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Cooler size?

I’m looking into getting a cooler to get into All Grain brewing next year and there are some pretty nice sales going on this weekend. I’ve read Denny’s Cheap and Easy method through several times and that’s where I’d like to start. The question is what size cooler should I get? 36 qt 52 qt or 70 qt? Strangely enough the 70 qt cooler is the cheapest option it seems but I’m concerned about headspace potentially allowing heat loss over the course of the mash?

I am only doing 5 gallon batches extract/partial mash at the moment with an average OG of 1.06ish but would like it to be flexible enough to be able to brew the RIS I’m planning on trying this winter which will be 1.10 or so after a few test batches to better understand process. Any tips?

:cheers:
Rad

I’ve got a 72 qt cooler and I never get close to using all that space. Figured it was better to go big than to not have enough space. But turns out that is MUCH too much space. I’d recommend something around 50 qts as ideal for 5 gallon batches, and you can fit a RIS grain bill in 50 qts no problem.

By the way, I use Denny’s method and highly recommend it. Good choice.

I would go with the 52. I have a 38 quart that handles beers up to about 1070 okay, but it’s hard to mash in a bigger beer.
I solved that by buying a 70 qt for those beers :mrgreen: It’s too big for my average beers, though, and I don’t use it very often.

I have a 52 quart cooler, and it works pretty well. It’s more than needed for just about any five gallon recipe, but not obscenely so. It has enough headspace that I lose a little mash temperature with small beers, but it holds temps pretty good for the bigger beers.

I use a 48 qt. about 75% of the time, but I recommend getting a 70ish qt. if you think you’ll ever do batches larger than 5 gal. or higher than 1.000 OG. I have found no downside to using a 70 qt. for smaller batches.

Ok, thanks for tips, the 70 qt coleman extreme was $32 shipped to my door so I ended up trying that option because that was too good of a price to resist. :lol: If I notice any issues I can always get a smaller one in the future.

:cheers:
Rad

FWIW, I keep three different mash tuns and I always try to use the smallest one to do the job such that the cooler will be the fullest. I have a 48 Ice Cube, a 60 Ice Cube and a 120 Polar cooler.

[quote=“Radagast”]Ok, thanks for tips, the 70 qt coleman extreme was $32 shipped to my door so I ended up trying that option because that was too good of a price to resist. :lol: If I notice any issues I can always get a smaller one in the future.

:cheers:
Rad[/quote]

I think you and I have the same cooler. I replaced my old warhorse last year with the 70qt extreme and was pleasantly surprised to find that my weenie milds were only losing ~2F over the course of an hour. Wish I had gotten an extreme years ago, it’s a fine cooler.

I’ve a 52 quart Coleman extreme that holds 5 gallons very easily. I use a blanket on top to hold the heat in and it’s effective. I hope you got the blue color!!

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