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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: astrivian on June 10, 2010, 07:30:55 PM

Title: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: astrivian on June 10, 2010, 07:30:55 PM
I have been brewing 5 gallons, or less, of beer at a time using an old canning pot and a turkey fryer. I have seen some people post on here that they brew 10, 15, 20 or more gallons at a time. How do you do this from an equipment standpoint? Where do you get a vessel big enough to boil 10 gallons at a time (well, plus the sparging, so maybe a 15 gallon boiler)? What are your primaries and secondaries? Do you just split the batch into several 5 gallon containers?

Just FYI, i do extract + mini mash most of the time. Haven't gotten into the all grain thing yet.
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: tygo on June 10, 2010, 09:00:20 PM
I only brew 5 gallon batches myself at the moment.  I'm using a 10 gallon kettle like this:

http://www.williamsbrewing.com/BREWER_S_EDGE_40_QUART_BREWKET_P2366C50.cfm

A lot of the folks that are brewing up 10+ gallons are using converted kegs but there are commercial kettles available in that size although they are pricey.  Something like these for example:

http://www.williamsbrewing.com/60_QUART_BREW_POT_WITH_SIGHTG_P2555C50.cfm

http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/brew-kettles

An item that's definitely on my wish list for the future is a bigger kettle.
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: bonjour on June 10, 2010, 09:41:29 PM
I brew 5 gal batches with a turkey freyer and a round 10 gal igloo and have no desire to upsize
Fred
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 11, 2010, 06:31:07 AM
My batch size is 10 gallons.  Often I keg 5 and bottle 5 for competitions and gifts to friends.

I have a mill with a drill motor to crush the grain, as that saves my arm on a high OG batch.  The system is 3 converted kegs with 2 false bottoms, 3 burners, a pump, chillers, etc.  The chilled wort usually goes into a conical, but sometimes 2 6.5 gallon carboys for primaries.

The mash is done in one of the converted kegs with a false bottom.  I have mashed up to 40 lbs of grain in that.  You can start with up to 14 gallons of wort in the kettle.  You get the fell for avoiding boilovers.  The false bottom in the kettle keeps the hops out of the pump, and recirculating  while chilling will filter a good part of the break material through the bed of hops.



Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: hamiltont on June 11, 2010, 07:04:01 AM
10-12 gallon batch equipment
Barley Crusher malt mill
70 qt Coleman X-Treme mash tun (batch sparge)
15 gallon aluminum pot (brew kettle) w/ball valve
Two 5 gallon pots for mash water
15 gallon conical (homemade from an Inductor tank)
lots of Kegs & bottles
Basement kitchen all to myself
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: blatz on June 11, 2010, 10:20:03 AM
10-12 gallon batch equipment
Barley Crusher malt mill
70 qt Coleman X-Treme mash tun (batch sparge)
15 gallon aluminum pot (brew kettle) w/ball valve
Two 5 gallon pots for mash water
15 gallon conical (homemade from an Inductor tank)
lots of Kegs & bottles
Basement kitchen all to myself

yep that's pretty much it, though I have a blichmann conical, and we don't have basements here  :'(
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: kramerog on June 11, 2010, 10:46:15 AM
The biggest change is not being able to brew in the kitchen because domestic kitchen stoves aren't powerful enough.
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: lazyb34n on June 11, 2010, 12:14:53 PM
i have 3 15.5gal Sanke Kegs setup in a HERMS.  Adding a fourth Sanke to be my new fermenter, up till now i have used (2) 6.5 gal glass carboys.  MY HLT is a 3kw electric heater, my keggle is on a propane burner.  I have one March Pump for circulating and transferring.

I started out doing 5g extract in my kitchen and have slowly been building up my system over the last 2 years.  first got the keggle and burner, then built a MLT out of an old cooler i had.  then i got the HLT and pump.  Last week i built the MLT Sanke, and next week im building the full brew stand with NG Jet burners.  After that ill start getting the 4th Sanke built into my fermentor.

