Thank you all for the input! I'm currently doing 12 gallon batches of ale. By the time I primary then secondary ferment plus rack to my bottling bucket, I'm down to 10. I hate loosing 2 gallons but I try to stay away from the trub in the bottom of the pails during each transfer. Frankly, that's what I hate with the bukets and carboys...the transfers that take place between primary and secondary. I always mix 1/2 from one bucket into one carboy and the other 1/2 from the second bucket. Then do it again for the second carboy. I want both carboys to produce the same result in the end (for good or bad) and I'm freaked out over the poss. of contamination. Although I haven't totaly wrecked a batch in three years, if I keep going this way it's bound to catch up with me. As for the water useage (municiple system), I have to sanatize the buckets then the carboys a week later, then wash the buckets out, then wash the carboys out after secondary as well as the bottling bucket, not to mention all the water I use during the brewing proccess, and yeast starter proccess. I also have to wash and sanitize my pump and CFC, my 20 gallon kettle, my glass bottles and PET Tap-a-Draft bottles.
Sorry for the novel but I would love to bump up to 15 gallon batches and be able to cut out some " middlemen" along the way. The fellow members of a fraternal organization I belong to love my stuff and are very thirsty. I need to be more efficient, thus the question about conicles.