Author Topic: Combining Batches  (Read 657 times)

Offline In The Sand

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Combining Batches
« on: February 21, 2013, 06:27:30 AM »
Forgive my ignorance, but I have a question regarding how things are done at the commercial level.  Say you can consistently brew your recipes.  You have a 3 bbl system with 7 bbl fermentors.  Can you brew two separate batches in one day and combine the two in one fermentor?  From my research I've found that three 7-bbl fermentors are cheaper than six 3-bbl fermentors.  I would assume you could brew a 3 bbl batch, get it down to pitching temp, pitch enough yeast for both batches, rack to primary, brew the second batch, get it down to pitching temp, then combine with the first batch in the fermentor.
 
Or would you not pitch the yeast until the second batch is in the fermentor and aerate the whole thing together, then pitch the yeast?
Trey W.

Offline majorvices

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Combining Batches
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2013, 10:18:08 AM »
That's how a lot of breweries do it. I have a 15 bbl brew house and 30 bbl fermentors. I have to brew twice to fill one. usually in one dayt but sometimes I will mash and bring the second batch to 200 degrees or so and bring back to boil the next morning.

I pitch my yeast all at one time but some pitch after the first runoff. Like in homebrewing different breweries have different ways of doing stuff.

So are you planning on opening a brewery or are you just curious?
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Offline In The Sand

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Combining Batches
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2013, 10:50:25 AM »
Thanks Major. And I'm in the Business plan phase.
Trey W.

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Combining Batches
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2013, 12:01:45 PM »
You even can tipple brew.

Unlike Major I pitch yeast after first batch I double brew in one day and I am on verge to start tipple brewing. You should not put more wort in the fermenter after 24 hours from pitching. (well you could. Nobody will stop you).

Good Luck
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Re: Combining Batches
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2013, 12:48:59 PM »
You even can tipple brew.

Boy can you. ;D

You really need an HLT, or at least a holding tank for the heat exchanger water. Using the MLT can work as long as you get it cleaned in time, but that makes for a long, hectic day. I pitch 50% more than usual after knocking out the first batch, since I figure the yeast will be roughly halfway through the log phase when the second batch of wort hits 6-8 hours later. If you're going to do that you need to be able to oxygenate inline after the HX to avoid oxidizing the yeast.
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Combining Batches
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2013, 12:51:34 PM »
Dogfish Head has a 100 barrel brewhouse and 600 barrel fermenters, so they're brewing 6 times to fill the big ones. I don't know how many batches they do in a day or how they add their yeast, but they brew day and night when needed.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Combining Batches
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2013, 02:34:46 PM »
If you're double-brewing to fill one fermentor, you're doubling your variable labor expenses on every batch. I suspect some of your other variable expenses (utilities, cleaning supplies, etc) would be slightly higher, as well. So, it might make sense to do that, but keep in mind that double-brewing will affect your contribution margin and your operational leverage.
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Offline euge

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Re: Combining Batches
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2013, 05:16:21 PM »
But how is DFH doing it? I have an ignorance of professional brewing techniques. Certainly they aren't batch-sparging but pumping the mash around etc... Drain the and fill the mashtun and kettle consecutively since the mash takes about as long as the boil should.
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Re: Combining Batches
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2013, 05:55:44 PM »
Drain the and fill the mashtun and kettle consecutively since the mash takes about as long as the boil should.

They probably have a wort receiver and a whirlpool vessel that are before and after the kettle, respectively. With that setup the actual boil time is the bottleneck and as long as you have the fermenter capacity you can knock out a batch every 2 hours, 24 hours a day.
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Offline euge

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Re: Combining Batches
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2013, 06:28:23 PM »
Damn.

That's quicker than I expected!
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Offline nateo

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Re: Combining Batches
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2013, 07:02:43 PM »
I don't remember who it was, but some brewery figured out it's cheaper to brew round the clock than to clean the equipment after every batch and let all the vessels cool off overnight.
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Offline majorvices

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Combining Batches
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2013, 05:33:51 AM »
You even can tipple brew.

Unlike Major I pitch yeast after first batch I double brew in one day and I am on verge to start tipple brewing. You should not put more wort in the fermenter after 24 hours from pitching. (well you could. Nobody will stop you).

Good Luck

Yeah, the reason I don't pitch right away is because I run off the first batch at about 75 or so into the fermentor and use the glycol to lower that temp down into a few degrees below the temp I am targeting, then I run the second batch over at 70-72 and the blending causes both to hit in the mid 60s. If I was to run both off at same temp I'd have to run pumps slower. Simply a way for me to run off faster into the fermentor, saving around 30-45 minutes or so off brewday.

Lots of ways to do it, not necessarily right or wrong.
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Combining Batches
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2013, 06:32:41 AM »
But how is DFH doing it? I have an ignorance of professional brewing techniques. Certainly they aren't batch-sparging but pumping the mash around etc... Drain the and fill the mashtun and kettle consecutively since the mash takes about as long as the boil should.

I don't know all the specifics for sure, but they have 4 giant hot liquor tanks ~200 barrels each. I presume these are holding water at different temperatures. I think they have a mash/lauter tun, kettle and whirlpool. And enough stainless steel piping for your best girl to do her makeup.  Plenty of computer control helps keep the batches flowing through the system I'm sure.  I don't know how often they turn out a batch.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Combining Batches
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2013, 06:50:52 AM »
Bells would crank out batches 24/7 with a 50 bbl system filling 400 barrel fermenters. They have 2 mash tuns on that system. On a tour I heard how often they would lauter, but can't remember. They now have a 200 bbl system added, so the brewers get the weekends off.

Sierra Nevada has a 200 bbl system that fills 800 barrel tanks. That one has a mash tun, lauter tun, 2 boil kettles and a whirlpool. They way they brew they are filling/starting the second boil before the first is done IIRC. They pitch the yeast in the first fill in the tank, and let it propagate in that wort. Don't know the pitch rate.
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