I've made some mistakes along the way, but have been making great beer the entire time.  Now i can make enough beer for 2 cases of 22oz, and a Corny Keg in one shot.  The quality of my beer has really improved since i went all grain, and i can make any type of beer i want too.
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: kgs on June 11, 2010, 02:03:22 PM
I only brew 5 gallon batches myself at the moment.  I'm using a 10 gallon kettle like this:

http://www.williamsbrewing.com/BREWER_S_EDGE_40_QUART_BREWKET_P2366C50.cfm


Huh, pretty good deal on that--and would be a good size for me to move UP to!
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: Matt B on June 11, 2010, 02:23:57 PM
Pretty much the same, I do 10g batches, I use converted kegs for mash tun, boil kettle and HLT, I also motorized barley crusher mill, I'm lucky enough to have a natural gas outlet on the outside of my house for the burner. I have two pumps, with the sheer volume of liquid you almost have to have least one. Currently I do ferment in 2 6g carboys though.

Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: The Rabid Brewer on June 11, 2010, 02:38:52 PM
http://www.williamsbrewing.com/BREWER_S_EDGE_40_QUART_BREWKET_P2366C50.cfm

Huh, pretty good deal on that--and would be a good size for me to move UP to!

Those pots are a great price, but are pretty thin. I personally like the thicker bottomed (tri-clad) ones that most of the brewing retailers sell. It seems that most of these are re-branded commercial grade kitchenware pots that you can find a bit cheaper through kitchen supply places. One such brand is Update International. You will have to install your own ball valve though.

Here's a couple 40 quart examples from a quick random web search for < $100. You can often find some pretty good deals on shipping as well. For bigger batch sizes, they also have larger sizes.

http://www.webstaurantstore.com/40-qt-heavy-duty-stainless-steel-stockpot-with-cover/922SSPOT45.html (http://www.webstaurantstore.com/40-qt-heavy-duty-stainless-steel-stockpot-with-cover/922SSPOT45.html)
http://www.waresdirect.com/products/Restaurant-Supply/Update-International/Stainless-Pot168823 (http://www.waresdirect.com/products/Restaurant-Supply/Update-International/Stainless-Pot168823)

The problem with all these pots (including the ones sold by homebrew shops with ball valves already installed) is that they all favor width over height. The larger sizes are especially fat and this leads to considerable evaporation.

I like the Blichmann better as it's taller than wide (as is the high-end Polarware I believe.) However, these are quite expensive and also don't have the 3 ply bottom. For this reason, when I step up from 5 gallon batches, I'll be going the cheaper route and converting a keg.

Brian
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: richardt on June 11, 2010, 04:15:02 PM
Brian, I'm not sure I follow your logic.  Just being curious.  Why is a narrower kettle better than a wider kettle? 

In my view, a wider kettle presents a larger surface area to the burner and more heat gets transferred into the kettle (let's call it "propane burner efficiency"), and a larger surface area on the top surface ensures a rolling boil and evaporation of not just water, but all the other undesirable volatiles.  I'm not a math guy, so I'm not going to analyze the surface to volume ratio. I just figure countless cooks and kitchenware manufacturers have already done this.

I still do a 60 minute boil with my 20 gallon SS pot (Royal Industries, Inc. purchased on Instawares.com).  I've not noticed any significant "efficiency" in my boiling--it pretty much follows the brewsmith calculations.  In other words, I'm not evaporating off too much water during the boil and having to top off in the fermenter.  Just relaying my experience.
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: tygo on June 11, 2010, 04:17:20 PM

Those pots are a great price, but are pretty thin.

I don't have any complaints with the thickness.  It's sturdy enough for my purposes and heats well.

The problem with all these pots (including the ones sold by homebrew shops with ball valves already installed) is that they all favor width over height. The larger sizes are especially fat and this leads to considerable evaporation.

This is true.  I boil off a little over 2 gallons in one hour.

Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: kgs on June 11, 2010, 05:10:37 PM
http://www.williamsbrewing.com/BREWER_S_EDGE_40_QUART_BREWKET_P2366C50.cfm

Huh, pretty good deal on that--and would be a good size for me to move UP to!

Those pots are a great price, but are pretty thin. I personally like the thicker bottomed (tri-clad) ones that most of the brewing retailers sell. It seems that most of these are re-branded commercial grade kitchenware pots that you can find a bit cheaper through kitchen supply places. One such brand is Update International. You will have to install your own ball valve though.

