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25 Ibs. mash question

I want to try a 5 gallon Russian Imperial. Here’s my problem: the recipe calls for 25 ibs. of grain and I’m using a standard 10 gallon igloo cooler. If I mash at a 1/1 ratio, do you think I’ll be able to pull it off or do I not have near enough room?

You should be able to fit it.

If you have a standard SS false bottom, I know you can fit it. I fact you could mash in at 1.25qts / Lb. That ratio will give you a 9.8 gallon mash, full but very doable.

1.25? Really? 25 Ibs. of grain is gonna displace a heck of a lot of area in that cooler isn’t it?

Well, according to this calculator it will but I’ve never tested it. Cheers!!!

[quote=“Gopher Brewmeister”]1.25? Really? 25 Ibs. of grain is gonna displace a heck of a lot of area in that cooler isn’t it?[/quote]25 lbs of grain mashed at 1.25 qt/lb (7.81 gallons) will take up just under 10 gallons (as already mentioned). So the grain displaces about one gallon per 12 lbs.

Thanks for the help guys. I think I’ll mash a bit thicker just to give myself a little room to increase/decrease my mash temp if a miss by a point or two on the initial strike temp.

I have the same cooler with a SS false bottom and have maxed it out at 26 Lbs @ a 1.15qt / Lb ratio.
However, when you max a cooler like this, you really need to be fly sparging, other wise you would have to do like 3 batch sparges to hit volume.

Is there a disadvantage to batch sparging 3 times other than hassel?

I dont think there is aside from the PITA of sparging three times.

Correct me if I’m wrong but if I have 25 ibs. of grain and mash at about 1:1 give or take then I should yield somewhere around 3.5 gallons on my first runnings. Why not just fill up the tun with 4 gallons of sparge water therafter to get your boil volume? Why sparge 3 times?

Probably be closer to three gallons of first runnings [25/4 - 25/8] = 3.125 gallons. Then yeah, just sparge with up to four gallons and call it done. You’d get a bit more sugar out of the grain if you split the sparge into two equal parts, but why bother?

For some reason I was thinking along the lines of a 10 gallon batch, which would require multiple sparges.

For 5 gallons, you can get by with one sparge.

Should be good, like others said. I just did a barleywine last week with 22lbs of grain in a 9.6 gallon SS pot - losing one gallon of liquid beneath my false bottom. Fit easily. Could have put another 5lbs in no problem.

What are you counting on for efficiency? It’ll be lower than for a normal beer. I’d guess 65% , that’d give you over 1.100 for 5.5gal.

When are you planning on doing this? Let us know how it turns out, I have had similar questions but haven’t tested the capacity of our 10G cooler yet.

I’m estmating my eff. to be about 63%. My smaller beers are usually about 70-75% eff. so I’m planning on really taking a hit. Shooting for a OG of about 1.110. This is my first attempt at a really big beer so I’ll let you know how things go. I’m a bit worried about fermentation with a beer this big. Ambient temp. is going to be around 60 degrees. I figure the cooler fermentation the better (64-66F) for this one. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

It depends on the yeast you’re using, but I’d plan on warming it up to something like 68-72°F once fermentation starts to slow down. On a big beer you really want to keep the yeast active as long as possible, to get the wort all the way to its attenuation limit.

Thanks, My yeast is going to be #1056.

Also, I usually give my wort a shot of pure O2 before pitching (20 seconds or so). Should I lengthen this duration considering the high OG of this beer?

Oh and one more quick question. This there any advantage to partially draining your mash tun for your first runnings (half the wort in your tun) and then adding sparge water instead of completely draining the tun before sparging?

None that I’m aware of… Good luck with your brew! Cheers!!!

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