5 gallon cooler queston

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5 gallon cooler queston

Postby Gargon » Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:06 pm

was just thinking about using my non converted 5 gallon rubermaid cooler for a partial mash. can it be done? Thinking of doing a single infusion - batch sparge. Also using a grain bag+strainer to seperate grains.
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5 gallon cooler

Postby slothrob » Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:39 pm

That's the cooler I use as a mash tun.
I use a stainless steel water supply line braid to lauter, though.
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Postby Gargon » Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:26 pm

this will be my first time with grains so i guess we'll see how it goes. im sure if i hit the right temps and sparge right it should go as planned.
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Postby conman » Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:26 pm

have the grains already been milled? I have the same homebrewing cooler and it works fine with the stainless braided hose as a screen.
I've never used a graing bag so I cant speak to the effeciency you could expect.
and I think batch sparging would work as well as long as you did less than maybe 8 lbs of grain, but any more than that I think you wont have enough room for the mash out water.
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cooler

Postby Gargon » Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:31 pm

well on brew day i plan on milling once i pick it up they have one there for ya, but no this will be partial mash so main bulk will be extract i just want to peek my head into grains before i take the leap into all-grain (money wise). only issue would be getting the wort out of the cooler.
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5 gallon cooler

Postby slothrob » Fri Oct 02, 2009 7:20 am

The grain bag will work fine for a partial mash. You can always just lift the grain bag out to separate the wort from the grain. Just do it somewhere you can clean up easily afterwards, because it can make a lot of sticky drips.

You can put together a basic stainless braid setup for about $10, once you have the cooler. About $5 for the water supply line, a few cents for some tubing and $1 for a stainless steel hose clamp, and maybe a stopper with a hole if the tubing doesn't fit the valve hole tightly. I "fancied" mine up with 6" of scrap copper tubing and a $5 nylon valve. A bulkhead and ball-valve are nice, but not necessary if you want to get started cheap.

I've actually managed to fit 12# of grain into my 5 gallon tun for a batch sparge. I had to mash a little thick, at 1.25 qt/#, be careful stirring it all in, skip the mashout, and sparge twice, but it worked fine and made great beer.
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Postby conman » Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:24 pm

I've done 12 lbs as well, but I still dont recommend it. if your really thinking about doing all grain in the future, just buy a cheap rectangular cooler and make yourself a bulkhead fitting for it. it's still really cheap and you can put practically as much grain in one of those as you would ever want for a 5 gallon bath.
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