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Old 07-14-2010, 12:02 PM   #1
godrick
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Default Help with move to 10 gallon system?

I’m currently brewing 5 gallon, batch sparged, full grain batches using a converted keg for my HLT, a 10 gallon picnic cooler for my mash tun, and a 15 gallon stainless kettle for my boil.

Will this system handle a 10 gallon batch?

I’ve got another converted keg that I could use for a mash tun if necessary. Would I need a false bottom for it or would a braid like I have in my picnic cooler work? Would I need another burner to control the mash temp?

What’s my next step? Can someone point me towards some information on simple 10 gallon systems? I see information about brew sculptures, but I’m not ready to take that big a jump.

Thanks,
Frank

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Old 07-14-2010, 12:25 PM   #2
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that stuff will work fine, how will you cool the wort. 10 gal. is alot harder to cool than 5. and you cant just pick up a full keggle and carry it over to the sink.

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Old 07-14-2010, 01:03 PM   #3
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Yes you'll be fine. buzzkill is right about cooling though, What are you using now? I have a similar setup with a 50ft 1/2" copper immersion chiller/whirlpooler and it works great to cool 10 gallons fast.

This is also a great reference for going with a bigger system. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/how-...-needs-123585/

your 10 gallon cooler will work fine as a mash tun on normal size and small beers, but might be too small to do a big beer.

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Old 07-14-2010, 02:06 PM   #4
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I do 10 gal batches (actually 10.5 gal) using a 50 qt rectangular cooler, 15 gal kettle (not a keggle) and ferment in (2) 6 gal Better Bottles.

My kettle starts with 14 gal and I have to watch it like a hawk after 205F to prevent boil overs. A kettle thermometer was a good investment for that purpose alone. After hot break it's easy street and brewing takes no more effort than a 5 gal batch. I use a 1/2" OD copper IC with a whirlpool arm with a pump and cooling to ale pitching temp takes approx 25 minutes. I have to use a pre-chiller in the summer months however.

Using 2 fermenters means extra work and different fermentation between the 2. I end up with different FG in the end but within 3 pts so I don't worry about it too much. The biggest issue is when the batch is split they now become 2 separate entities and I never take a sample from either fermenter without cleaning and sanitizing the wine thief. Same with racking, rack from 1, then clean and sanitize siphon equip. and rack again.

OFF Topic - I bought the 1/2" Auto-siphon and it is soooo much faster than the 5/16" version. One of the better time saving purchases I have made!

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Old 07-14-2010, 04:46 PM   #5
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I have a 50' immersion cooler but it isn't doing a very good job now (summer), even 5 gallons take a good hour to cool.

What is a whirlpool arm with a pump rcrabb?

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Old 07-14-2010, 05:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strat_thru_marshall View Post
your 10 gallon cooler will work fine as a mash tun on normal size and small beers, but might be too small to do a big beer.
for big beers, you don't necessarily have to drop down to 5 gal bc of the limitations of a 10 gal MLT. For a 8% ABV or so beer, you can just do a 9 gal batch. You probably won't miss that 1 gal too much.

You could also get to higher gravities with some DME or, depending on style, adjuncts in the boil.
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Old 07-14-2010, 07:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by godrick View Post

What is a whirlpool arm with a pump rcrabb?
this: http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php
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Old 07-14-2010, 07:23 PM   #8
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For me, moving to 10 gal. batches would mean a different ball game, and a lot of the logistical reasons are laid out in this thread. Practically, there's not enough beer consumed in the family to necessitate brewing 10 gal. (I do maybe 20-25 5 gal batches a year), although the overall reduction in labor is certainly attractive.

It's just those logistics......the transport / movement of that much weight, for me, would indicate moving to some kind of pump system. If I set up to mash & boil 10 gallons of wort, that would mean moving to a bigger fermenter....unless I just split the batch between two buckets. That would be the practical thing anyhow, because I can only brew in the garage and ferment in the basement, so moving half of a 10 gal. batch would be indicated anyway. Not to mention that 5.5 gallons of liquid in a bucket is just about as much as I want to carry anymore.

Nope. I've thought it through, and there's a reason why people brew 5 gallon batches. If I ever go to 10, it's going to require an outlay of a chunk of money, building an electric brewhouse in the basement and using pumps to move the liquid.

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Old 07-14-2010, 10:54 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the great input guys!
Cheers!

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Old 07-19-2010, 09:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by godrick View Post
I have a 50' immersion cooler but it isn't doing a very good job now (summer), even 5 gallons take a good hour to cool.
Get yourself a small fountain submersible pump. Clean your mash tun (great if picnic cooler) just prior to flameout and put about three 10lb bags of ice in it. Fill it up with water. Put the pump in the bottom and connect a hose to the pump which will connect quickly to your IC inlet.

Start the chiller cooling using tap water and get the wort to about 100 degrees then switch over to the ice water pumped from the cooler. You don't need a high flow rate. I generally get in the 60's before the initial ice water is gone. If you use up the ice water just replace it with some tap water on the fly. The ice will last longer than you may think. I've actually made a manifold which permits me to control the source of the chiller water and add makeup water if needed.

This system took about 17 minutes to reach 68 degrees on my last batch (6.5gal). I've tried several versions of pre-cooler design and this one is by far the best. This was someone else's idea and a darn good one I might add.
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