Author Topic: Rubbermaid vs. Igloo Cooler  (Read 32237 times)

Offline richardt

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Re: Rubbermaid vs. Igloo Cooler
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2011, 06:58:40 PM »
Recipe used 33 lbs grain--filled it up to the 8.5 gallon mark when dry).  Talk about a thick mash.


I'm glad I read this.  I am doing my second AG brew this weekend with a 10 gallon round Igloo and have a 21.5 lb grain bill.  Did you add the grains first and then the water on this one?

I usually do.  If for no other reason to make sure that I can get all the grains in the 10 gallon Igloo mash tun before adding water.  You'll find there's more than one way to do this step and they all have their pro's and con's.

You'll be fine with a 21.5 lb grain bill, just don't have the mash go above the 9 gallon mark in order to make it easier for you to stir w/o making a mess

Offline cmuzz

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Re: Rubbermaid vs. Igloo Cooler
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2011, 02:28:57 PM »
Thanks so much for all the feedback. Decided to convert my 70qt Coleman rectangle. Figure, not only does that give me all the options, but I already have 2. One I'll keep as my cigar Coolador, but I will never again be filling 2 coolers with cigar boxes. All my cigar collecting money is now devoted to malt & grains. After all beer is much healthier than smoking.  ;D
Caesar M.

Offline dak0415

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Re: Rubbermaid vs. Igloo Cooler
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2011, 02:47:35 PM »
THAT's the spirit!
Dave Koenig
Anything worth doing - is worth overdoing!

Offline dllipe

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Re: Rubbermaid vs. Igloo Cooler
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2011, 03:43:37 PM »
Recipe used 33 lbs grain--filled it up to the 8.5 gallon mark when dry).  Talk about a thick mash.


I'm glad I read this.  I am doing my second AG brew this weekend with a 10 gallon round Igloo and have a 21.5 lb grain bill.  Did you add the grains first and then the water on this one?

I usually do.  If for no other reason to make sure that I can get all the grains in the 10 gallon Igloo mash tun before adding water.  You'll find there's more than one way to do this step and they all have their pro's and con's.

You'll be fine with a 21.5 lb grain bill, just don't have the mash go above the 9 gallon mark in order to make it easier for you to stir w/o making a mess

That's good to know.  I did 1.25/lb which was 6.75 and everything worked out great.  It's good to know the 9 gallon mark is the max.  Now, I just need (learned the hardway) that I needed a blow off tube.
I don't drink a lot but I do drink frequently.

Offline 56-desoto

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Re: Rubbermaid vs. Igloo Cooler
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2011, 01:35:20 PM »
Good points by everyone.  It all depends on your batch sizes, grain bill, and brewing techniques--cmuzz, you'll have to figure it out for yourself as to what would work best for you.  Some good rule-of-thumbs would be: 1.)  for efficient grain bed lautering, the width should exceed the height, and 2.)  a MLT that is approximately "double the volume" of your batch size is ideal, i.e., a 10 gallon round Igloo cooler for a 5 gallon batch size, or a 20.5 (82 Qt.) rectangular cooler for a 10 gallon batch size.  The "double the volume" ROT also applies to BK size, as well.

I batch sparge.  Almost always do single infusion or progressive (step) infusions like mash-in and mash-out.  I don't usually fly sparge and I rarely cereal mash or decoct.  One of the reasons was the limited capacity of my 10 gallon Igloo cooler when doing 10 gallon batch sizes.  I did a weizenbock last month in the Igloo; I think the OG was around 1.090.  Recipe used 33 lbs grain--filled it up to the 8.5 gallon mark when dry).  Talk about a thick mash.  Couldn't hardly stir the mash w/o making a mess. Lautering sucked (2+ hours) even with 1 lb of rice hulls.  Mistake.  Still turned out very well--but I can't get back the 2+ hours I wasted waiting for the lauter to finish.

