Author Topic: Five gallon batches, or go all in on 10 Gallon batches?  (Read 907 times)

Offline James K

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Re: Five gallon batches, or go all in on 10 Gallon batches?
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2018, 11:46:24 PM »
I have a 15 gallon kettle and 8 gallon brew pot. I make 5s but could make 10s if I really wanted (just by moving equipment). I can’t drink that much beer that fast though. Sometimes I struggle with 5 gallons if I am alone. I would just go bigger though if I was you. I would be more consercerned about how I was going to mash if I was you.

If you plan for 5 gallons but the capacity of 10, you can make big beers depending on your set up. I have friends who struggle to make 10 gallons of big beer because they can only mash 20-25 pounds of grain. I can do that easy for 5 gallons but it would be hard for me to makes 10 gallons of a 10% beer.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2018, 08:27:28 PM by jkirkham »
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Offline RC

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Re: Five gallon batches, or go all in on 10 Gallon batches?
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2018, 04:36:03 AM »
I echo many of the previous comments that a 15-gal kettle will give you more flexibility, if you ever want to scale up to 10-gal batches. But this scale-up requires more than just a larger kettle. Brewing larger batches requires a larger mash tun, a stronger burner, a pump and associated tubing with quick disconnects and/or clamps, etc. And unless you go through your beers quickly, 10-gal batches of homebrew are best suited for beers that can sit around for a while, i.e. lagers, darker ales, etc.

Offline jtoots

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Re: Five gallon batches, or go all in on 10 Gallon batches?
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2018, 04:47:06 PM »
I echo many of the previous comments that a 15-gal kettle will give you more flexibility, if you ever want to scale up to 10-gal batches. But this scale-up requires more than just a larger kettle. Brewing larger batches requires a larger mash tun, a stronger burner, a pump and associated tubing with quick disconnects and/or clamps, etc. And unless you go through your beers quickly, 10-gal batches of homebrew are best suited for beers that can sit around for a while, i.e. lagers, darker ales, etc.

I respectfully disagree with a pump being a requirement for a 10 gallon batch (sorry RC, no offense of course!). While I'm chiming in I'll put my name in the "go 15 gallon kettle for 10 gallon batches" hat.  I'm big into split batches described by others, using different yeasts etc. 

Offline coolman26

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Re: Five gallon batches, or go all in on 10 Gallon batches?
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2018, 06:33:01 PM »
I wouldn’t even consider any brew kettle that is less than 15 gal. You can brew any size batch up to 12 gal. I have a 3 vessel rig and many times I brew 20 gal. I give to friends and such. I never brew 5 gal, mostly it is 12. I have a freezer for keg conditioning.  Packaged brew, when done correctly, lasts a long time. I bought a 10 gallon kettle when I started. It hasn’t been used in years. I agree with buy once.


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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Five gallon batches, or go all in on 10 Gallon batches?
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2018, 02:49:22 PM »
Consumption rate would definitely drive decisions for me about what size equipment to buy. I brew a lot of small batches in the 1-3 gallon range. I don't drink as much as I would like to maintain weight and if I brewed larger batches I'd brew way less than I want. OTOH, if I wanted to brew less frequently a larger system would be the way to go.

Really think about how much time you spend drinking at home versus out, how much you drink when you're home and how much you're the kind of person who drinks the same beer over and over. Do you buy the same six pack to keep in your fridge or do you usually look for something new?
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Offline rob_f

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Re: Five gallon batches, or go all in on 10 Gallon batches?
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2018, 03:00:48 PM »
I use a 15-gal kettle for 5-gallon batches 90% of the time.  But when I'm brewing for an event or a party, I'll do 8 or 10 gallons so that I'll still have some beer left.  That flexibility is worth the larger kettle to me.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Five gallon batches, or go all in on 10 Gallon batches?
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2018, 06:25:14 PM »
I have a 15 gallon kettle and 8 gallon brew pot. I make 5s but could make 10s if I really wanted (just by moving equipment). I can’t drink that much beer that fast though. Sometimes I struggle with 5 gallons if I am alone. I would just go bigger though if I was you. I would be more consercerned about how I was going to mash if I was you.

If you plan for 5 gallons but the capacity of 10, you can make big beers depending on your set up. I have friends who struggle to make 10 gallons of big beer because they can only mash 20-25 pounds of grain. I can do that easy for 5 gallons but it would be hard for me to makes 10 gallons of a 10% beer.

See Klackitat Jim thread on and Denny's Experimental Homebrew podcast on iterated/double mash approaches.  We can go bigger ABV than our tuns allow with single or BIAB size constraints, if we get innovative.
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Offline charlie

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Re: Five gallon batches, or go all in on 10 Gallon batches?
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2018, 11:38:17 PM »
I wasted a lot of money on my first 5 gallon system. Three years later I went to 10 gallons and used keggles, which are about the cheapest 15 gallon brew pot you can imagine!

It takes the same amount of time to brew 5 or 500 gallons of beer (except for shoveling the spent grain. lol), so if you like your beer don't mess around with small equipment.

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Offline charlie

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Re: Five gallon batches, or go all in on 10 Gallon batches?
« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2018, 11:41:30 PM »
...  unless you go through your beers quickly, 10-gal batches of homebrew are best suited for beers that can sit around for a while, i.e. lagers, darker ales, etc.

Or you have beer sponges for friends. :-)

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Offline denny

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Re: Five gallon batches, or go all in on 10 Gallon batches?
« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2018, 02:34:59 PM »
In 530 batches, I think I've only brewed a handful larger than 5 gal.  I really have no interest in brewing larger batches.
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Offline chumley

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Re: Five gallon batches, or go all in on 10 Gallon batches?
« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2018, 04:10:08 PM »
I brew 3 gallon batches about once per month. I can barely consume that. I could move to 5 if I took more to parties.

I don’t know how people who brew large batches get rid of all the beer.

I drink a lot of beer.  :o

I brew 10 gallon batches, an occasional 5 gallon batch when I make a RIS, IIPA, barley wine. etc..  Love splitting it with different yeasts.  I just blew a keg of throwback mild brewed with WY1318 that was delicious, but am now looking forward to the WY1469 version that I will tap tonight.

Occasionally I will end up dumping beer that I get sick of drinking, but that is usually the result of brewing 10 gallons of something I really only needed 5 gallons of (like rauchbier), so it is my fault.  Can't go wrong with 10 gallons of pilsner.