Author Topic: Considering next step  (Read 2011 times)

Offline klickitat jim

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Considering next step
« on: April 24, 2013, 04:12:42 AM »
I'm thinking about my next upgrade. Currently brewing one five gallon batch at a time with 8.5 gallon SS mash tun and boil kettle. Recently started doing two batches on brew day due to timing temps of lagers  in my two stage freezer fermentor chamber. In other words I want them to go D rest and chill to lager temps together. Anyway. ..

I've also heard the debate on sparge vs no sparge. It seems BIAB is resurrecting the idea that once upon a time our brewing ancestors did no sparge. Long story short I'm considering using my 8.5 pots for boil and adding another camp chef explorer dual burner, and two 14 gallon mash tuns. They would sit on a 16" platform behind my boilers. No lifting til its in fermentor :o

So for example, I would start with all the water in the tun. Heat to strike temp. Flame out. Stir in grain. Toss on my handy repurposed yoga mat insulator. Drain to the boil kettle, etc.

Cost is comfortable for me. I assume there will be an adjustment period as I learn efficiency of the system. If I have to up my grain bill a bit its no biggy.  What I gain is less lifting, especially hot liquor. And the big gain is doing two at a time.

Thoughts, comments?

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cornershot

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Re: Considering next step
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2013, 06:59:43 AM »
I like brewing 5 gallon batches rather than 10 gal or more because: 1. I like variety and 2. There's always something to learn and I can learn twice as much as someone who brews an equal volume in 10 gallon batches. I frequently do side by side 5 gallon biab batches. IME brewing 2 batches side by side can be a bit more hectic depending on the variables: cold weather, numerous hop additions, chilling, etc. If you stagger the batches by an hour or so, it will be mush easier to keep track of what's going on. Also, having two 8.5 gal kettles/tuns and two 14s, and 4 burners will give you the versatility in the future to do whatever you want: single 10 gal batches, big beers, parti gyle, 4 simultaneous biab's.     :D
Sounds good to me!

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Considering next step
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2013, 07:41:00 AM »
Thanks. I'm hoping it will have a positive effect on my Denny factor. Best beer, most fun, least work. Right now, waiting 90 minutes or so for the first batch to cool so I can drain the second batch... yuk.  Two at a time would rock.

I want to add a second freezer too for lagering.  Having one that can hold four fermentor at 50-70 and one for storing full cornys at 35-40 would be sweet

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Online Joe Sr.

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Re: Considering next step
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2013, 07:57:57 AM »
I've been doing two at a time for 10 years or more.  Not quite twice the work for twice the beer.  And more variety.  Sometimes I will do two of the same recipe and pitch different yeasts.

It can be hectic at times with different hop additions, but as long as I'm careful and don't start in on the homebrew too early there are no issues.

I use my stove top and do partial boils.  Someday I'll set up the turkey fryer and boil in the yard, but then I'll need two burners so I can continue doing two batches.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Considering next step
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2013, 08:00:56 AM »
Thanks. I'm hoping it will have a positive effect on my Denny factor. Best beer, most fun, least work. Right now, waiting 90 minutes or so for the first batch to cool so I can drain the second batch... yuk.  Two at a time would rock.

I want to add a second freezer too for lagering.  Having one that can hold four fermentor at 50-70 and one for storing full cornys at 35-40 would be sweet

"Friends don't let friends drink bad beer"

Do you have a chiller?  I do back to back brews most brew days and never have to wait 90 minutes for the first to cool down.  I use an immersion chiller to cool the first batch while I heat water and do a mash out on the second batch (I only have one burner).  My second mash of the day can get to be quite long but it seems to work for me.

I probably don't completely understand your setup but definitely would recommend a chiller as your next step if you don't already have one.

Paul
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Considering next step
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2013, 08:11:20 AM »
Ya I have a wort chiller. Seems to take about 90 to get down to 65. I've only done back to back batches twice. Last one o only chilled to 80 then finished in cold crash over night in the freezer set at 45. 