I don't pour boiling water into my Igloo coolers--which might be stressing the plastic and causing the crack.  My strike water usually is around 165F and it goes into the MLT (whether Igloo or Coleman cooler), then grist gets added and drops the temps down to the low 150F range.  Hottest temp for sparge water might be 180 to 185 F when I'm transferring from the BK into the Igloo (HLT) in order to free up the BK for receiving the first runnings from the MLT. Nothiing hotter goes in the Igloo.  I also don't use bleach or strong chemicals on the plastic coolers--just water from the hose.  They are"pre-boil" equipment, so there's no need for the harsh chemicals.

I have a similar problem. I wanted to replace my 3 Gal Igloo Lauter Tun with a 10 Gal as I'm planning to go all grain. I'm buying 1 piece at a time & the Lauter Tun seems the place to start. I was researching prices & comparing the Rubbermaid to the Igloo. I noticed a disclaimer on the Rubbermaid, "Not Suitable for Hot Liquids."
I switch to the Igloo, same price & ordered it from an On-Line Store. I went to the Igloo Mfgr Site & used the Contact Us to ask if there was a problem with 160 Deg Liquids in the Igloo Cooler. 2 days later, after I had ordered the Igloo, I recieved an e-mail from Igloo Support saying that the Igloo Coolers were not suitable for Hot Liquids, That I would void my 1 year warranty & that the Liner or Shell would split because the Foam would expand with the Heat.
While I don't care much about the 1 year warranty, what good are they ayway, I'd rather not have the Liner split a spoil my Batch or the Shell split & be unsightly.
I've seen this same cooler (Yellow with Red Igloo & Red Trim) in many System Pics so how bad could it be? Then I saw at least 1 post here saying that there had been splits.
So, what say you all? Is there an issue with Igloo & Liner/Shell Splits if I am using Strike Water at 170 or less?
One other thing: I hate this Reply Editor. The screen jumps around the entire time I'm typing. Good thing I don't look at the screen until I'm done typing. :o

Offline richardt

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Re: Rubbermaid vs. Igloo Cooler
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2011, 05:11:44 PM »
Some of us compose our longer comments on Word or similar word processing program, and then cut and paste into our reply for that very reason.

Back on topic:
I've used the 10 gallon orange Igloo coolers with white lids (bought at Home Depot). 
I have two of them:  one is the HLT, and the other is the MLT.
I don't know if they're made any differently than the yellow and red coolers.
After 1.5 years, I've encountered no splits in the lining, and I've put water as hot as 185 to 190 F in the HLT.

I usually just use the HLT for my sparge water (initially around 175 F when it goes into the HLT, and when it stabilizes, it settles around 170 F by the time I use it within an hour of pouring it into the HLT).

Using two coolers allows me to more quickly heat up the mash in water in the BK and get the mash started by pouring the water and grains into one cooler (the MLT).  Then, about half-way through the mash, I heat up the sparge water portion and pour it into the second cooler (the HLT), so it is ready to go.  The remaining mash-out water is then quickly heated to near boiling temps and added to the mash at mash-out.  This frees up the boil kettle to be moved into position (gravity system) and receive the first runnings right after vorlauf is completed.

Probably just as importantly is the fact that I only use water to rinse out and clean the coolers when the brew day is over.  No harsh chemicals are necessary.

Having said all that.  I've switched to using a rectangular 82 qt (20.5 gallon) cooler as my MLT. 
Lautering/sparging is so much easier (i.e., faster) now.
You should be able to acquire one this size for cheap (maybe even "free") as everyone seems to have one of these.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Rubbermaid vs. Igloo Cooler
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2011, 11:12:16 AM »
I have all three typical MLT's - the 5 and 10 gallon cylinder, the rectangular cooler, and the converted keg with false bottom.  I get my best efficiency from the rectangular one, but I like to use the converted keg in the summer when temperature drop is less of a problem, since hosing it out and treating it a little rougher is no cause for concern.  I use the rectangular one in the late fall and winter when holding temp is tougher with the uninsulated keg (though I have rigged up an insulated jacket to velcro fasten around it and I can always fire up the burner and stir....).  Just my 2 Lincolns.
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