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5 Gallon Mashing in a 10 Gallon Cooler

I am most likely going to be getting a 10 gallon mash tun cooler, to be used for mid to low gravity batches. If I went ahead and got a 5 gallon cooler, I probably wouldn’t exceed the capacity anytime soon, but I figured that it was best to go ahead and leave myself room for future, bigger batches. Should I expect any significant heat less from having so much empty space in the cooler in addition to a light grain bill? I know a lot of people use this setup so I was hoping you guys could chime in on the thermal efficiency of doing low gravity 5 gallon batches in a 10 gallon mash tun.

I don’t care for or use the round coolers, so I can’t comment on those specifically. I can tell you that in the 48 and 70 qt. rectangular coolers I normally use, heat loss is not a problem even for 5 gal. 1.050 batches.

Denny, could you comment on why you prefer rectangular coolers?
Just curious as I’m interested in this next step into all grain brewing.

[quote=“masquelle”]Denny, could you comment on why you prefer rectangular coolers?
Just curious as I’m interested in this next step into all grain brewing.[/quote]

They’re less expensive than round so you get more volume for your money.

The opening is larger which makes it WAY easier to stir.

The only reason I can see for using a round cooler is that you really want to fly sparge (for some reason beyond my understanding!). If you batch sparge, a rectangular cooler will always be a better choice.

I use a 10 gallon round for 5 gallon batches. No heat loss, no issues.

I used a 70 Qt Coleman Extreme on exclusively 5 gal batches for some time with no significant heat loss go right ahead. I did notice for some reason that my efficiency went up when I went from 5 to 10 gallon batches without anything else in the equation changing YMMV.

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