Author Topic: Kettle sizes for 10 gallon brewing  (Read 2530 times)

Offline beerdoodle

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Kettle sizes for 10 gallon brewing
« on: July 14, 2016, 12:13:57 AM »
I'm new to brewing, currently doing extracts. Going to switch to all grain next spring. I'm going to be brewing 10 gallon batches, mainly because I'm brewing with my dad and we're splitting everything. For now we're bottling but we are in the process of getting our kegging systems.

Anyway, this question is more for fellow homebrewers that are brewing 10 gallon batches. What size mash tun, lauter tun and boil kettle do I need for brewing 10 gallons? Are 15 gallon kettles big enough, or should I go with 20? I know my dad is interested in brewing some high gravity stuff so we will be brewing some batches with a lot of grains. I have no frame of reference for what's needed. If we were going to stick to 5 gallon batches, I'd probably get 10 gallon kettles. But with 10 gallon batches is a 20 gallon kettle overkill? Should I get a 20 gallon boil kettle and only a 10 gallon mash tun?

Also, which brand of kettles are the easiest to clean?

Thanks in advance,
Seth.

Offline Stevie

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Kettle sizes for 10 gallon brewing
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2016, 12:32:12 AM »
If your are brewing 10 gallons finished, get a 20 gallon boil kettle. Below is a picture of my 15.7 gallon kettle at the start of boil for a 10 gallon batch (11.5 end of boil with 11 into the fermenters). I brew 5 gallon primarily but 10 gallon often enough to require a larger size.



When it comes to the liquor tank and mash tun, you will need to figure that out. 15 is likely fine for a liquor tank and you can certainly go cheap on that. Mash tun will depend on the grain bill. 10 gallons can hold about 24 lbs of grain with space to stir at 1.2 (thick mash).
« Last Edit: July 14, 2016, 12:37:39 AM by Stevie »

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Kettle sizes for 10 gallon brewing
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2016, 01:02:00 AM »
I went with a 15-gallon kettle for 10 gallon batches. As Stevie shows, it's sketchy, and you'll need to watch it like a hawk to prevent boil overs. This can be done though, but you must always watch it.

I opted not to get a 20-gallon to to storage problems, I'm in a condo and the 15 gal. is hard enough to find a spot for as it is.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline RC

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Re: Kettle sizes for 10 gallon brewing
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2016, 02:00:41 AM »
What Phil_M said. I also went with a 15-gallon kettle for my 10-gallon batches. A typical brew with a 60-minute boil needs about 12.5 gallons pre-boil, and there's plenty of room in a 15-gallon kettle for the hot break. It gets a little iffy when you're doing longer boils because of the larger wort volume, but I've never had a problem as long as the boils are 90 min or less.

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Kettle sizes for 10 gallon brewing
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2016, 02:31:43 AM »
To be honest, if I had the space I'd have sprung for a 20-gallon kettle and been done with it. IMO, without a good reason not to, (cost, space) I'd recommend a 20 gallon.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Kettle sizes for 10 gallon brewing
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2016, 03:00:49 AM »
Plus the price difference is negligible at that point.

Offline RC

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Re: Kettle sizes for 10 gallon brewing
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2016, 01:06:08 AM »
To be honest, if I had the space I'd have sprung for a 20-gallon kettle and been done with it. IMO, without a good reason not to, (cost, space) I'd recommend a 20 gallon.

A 15-gal vs. 20-gal kettle is, however, preferable for 10-gal batches for two additional reasons: 1) if you use an immersion chiller, as I do, cooling will be more efficient with the smaller volume, because more beer will be closer to the coils; and 2) a 15-gal kettle is a bit lighter to carry and easier to handle (when empty of course), which is nice when you're an old man like me and you're at the end of a long brew day. I think a kettle is like a mash tun in that you should go as small as possible provided it'll accommodate what you do. And a 15-gal kettle is more than sufficient, and more efficient all around, for 10-gal brews...

Offline Werks21

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Re: Kettle sizes for 10 gallon brewing
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2016, 05:56:28 AM »
Some additional things to keep in mind are thermometer placement and grain bed depth. These would really only be an issue if you find yourself wanting to brew 5 gallon batches for one reason or another. 5 gallon batches in a 20 gallon vessel would have the thermometer very low. Probably too low for direct fire. Electric systems/vessels dont have the height issue. I have a 15 gallon MLT made from a Keg and I located the thermometer based on a 5 gallon session strength mash height. It is pushing the limit as far as height and heat are concerned (its direct fired). The grain bed on a 5 gallon session mash sits pretty low in a 15 gallon MLT and may be out of bounds in a 20 gallon MLT. If your 15 gallon or 20 gallon vessel is "squatier" than a keggle the issues are compounded. If you have no interest in brewing 5 gallons at a time then I suppose this doesnt really apply, but given the popularity of 5 gallon batches I thought I would throw it out there.
Jonathan W.
Snohomish WA