Meet the Coleman 58 QT Xtreme 6 Marine Cooler. It was supposed to be my new large enough to make whatever I want cooler. But before I even use it for its inaugural brew session, I think I have outgrown it. Not really but it is going to be pushed to its limit for the upcoming 5 gallon batch of 13% ABV barleywine. This barleywine will only use the first runnings so my efficiency will be lower than if I were to sparge like normal. This cooler will allow me to make 10 gallon batches of typical 7% stuff and 5 gallons of ultra high gravity 12+% stuff.
It does not hold the claimed 58 Qts /4 = 14.5 Gallons worth of liquid. The specified values on cooler are volume of solid items not fill me to the brim volume of liquid values. The lid helps hold more solid items, so this makes this more like a 14 Gallon insulated vessel. Below I have some pictures of how I attached a SS 1/2″ 2-PC ball valve and SS 1/2″ male NPT to 1/2″ hose barb. The ball valve assembly attaches to the weldless cooler bulkhead kitI purchased from Wayne at Bargain Fittings. The kit is comprised of a weldless bulkhead with 2.0″ thick nipple meant for use with thick walled coolers. I joined the bulkhead to a 1/2″ NP coupler and then to SS mesh braid. My old MLT I had installed a false bottom, but in this new design I opted for the mesh hose braid. I will report back after I use it how i feel about the braid. I am expecting to squeeze 28# of grain and 12 gallons of water into the cooler, which from my calculations will max this thing out. If there is any water that I can not fit due to overflowing I will add it will my vorlauf.
Above is my new MLT filled with 14 gallons of PBW and hot water for its initial cleaning. It is all setup, squeaky clean, and ready to use in the morning.
This is a closeup of the ball valve with a high temp silicone hose attached to the 1/2″ SS hose barb. I dont know why, but for some reason I forgot to include and interior shot showing the rest of the cooler fitting and the hose braid. I will try to remember to do so later.
I wanted to include a photo showing how much insulation this bad boy actually has between its walls. Long story short, my coleman arrived defective, there was a corner that the insulation did not expand into, and the sidewall was dented in. Coleman’s customer service replaced my cooler for no cost under the constraint that I cut the old one in half and render it useless. They needed me to photograph the destroyed unit for there records, and I think it would look cool here.