The thinness of this pots is an issue, but the weight of some thicker pots is a concern for me as well. The decision tree is versus a well-made pot that is hard to lift and a thin pot I have to watch like a hawk to avoid scorching. Trade-offs abound... and I also like the idea of someone else drilling that hole, since you get one chance to get it right. :)

I'll check out those Update International pots, however, since a trip to a restaurant supply store a couple weeks ago showed me that some triclad-bottom pots weren't too heavy.
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: richardt on June 11, 2010, 05:41:54 PM
The thinness of this pots is an issue, but the weight of some thicker pots is a concern for me as well. The decision tree is versus a well-made pot that is hard to lift and a thin pot I have to watch like a hawk to avoid scorching. Trade-offs abound... and I also like the idea of someone else drilling that hole, since you get one chance to get it right. :)

I'll check out those Update International pots, however, since a trip to a restaurant supply store a couple weeks ago showed me that some triclad-bottom pots weren't too heavy.

Tri-clad is worth it.  No scorching.  The water is the significant % of the weight, not the kettle, when full.  A 20 gallon SS Tri-clad kettle only weighs around 35 lbs (dry).  Your kettle will likely weigh less than that (since you'll probably have a smaller kettle).  If you can lift up a child who is 3 years old, you can lift the kettle.  Just use gravity, scoops, or pumps to transfer the liquids.

The mental part is the hardest part of drilling a hole in the kettle.  Just get a weldless SS bulkhead + ball valve and a cheap step drill bit online (capable of drilling a 7/8 inch hole) and do it!  (I shouldn't talk :-X--it took me a month and a half, and three batches, to finally do it.  :-[ But, you get the idea).
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: wilypig on June 11, 2010, 06:00:01 PM
I have the following for 10 gallon batches:
15 gallon converted keg kettle with a hop stopper and valve
60qt cube cooler with slotted copper manifold for mashing
I fly sparge with a pitcher
Turkey fryer burner for outside and combat brewing (Propane)
Italian sauce burner for indoor brewing (Natural Gas)
I ferment in corny kegs with foam controlling agents

My brew partner does 20-25 gallon batches:
30 gallon kettle with hop stopper and valve
two 60qt cube coolers with slotted copper manifold
Fly sparge with a cooler for HLT and sprinkler heads
Turkey fryer burner
multiple Better Bottle fermenters

I have successfully made a 25 gallon batch on my brew partners system. I have also made 2 10 gallon batches in a day on my system.
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: astrivian on June 11, 2010, 06:08:35 PM
My batch size is 10 gallons.  Often I keg 5 and bottle 5 for competitions and gifts to friends.

I have a mill with a drill motor to crush the grain, as that saves my arm on a high OG batch.  The system is 3 converted kegs with 2 false bottoms, 3 burners, a pump, chillers, etc.  The chilled wort usually goes into a conical, but sometimes 2 6.5 gallon carboys for primaries.

The mash is done in one of the converted kegs with a false bottom.  I have mashed up to 40 lbs of grain in that.  You can start with up to 14 gallons of wort in the kettle.  You get the fell for avoiding boilovers.  The false bottom in the kettle keeps the hops out of the pump, and recirculating  while chilling will filter a good part of the break material through the bed of hops.

Hmm. Thanks!

What do you use to heat a 40 quart boiler? I imagine a turkey fryer is not enough.

Oh, and i so wish i could get a connection for natural gas outside! That would be sweet!


Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: tygo on June 11, 2010, 07:50:16 PM
Fred posted earlier in the thread that he does use a turkey fryer and I've seen others say the same thing.

I use one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Bayou-Classic-SP10-High-Pressure-Outdoor/dp/B000291GBQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1276310879&sr=8-1
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: bmilford on June 11, 2010, 07:52:44 PM
I have done 15 gal. batches with a laundry bag from Wal-Mart (to mash in Australian style) and a 20 gal aluminum pot from a discount store, with a propane "Wok" burner on a homemade brew stand, fermented in multiple buckets. Indoors I use two 2000w heatsticks ( best thing yet).
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: astrivian on June 12, 2010, 06:50:46 PM
Hmm. so maybe i could try my hand at a 10 gallon batch. I have three 6 gallon carboys already and i almost never use all of them at once. All i think i would need is the boiler and another primary so i can split the batch. I guess i would need a wort chiller as well, my ice bath would just not work with a pot so huge!

Of course, bottling will suck. I hate bottling.

Question though: I notice the big boilers have a ball valve on them. What do you connect them to? Copper pipe?
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: tubercle on June 13, 2010, 04:36:28 PM
(http://i720.photobucket.com/albums/ww207/tubercle_photo/DSCN1365.jpg)


10 gallons with ease.
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: tygo on June 14, 2010, 07:25:58 AM

Question though: I notice the big boilers have a ball valve on them. What do you connect them to? Copper pipe?