I'll be building a second chiller when I make this move to two boil pots.

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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Considering next step
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2013, 08:22:22 AM »
Ya I have a wort chiller. Seems to take about 90 to get down to 65. I've only done back to back batches twice. Last one o only chilled to 80 then finished in cold crash over night in the freezer set at 45. 

I'll be building a second chiller when I make this move to two boil pots.

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are you stirring or otherwise agitating the wort while you run the chiller? If not try it you should be able to get your wort down to 80ish in 20 minutes or so. Personally that's as far as I take it with the chiller. I let the fermentation fridge take it the rest of the way and then pitch the next morning. I am assuming an Immersion chiller here. If other type disregard
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Considering next step
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2013, 08:27:57 AM »
I'll try that thanks.

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cornershot

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Re: Considering next step
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2013, 08:28:17 AM »
Ya I have a wort chiller. Seems to take about 90 to get down to 65. I've only done back to back batches twice. Last one o only chilled to 80 then finished in cold crash over night in the freezer set at 45. 

I'll be building a second chiller when I make this move to two boil pots.

"Friends don't let friends drink bad beer"

are you stirring or otherwise agitating the wort while you run the chiller? If not try it you should be able to get your wort down to 80ish in 20 minutes or so. Personally that's as far as I take it with the chiller. I let the fermentation fridge take it the rest of the way and then pitch the next morning. I am assuming an Immersion chiller here. If other type disregard

+1 on the stirring/agitation. Rather than use the copper to build another chiller, I'd turn the current one into a double chiller.

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Considering next step
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2013, 08:28:39 AM »
Ya I have a wort chiller. Seems to take about 90 to get down to 65. I've only done back to back batches twice. Last one o only chilled to 80 then finished in cold crash over night in the freezer set at 45. 

I'll be building a second chiller when I make this move to two boil pots.

"Friends don't let friends drink bad beer"

Wow!  90 minutes is a long time.  I suppose it really depends on ground water temp.  This time of year I can still get down to 59-60F with my IC in 30 minutes or so.  Not so easy in July-Sept though.

As Mort said, you could get the first batch down to 80 or 90 and transfer to your primary.  Then let it cool further in the fridge or in a bucket of ice before pitching the yeast.  That would speed the second beer along a bit quicker.

Paul
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Considering next step
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2013, 08:29:29 AM »
I'll try that thanks.

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Don't forget, once the chiller is on consider it the cold side and sanitize well!
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Considering next step
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2013, 08:33:59 AM »
I'll try that thanks.

"Friends don't let friends drink bad beer"

Don't forget, once the chiller is on consider it the cold side and sanitize well!

+1
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Considering next step
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2013, 08:42:42 AM »
I'm a starsan freak. Huge on sanitation. I built this chiller before I ever brewed. Its only 25' of copper.  I think I'll donate it and build two 50 footers for the new system. I'll need a splitter at the hose too so I can run them at the same time if I want.

I've become a fan of cold crash over night then rack off the cold break in the morning. I put my starter in there too and decant before pitching. Then everything is the same temp and raises natural to whatever I set it at.

Anyway the big question was on no sparge, which I gather is no problem

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Re: Considering next step
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2013, 09:03:33 AM »
Hey, Jim, a couple thoughts for ya....

If you mash with the full volume of water, be sure to have a way to monitor your pH.  By using more water, the buffering power of the grains is reduced, making it easier to end up with a pH that's too high.

Get yourself a pump and do recirculated chilling.  You pump the wort out of your kettle and back over your IC in the kettle.  Dramatically reduces chilling time, plus you have a pump which can really save your back moving liquids around.  I initially bought my pump to do recirculated chilling, but found that using it to xfer wort to the fermenter is almost as big an advantage.  You can read about the process here....

http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Considering next step
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2013, 09:26:19 AM »
Thanks. Very interesting stuff. Basically it's just an immersion chiller plus whirlpool?  Not recirculation of cold water, right?

As fast as they claim it is I could get away with just one of those.

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