I am looking to get a new cooler to batch sparge and was hoping people could tell me what they like and don’t like about theirs. The cooler I use now is the same 48 qt Coleman you see in the photos on Denny’s website. Just happened to be the one I have always had laying around. The lid on mine doesn’t seem to seal well so I get a lot of heat loss(6-8* for 60 minute mash). Which is why I am looking to replace it. My local target is selling this Igloo for $20.
A couple of things I don’t like about the Coleman is the how the lid is attached. The lid has molded hinges that just sit into holes that are molded into the cooler. I tried taking the lid off once which I think didn’t help the seal all that much. I also don’t like that the lid has small hole in the center of the lid. I feel like stuff can get in there and grow and me not know it.
Couple of things I like about the igloo I am considering are that it has hinges that screw to the lid and cooler. I can easily remove the lid if I wanted. The lid also feels like it has some insulation in it as well which I like. (It seems like a lot of coolers don’t have insulation in the lids, which I don’t understand, and digress). Anyone use this particular cooler? does it hold temp well?
Any feedback on the cooler you use would be helpful, especially heat retention. The good, the bad, and the ugly are all welcomed. Even petty things are helpful!
Just a thought, but maybe you can add some styrofoam insulation with some reflectix tape to the inside of your current lid. Pretty cheap and I bet it will retain heat a whole lot better. With 5 gallon batches I brew, my cooler is never packed that full of grain so I have contemplated doing the same for just a little more insulation.
From my experience, only the expensive coolers have insulation in the lid and I agree with Templar you should insulate. I used greatstuf, poked a few holes in it, and filled the lid. Helped immensely. I think your choice is a good size, works for 5G and 10G batches, and a good price. With the lid insulated it should serve you well. I sent the missus out to find a deal and she found a Igloo Ice Cube like this for $20ish. Best part was there was already a well for a drain and it was a snap to add a bazooka tube. http://www.igloo-store.com/detail/IGL+ICE+CUBE
Putting a piece of aluminum foil on top of the mash stops a lot of heat loss. For small grain bills for a 5 gallon batch I use a 5 gallon igloo drinks cooler I got from Walmart ($22.88). I also use a fine mesh bag I got from NB that fits perfect so no need for any kind of false bottom and the wort is free of grain. I warm the cooler with an hair drier and heat loss over an hour is about 1° The foil helps a lot.
I use a 48 qt. Rubbermaid and 70 qt. Coleman Extreme. Neither has heat loss issues, they both seal well, and both have help up well for years. For the braid, I recommend Lasco brand (part number 10-0121 or 10-0321). If you can’t find it locally you can order from Amazon.
I like mine, it does a reasonable job of holding temps overnight with just a few degrees loss. I can do about 25 pounds of grain, sometimes a little more, but if I’m doing something like a Chimay Blue Label clone that takes 36 pounds, I have to do a split mash.
That looks a lot like one at Morebeer that isn’t S S, but is about $15 cheaper, which would about cover the cost of the kettle screen for inside.
What did you use inside your cooler, kettle screen? false bottom?