I use a hose barb and regular plastic tubing to run the cooled wort from the pot into the fermenter.
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: hamiltont on June 14, 2010, 11:56:10 AM

Question though: I notice the big boilers have a ball valve on them. What do you connect them to? Copper pipe?

I use a hose barb and regular plastic tubing to run the cooled wort from the pot into the fermenter.
... and some will hook it up to a pump & recirculate while using an immersion chiller & others will add a counterflow chiller to the pump.  All sorts of uses. Just depends on your setup.
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: bearcat on June 15, 2010, 07:33:03 AM
Brew stand is a self welded  3 tier stand using 3 converted kegs w/ 3 propane burners.
grind my grain on a barley crusher with a drill
make my starters on a stir plate
chill with a plate chiller from DudaDiesel
use pure 02 with stone

Ferment in carboys, sanke keg, and plastic containers that Mullerbrau uses on occasion in a temp controlled enviroment

I welded up the handle holes in my MT and BK to go 15 gallon batches and more grain capacity.



Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: weazletoe on June 18, 2010, 03:29:35 PM
  I do 12 gallon batches. I mash in a 70qt Coleman, boil in a 16.25 gallon SS kettle that I got off Amazon for near free, and I heat my water in 7.5 turkey fryers. I have 2 burners. For fermentation, use a combination of 6.5 gal buckets, carboys, and a 15.5 gal demijon.
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: realbeerguy on June 23, 2010, 01:39:01 PM
15 gal converted Keggle, 10 gal ROUND Igloo w/ Phil's False Bottom, 48 qt Coleman cooler for HLT.  boil on a Bayou fryer, tier system is on a Werner scaffold.  Fermented in 2 6.5 gal glass carboys until I got the B3 temp conical 12.5 gal.
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: sutorbrew on June 24, 2010, 08:30:26 AM
I generally do 16.5 gallon batches in my 25 gallon Megapot with a 100qt cooler for a mashtun. I was doing primary and secondary in 6 carboys but recently upgraded to a 27 gallon Fermenator and was able to push my no boil Berliner up to a batch size of 22 gals which seems to be the safe limit for the Fermenator. We were having some issues with larger grain bills and wheats with runoff so we decided to mod the mashtun in the pics below. At this batch size pumps and a Therminator are a must to speed up the brew day. I am now on the hunt for an upright freezer to give the Fermenator a home and do precise temp control and lager fermenting.

Edit. The image link didn't take so you can check out the pics on my website. http://www.igotdrunk.com/gallery/homebrew
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on June 24, 2010, 10:38:20 AM
I brew 5 gal batches with a turkey freyer and a round 10 gal igloo and have no desire to upsize
Fred

+1

5 gallons seems to be the perfect size. All of it fits in the kegs, and I can split into 2-3gal carboys if I want to experiment...


...or maybe I just need more friends?
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: euge on June 25, 2010, 11:19:24 AM
I generally do 12 gallon batches.

Found an aluminum 80qt (heavy duty) on Instawares for less than $100.
Mash in a 70qt Coleman Extreme
Natural gas fired on ring-burners

Heavy-duty 1/2" Cu immersion chiller with an ice-water recirc.
Currently wort is transferred with a gallon pitcher and filtered through a China-cap or sieve. Modifications underway to install kettle-valve for my March-pump to transfer instead.

Ferment in 7.9 gallon buckets inside 40 gallon plastic totes chilled with frozen soda-bottles.

It's easy to step down to 6 gallon batches since it's hard to drink 12 gallons of an experimental brew gone awry...

Here's my ghetto setup:

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_BGa2L64KQdY/S8_6i0AaURI/AAAAAAAAAGU/A1oXxqgMCXs/s512/img_0261.jpg)
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: astrivian on July 07, 2010, 08:57:10 PM
What pumps do you all use for the recirculation?
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: euge on July 07, 2010, 10:43:50 PM
http://www.harborfreight.com/1-4-quarter-hp-115-volt-submersible-water-pump-98342.html (http://www.harborfreight.com/1-4-quarter-hp-115-volt-submersible-water-pump-98342.html)

(http://www.harborfreight.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/370x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/i/m/image_4091.jpg)

I got it for $39....
Title: Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
Post by: kgs on July 09, 2010, 05:40:31 AM
euge, that setup is very "green"! Very little water waste. Even the frozen bottles can be refrozen, I assume. Thanks for posting the pump pic. Adding that to my birthday/Santa list.