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Old 03-27-2010, 04:27 AM   #1
philip8614
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Default 20 Gallon Setup

I have been doing 5 gallon batches for a while. Iv'e got a 7.5 gallon brew pot, 25' counter-flow chiller, march pump, and a small Rubbermaid cooler for batch sparging. I want to get into doing 20 gallon batches because the 5's go way too fast. Is there anyway that I can use my current equipment to do 20 gallons batches with only upgrading my fermenter and maybe mash tun? I have alot of free time and am fairly mechanically incline. Any advice would be helpful, thank you., Philip.

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Old 03-27-2010, 04:54 AM   #2
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Ummm... sure. 5 gallons at a time!

With some variations due to recipe choice, you will need about a 20 gallon Mash Tun and a boil kettle in the 25 gallon range. You could split the boil between two keggles.

You can still ferment in 6-gallon carboys. Four of them.

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Old 03-27-2010, 05:19 AM   #3
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I have been doing 5 gallon batches for a while. Iv'e got a 7.5 gallon brew pot, 25' counter-flow chiller, march pump, and a small Rubbermaid cooler for batch sparging. I want to get into doing 20 gallon batches because the 5's go way too fast. Is there anyway that I can use my current equipment to do 20 gallons batches with only upgrading my fermenter and maybe mash tun? I have alot of free time and am fairly mechanically incline. Any advice would be helpful, thank you., Philip.
Back to back batches Ie mash while one is boiling and move down the line or go back to extract with specialty grains use the mash tun for all the special grain plus some 2 row for conversion boil as much as possible add Extract and top off with water in your fermenter. beer quailty will suffer greatly though.

I would suggest looking at a ten gallon setup before moving to 20 gallons thats alot of BTUs to boil hard to control temp during fermentation. among other issues a 10 gallon gott cooler, a keggle and your current boil kettle for a HLT can be had for pretty cheap around 200 bucks if you look around. shich is less than you will spend upgrading the fermenter alone
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:26 AM   #4
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A full scale brewery does not do a full boil right? What about doing 4 batch sparges or herms in a row with the same pre-wort, boiling it, then adding it to 15 gallons of filtered water? Would that work or would that mixture be too thick? What do ya think?

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Old 03-27-2010, 05:35 AM   #5
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A full scale brewery does not do a full boil right? What about doing 4 batch sparges or herms in a row with the same pre-wort, boiling it, then adding it to 15 gallons of filtered water? Would that work or would that mixture be too thick? What do ya think?
every brewery that i know of does full boils and i would venture to say that all do.

I dont understand the 4 sparges in a row thing. Herms is a brewing system that controls mash temps. an average gravity batch at 20 gallons is going to be 40-60lbs of grain for All grain or 23-30 lbs of extract I dont see that it is feasible with your current equipment
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Old 03-27-2010, 06:02 AM   #6
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I think your right... I was just hopping there was something I wasn't thinking of. Thank you for the advice. Philip

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Old 03-27-2010, 06:22 AM   #7
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This is my set up. I do two 10 gallon batch's every time I brew. After I've sparged the first batch and I'm getting the boil going I get the second batch in the mash. It takes about 8-9 hours from set up to clean up but a single batch is 5-6 hours so why not make the most of that day. Not to mention when you buy a large quantity of grain it's less expensive.

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Old 03-27-2010, 10:49 PM   #8
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That's a nice set up. Can you do both batches in the same fermenter? Brew one, pitch, then add more cooled wort if your fermenter was large enough? Could I do it X 4?

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Old 03-28-2010, 01:51 AM   #9
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That's a nice set up. Can you do both batches in the same fermenter? Brew one, pitch, then add more cooled wort if your fermenter was large enough? Could I do it X 4?
Yes I believe you can keep adding the wort to the fermenter prior to the start of fermentation. Large fermenters bring another set of issues being that they are hard to move, and also generate heat so cooling is more of a reqt.

I would suggest baby steps...maybe 5 to 8 gallons...then move up to ten or 15. Moving from 5 to 20 is kind of a giant leap! But don't let me discourage you.
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Old 03-28-2010, 02:13 AM   #10
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That's a nice set up. Can you do both batches in the same fermenter? Brew one, pitch, then add more cooled wort if your fermenter was large enough? Could I do it X 4?
I use four 6.5 gallon carboys. Some times I wish I could ferment all together. The last time I brewed though I made two different pale ales with two different yeast. Batch 1 had two carboys and each carboy had different yeast. Same with batch two. Looking at what the difference just the yeast makes.
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