Any Disadvantage to using the 10 gal round Igloo or Rubbermaid water cooler?  Does anyone know how well they hold heat as compared to the colman
I have a round cooler in addition to my Coleman Xtreme, but I stopped using it. It holds heat great, I rarely lost more than a degree during an hour mash. I was just tired of running out of room and having to adjust mash thickness to compensate. It was also more prone to stuck mashes due to grain bed depth it seemed. I haven't had that problem with the square cooler.
Mark Gres

Offline pfooti

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Re: Coolers for All Grain Brewing
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2011, 11:30:31 AM »
I use a 10gal rubbermaid round cooler. Didn't particularly choose it over the coleman xtreme for any reason other than random chance, I suppose. I'm quite happy with mine though- I put a braid ring manifold in there (anchor both ends of the braid in a a T junction, basically, it's discussed in How To Brew by Palmer although there's some tweaks to his design that are needed), so I can batch or fly sparge.

Offline kgs

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Re: Coolers for All Grain Brewing
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2011, 01:30:40 PM »
Has anyone seen the cooler cheaper than $40 for the 70 qt?
I think I paid around $35 with free shipping through Amazon. That was about 6-7 months ago.

Amazon has it right now just under $40 with free shipping. Their prices for items tend to bobble up and down. I saw some on sale at the end of summer... kind of long to wait, though!
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Offline richardt

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Re: Coolers for All Grain Brewing
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2011, 03:43:52 PM »
The 10 gallon round Rubbermaid/Gott/Igloo coolers hold heat very well and are easy to convert (plastic spigot unscrews and you can then assemble a SS or brass spigot in its place).  10 gallon round cooler costs about 32 bucks at Lowes or Home Depot.

You might be better off with a rectangular cooler if you want to do 10 gallon batches and/or high gravity brews.  The 10 gallon round cooler does suffer mash tun space limitations and grain bed compaction with high gravity brews because the height of the grain bed (12-18 inches) exceeds the width (12 inches).  Result is thicker mashes, and slower lautering times and the occasional stuck mash.

See the "batch sparge theory" thread for more discussion, if interested.