Batch Size

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Batch Size

Postby jayhawk » Thu Apr 04, 2002 7:14 pm

Just wondering what batch size is being brewed out there. I currently do 23L (5gal), but want to increase, ideally to 60L(??gal). I figure the labour difference would be minimal, but the output difference would be huge and I wouldn't have to brew so often. Also, any suggestions on kettle/burner and fermenter/secondary/etc setups would be appreciated.
Thanks
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I like 5 gallons

Postby Azorean Brewer » Fri Apr 05, 2002 1:57 am

JayHawk, I am partial to the 5 gallon (23L) size beacuse I like variety. I brew 1 batch a month and that 5 gal. renders me two cases of good brew that I won't get tired of. If there is a particular style I want, I brew it, and if after aging for a month it comes out really great I repeat it in my schedule of monthly brews. Right now I am into lighter colored beers (not flavor or alcohol) , I drank porters, stouts and IPA'a all winter, switching to Pilsners, California Common's and Munich Helles for late spring and early summer. For my June brew I am formulating a Golden Doppleboch so that it will be ready for October. Just my $.02 worth. It comes right down to personal preference and what works for you... Cheers, Paul.
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Bigger Batches

Postby andytv » Fri Apr 05, 2002 3:58 am

My brewclub has moved up to 11.5gal batches last October. I start heating the water kettles at about 7am and we finish about 1pm. As far as equipment; we still use our old 5gal brewpots to heat the water for mashing and sparging, we have added a 15 gallon pot for boiling the wort, for a mash/lauter tun we use a 12gal coleman coolr with a "easymash" type filtration system installed (cheap!!), and we bought a couple 15gallon plastic conical fermentors. I have a very high output kitchen stove, but it really takes a long time to reach a boil w/ 13+ gallons of wort. I'd like to use my "turkey fryer" burner but I understand that they are unsafe to use indoors. As far as additional labor goes, expect to spenfd more time heating water, more time cleaning, more time boiling, more time grinding , etc. Despite this, the return is worth the investment in time. Also, we can brew 10gal for less than $20 (most recipes) by buying in bulk and maintaining a club inventory.

Good luck

Andy
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free keg

Postby jayhawk » Fri Apr 05, 2002 1:23 pm

I was out working today, doing some landscaping for an old timer. He just happened to have a spare 15 gal stainless Molson keg that he "found in the bush somewhere". It's in amazing shape, a real beauty eh!, and will make a great kettle. He had ripped the guts out and was going to use it for a gas tank on a restored 1929 REO Speed Wagon. Fortunately for me, his son had just found a more antique keg for the truck, so he didn't need this one. As bonus for doing the job, he gave me the keg! I am on my way to bigger batches.
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Batch size

Postby doggone » Mon Apr 08, 2002 1:01 pm

We incresed volume from 5 gal to 13-15 gal this fall and have been very pleased with the results. We modified a 16 gal keg for a boil pot and fabbed a couterflow chiller from copper and pvc. Fermenting in a 15 gal plastic conical. Usually boil 10 gal, ferment 13, and bottle/keg 11. System is 100% gravity flow. Converted an old weight lifting machine to lift the boil pot high enough to drain through the chiller and into the fermenter. Much less handleing. Clean up is easy with a hose and hot water.
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Doggone good setup

Postby jayhawk » Mon Apr 08, 2002 6:21 pm

That sounds like a good setup. The less handling the better I feel. If you don't mind, I'd like to pick your brain a bit here. I am not familar with a counterflow chiller, what is the difference between that and an immersion chiller? How much was the plastic conical (pls specify if US$)and where did you get it? Do you bother transferring into a secondary? Is your bottling system gravity flow as well? Your answers are much appreciated.
Thanks.
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Previous Post

Postby andytv » Tue Apr 09, 2002 3:03 am

Jayhawk,

Check out previous post on plastic conis 4/4/02. Also, I don't have one yet, but CF chillers are the sh##t!!! Check out the one for sale @ www.stpats.com.

Andy
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Chiller/fermenter/etc...

Postby doggone » Tue Apr 09, 2002 5:02 am

Counterflow chillers are basicaly a tube w/i a tube. Hot wort flows through the inner tube in one direction while cold water flows though the outer tube in the oppisite direction. There are several commercial models avail. Chill-zilla is one. The unit we constructed is a little different in that we coiled 20' of copper inside a 2' piece of 6" PVC. Added a few fittings and end caps. It takes us about 30 min to drain 10-12 gal of wort thru the chiller and temp drop is 212-80. All total I think we spent about $40 on copper,PVC fittings, etc... Commercial units are $100+. Unit mounts on the wall and cleaning/sanitation is done by running boiling water/sanitizer thru. Fermenter is a 15 gal conical from Hobby Brew. They are out of California and market their products thru many homebrew shops. They offer 6gal, 15gal, and larger units. No secondary required as dead yeast is periodically drained from a ball valve at the bottom of the cone. Price is $175 - $200 US for the 15gal. A little spendy but it's been worth it. We are currently working on modifiying a 8gal keg into a conical. Bottling is out of a racking port in the side of the fermenter just above the cone. Yes, it's gravity with a conventional spring type bottle filler.
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Thanks

Postby jayhawk » Tue Apr 09, 2002 8:21 am

thanks for the reply Doggone, your help is appreciated.
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