Author Topic: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?  (Read 4543 times)

Offline astrivian

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>5 gallons...how do you all do it?
« 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.
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Offline tygo

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Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
« Reply #1 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.
Clint
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Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline bonjour

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Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
« Reply #2 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
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
« Reply #3 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.



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Offline hamiltont

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Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
« Reply #4 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
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Offline blatz

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Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
« Reply #5 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  :'(
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Offline kramerog

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Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
« Reply #6 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.
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Offline lazyb34n

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Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
« Reply #7 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.

Offline kgs

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Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
« Reply #8 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!
K.G. Schneider
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Offline Matt B

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Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
« Reply #9 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.


Offline The Rabid Brewer

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Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
« Reply #10 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.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
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Offline richardt

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Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
« Reply #11 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.

Offline tygo

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Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
« Reply #12 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.

Clint
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Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline kgs

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Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
« Reply #13 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.
K.G. Schneider
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Offline richardt

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Re: >5 gallons...how do you all do it?
« Reply #14 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).