Author Topic: Smaller Batch, Larger Equipment  (Read 678 times)

Offline flbrewer

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Smaller Batch, Larger Equipment
« on: April 02, 2015, 01:49:08 AM »
So I am considering scaling back my next batch down to 3 or so. Is there any known issues with using my existing 10 gallon MT for a smaller batch.

Secondly, my current BK is 10 gallons and the immersion chiller that I use works with that. Any suggestions on a good size BK if I want to go smaller? 5 gallon?

Offline JT

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Re: Smaller Batch, Larger Equipment
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2015, 02:15:19 AM »
I dunno Justin - for the price of scaling down all your gear, you could brew like 15 - 20 times for free.  And have more beer. 

Offline flbrewer

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Re: Smaller Batch, Larger Equipment
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2015, 02:24:40 AM »
 ^That's a good point. I suppose it's more of a frustration of bottling 5 gallons of beer that I don't love. Welp, back to the drawing board.

Offline JT

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Re: Smaller Batch, Larger Equipment
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2015, 02:58:55 AM »
Keep brewing.  Keep posting. Keep brewing.  Keep learning.  Keep brewing.  Keep reading.  Keep brewing.  It will all come together.  Been there.  Still there at times!

Offline Rattlesnake44

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Re: Smaller Batch, Larger Equipment
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2015, 04:11:33 AM »

^That's a good point. I suppose it's more of a frustration of bottling 5 gallons of beer that I don't love. Welp, back to the drawing board.
One man's trash is another man's treasure.  If you don't like it, odds are, someone will. Find somebody to do bottle trades with. You can get good feedback from having a larger pool of people drinking your beer.
Alternatively, look at moving to kegging. BBQ season is here. Don't like the beer that much? Invite over friends and family and shove it off on them.

Offline koop3700

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Re: Smaller Batch, Larger Equipment
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2015, 10:50:24 AM »
Finally BBQ season I agree this is when i use up some unwanted beers. Pepper and onions add one beer and allow to simmer down for the sausages. Brats get 2, beer breads, pork marinades. Ahhh love the grill the last 8 or so inches of snow are about to be gone trout season just opened and today will be the first 60 degree day in 5 MONTHS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Smaller Batch, Larger Equipment
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2015, 12:34:14 PM »
you should be able to brew 3 gallons on your 5 gallon system.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Smaller Batch, Larger Equipment
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2015, 12:45:39 PM »
I dunno Justin - for the price of scaling down all your gear, you could brew like 15 - 20 times for free.  And have more beer. 

+1.  Keep brewing and before long you'll fine tune things to where you'll be happy to bottle 5 gallons. Or get a keg system and it won't seem like such a chore.
Jon H.

Offline wobdee

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Re: Smaller Batch, Larger Equipment
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2015, 12:48:29 PM »
Or you could just forgo your 10 gal mash tun and go BIAB in your kettle.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Smaller Batch, Larger Equipment
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2015, 12:52:48 PM »
Mash tun is fine. Since you are using a round cooler and batch sparging, the grain bed should be sufficiently thick for clear runnings.

Kettle isn't ideal, but will work fine as well. Only issue you might have is the thermometer not touching the wort.

Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: Smaller Batch, Larger Equipment
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2015, 02:19:35 PM »
Or you could just forgo your 10 gal mash tun and go BIAB in your kettle.

^^This is what I do when I want to brew a smaller batch.
Frank C.

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heart, you brew good ale.'

Offline pete b

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Re: Smaller Batch, Larger Equipment
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2015, 02:22:35 PM »
Do you cook a lot? For me a 5 gallon kettle is indispensable even if I didn't brew. I need it for making stocks, cooking down tomato sauce, corn, lobsters etc.
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Re: Smaller Batch, Larger Equipment
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2015, 01:03:56 AM »
There's an advantage to moving to smaller equipment when making smaller batches. 

6-Gallon kettle that I built for 3-gallon batches



The valve coupling is TIG welded (I dislike weld-less fittings)



False bottom and pickup tube installed



The pickup tube fitting is 37-degree AN flare, not compression (the pickup tube goes on the fitting, not in the fitting)




6.75-gallon kettle that I built for 3-gallon batches (5-gallon mash/lauther tun and 5-gallon hot liquor back)



It's TIG welded as well (this kettle also uses a 37-degree AN flared pickup tube)



Yet another custom Jaybird false bottom