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picnic cooler mash tun, home depot?

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1 picnic cooler mash tun, home depot? on Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:56 pm

I bought the conversion hardware from Brooklyn Homebrew to make an round rubermaid or igloo cooler into a mash tun. Now I need the cooler.

I went to the home depot on Willougby and Nostrand in Brooklyn and the guy told me the only cooler they had was a round 5 gallon cooler at the front of the store. When I got there it was orange and labeled 'home depot' and it looked the same as the rubermaid cooler, but I was not sure if I could use it. Does anyone else know if these home depot coolers are standard and/or where I can get the rubermaid one? I'd like to look at both the 5 gallon and 10 gallon, though i think i can only store the 5 gallon in my apt.

Thanks in advance

chris

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2 Re: picnic cooler mash tun, home depot? on Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:16 pm

5 gal cooler is OK if you're doing average beers. If you, however, decide to brew up a barleywine with 17 pounds of grain or some such, you'll need something bigger.
As for what brand your cooler is, or what color, or whether it has a picture of a pony or a penguin, it really does not matter. What matters is its ability to retain constant temperature of your mash. Shape may have some influence, but I'd not worry too much about it.

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3 Re: picnic cooler mash tun, home depot? on Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:30 pm

I would also recommend getting something bigger. For most of my beers, I could probably make do with a 5gal, but my 10gal is absolutely necessary sometimes. You can also look at other shapes if you have storage constraints; the rectangular shape might help. They work the same.

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4 Thanks on Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:11 pm

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. My main concern was the size of the hole where you attach the valve and also, where to get one in Brooklyn/Manhattan. Sounds like I don't have to worry about the size.

I am afraid you guys are right and if I get the 5 gallon it will be make my brew day harder when doing higher gravity beers, though I normally do smaller batches than standard. And I am buying it to make my brew day easier as well as to keep the mash temp consistent.

I found that you can order the 10 gallon from Ace Hardware online and they will ship it to the nearest store. I'll probably do that and get the 10 gallon.

Thanks again for your responses.

Chris

Dimik wrote:5 gal cooler is OK if you're doing average beers. If you, however, decide to brew up a barleywine with 17 pounds of grain or some such, you'll need something bigger.
As for what brand your cooler is, or what color, or whether it has a picture of a pony or a penguin, it really does not matter. What matters is its ability to retain constant temperature of your mash. Shape may have some influence, but I'd not worry too much about it.

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5 Re: picnic cooler mash tun, home depot? on Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:48 am

Hey Chris,

If you haven't already ordered, check out the Home Depot on 23rd St in Manhattan. You may want to call ahead to that one as they might not always have it. I've seen the 10-gallons there before, though.

There's also the Home Depot in Queens on Northern Boulevard. Might be a bit of a trek but they would definitely have it.

Kevin

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6 Re: picnic cooler mash tun, home depot? on Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:00 pm

There is another Home Depot in Queens in Bulova Shopping center out near Laguardia Airport. I'm sure the folks at any home depot wouldn't object to you quickly unscrewing the stock valve assembly of the the cooler to check diameters. Those things are built to be dissembled and cleaned.

As for gallon size, space is at a premium here in NYC, so I wouldn't recommend going big unless you will regularly use the size. To figure out what you need, take your standard batch, and standard OG (let's assume 5 gal and 1.055 for argument sake), and multiply the volume by the gravity points (5 x 55 = 275). Then, divide that number by a rough average of expected points per pound/gallon yield from grain. Let's just say 35 PPG (points per pound/gallon) are the max possible from your average base malt, and your set-up works at 75% efficiency. So your typical yield is 26 PPG (34 x 0.75). Then, 275 divided by 26 = 10.6 pounds of grain needed to make your standard batch.

Mashing 1 quart of water and 1 pound of grain will result in a final volume of 42 OZ (This is full saturation and any add'l water will only add its own volume). Using the 1qt/lb. ratio, you can expect that 10.6 lbs of grain plus your strike water, will give you a volume of 445.2 OZ (42 x 10.6). Convert that to gallons, and 445.2 / 128 oz = 3.5 gal. That is the total capacity you would need to produce a typical 5 gal batch at 1.055 OG.

This may be affected by whether your mashes are single infusion, step infusion, or decoction. So you should use your final water/grain ratio, and your standard OG to figure out what size tun you would need. For the odd time you want to go higher gravity (barely wines, etc.), you can use extract or adjuncts to add more fermentables.

For a more authoritative explanation, you may want to check out John Palmer's "Sizing the Mash Tun" in the online version of his book "How to Brew":
http://www.howtobrew.com/appendices/appendixD-3.html

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7 Re: picnic cooler mash tun, home depot? on Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:24 am

I've been looking to parse down my equipment. I have a 10gal Home Depot cooler MLT. After checking the specs on the 5 gallon, It's not worth the space saved.

10 gal= 20.6 x 15.8 x 16.6
5 gal= 20.38H x1 4.5W x 13D"

B

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8 Re: picnic cooler mash tun, home depot? on Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:41 pm

I might be too late, but I bought a 10 gallon igloo cooler from Lowes in Redhook. Smith and 9th G/F near the Ikea.

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9 Thanks for your replies on Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:14 pm

Good to know you can get it at that Lowes. Also, i found this Mash Tun Size calculator which lets you vary the water to grain ratio and tells you how big a mash tun you need! cool.

http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml

As it turns out the Home Depot cooler is a rubermaid and it fit perfectly.

What I did was buy a 5 gallon at my local home depot and ordered the 10 gallon from Ace online, which has free delivery to any Ace hardware store. Their service is terrible though, and they never told me when it arrived. When you check online it only shows it as shipped. The store did not call me right away either. They only called after it has been sitting around for days. They told me the best way to do it is to find an Ace hardware store, call or visit and ask them to order if for you. Then they will call you when it arrives and they get to make a buck too. If you do free ship to store they don't make any money.

I might keep both if i can fit the 5 gallon inside the 10


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