Mash tun and HLT cooler recs

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Ward Chillington, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    #1 Ward Chillington, Feb 2, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
    I noticed my igloo cooler starting to show wear and tear from the hot water it is getting filled with. Thinking a new tun is in my future, what should I be considering? Does one manufacture make a better unit for hot use?? What should I be thinking about? I saw one of the orange Rubbermaid{?} units for cheap today and thought …..hmmm....deal or dud?
     
  2. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    10 gallon yellow igloo water cooler here. Seems to be holding up well. I melted the lid a bit getting too close to the burner lol. I'm assuming you have an ice chest. I like my round cooler with a false bottom.
     
  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Ditto - 10 gallon Igloo. Seems to be tough as nails - I don't know how you eroded yours away....
     
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  4. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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  5. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    I have a 48 qt rectangular cooler. Bazooka screen for running off. It's always worked well. I throw a blanket over it for extra insulation during the mash, it holds temp well. Usually only drops 1 or 2 F over an hour.
     
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  6. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    Yep, your ubiquitous blue rectangle cooler is what I repurposed for the a tun and yeah, a round one was what I was planning on using because the false bottom ability and footprint. I imagine that that method is more efficient than my PVC manifold, virtually fail safe on a stalled sparge.

    Hogarth, I too have thrown a blanket over mine for extra insulation during the mash...great little trick in the cold weather.

    Nosy, the best way I can describe the wear and tear is a bubbling up of the liner plastic....much like a blistering effect...large blisters an inch or 3 in a few places. It is more than likely from water that is a little too hot as I am prepping the tun for the mash. I'm taking a tip from when I want a thermos to stay hot for a long time, fill it with some boiling water before putting your coffee in it.
     
  7. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    I add the water to the mash. That may be a way to extend the life of the cooler as they aren’t designed to hold boiling water. I usually make a recessed area in the mash, then start adding strike water and mixing as I go. Here’s a pic of my mash tun after 35+ brews.

    4978037A-6B4C-417D-AE86-C7845AA79171.jpeg
     
  8. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Boiling water is probably the problem. I preheat my cooler tun by going over my calculated strike temp 5 degrees or so and allowing that to preheat the tun. It's plenty hot enough to preheat and I usually have to stir that for a minute or two to get it to strike temp before adding my grains. I will say, the round coolers like the ones I've seen at Home Depot, do seem to be better built insulation wise. They seem more solid when I've looked at them.
     
  9. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    I will have to look at one of them...see who makes it for Homer. I took a look again at the ones I saw in the local IGA and they are Rubbermaid and only 5 gals. My LHBS has the yellow and reds on the shelf that I will have to start rationalizing...er...I mean socializing..yeah...that's the ticket.... socializing with the wife....Hmmmmm Valentines day is about red things...right??

    Let's talk false bottoms..what's the consensus there?
     
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  10. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    If you’re buying a round cooler, either a bazooka type or one as I have in the photo above.
     
  11. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Pretty sure the HD coolers are Rubbermaid.
     
  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Jawohl! The industrial model.
     
  13. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    Maybe just add heated water, not boiling water, for preheating? If you add .160-170 degree water it shouldn't hurt the cooler and it will add some heat to it. Might keep it from bubbling or delaminating.
     
  14. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I would just go with a stainless steel pot, you can add insulation to it and it will last a life time
     
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  15. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I dump boiling water in mine frequently with no ill effects.
     
  16. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    Happy Valentine's Day to me! LHBS did me a solid and beat Amazon! :):):)
     
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  17. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    It's not real until we see a picture
     
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  18. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    20190209_124822.jpg
     
  19. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Hahahahahaha. Gonna get lucky
     
  20. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Just checked and I've had this old Rubbermaid 10 gallon since Dec. 2010. Starting to look a little tattered inside, but will likely be good for a few more years. It holds mash Temp within a degree for an hour.

    Rubbermaid.jpg
    One feature I really like is the screw on lid. I use a BIAB bag in it and can lift it up off of the bottom and screw the lid on it to hold and let the bag drain after sparging to get pretty much all the wort. The elbow is so close to the bottom that I've got almost no dead space.
     
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