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Old 09-11-2012, 02:20 PM   #1
jamursch
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Default How to use my new Keggle?

I'm not new to extract brewing, but I am new to using a keggle. I bought it so I could up my batch size and get more bang out of my time commitment.

I thought it would be pretty straight forward, but I'm a little unsure about a few things.

1. False Bottom: There's sort of a false bottom connected to a pipe that angles to the bottom of the keg. Do I brew with this false bottom? My normal procedure would be to pour the cooled wort through a strainer bag into the bucket, but I won't be able to do that with 10 gallons. Will this false bottom act as my strainer bag?

2. Water: I typically would fill the kettle with 6 gallons of filtered water, but with moving to 12 gallons that would take forever. Do others use water from a garden hose or do they just fill it using filtered water or store bought water?

3. Gravity issues: I use the Blichmann Burner without the leg extensions, so after I cool the wort the 10 gallons will be too low to the ground to just drain into my buckets. What are people doing to creatively solve this problem without lifting 10 gallons of wort onto a table?

The plan would be to use BeerSmith2 to double my batch size and then split the cooled wort into 2 fermentation buckets and pitch my yeast.

Anything else I should be aware of?

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Old 09-11-2012, 02:48 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamursch View Post
1. False Bottom: There's sort of a false bottom connected to a pipe that angles to the bottom of the keg. Do I brew with this false bottom? My normal procedure would be to pour the cooled wort through a strainer bag into the bucket, but I won't be able to do that with 10 gallons. Will this false bottom act as my strainer bag?
A False Bottom in a BK is used to filter trub and hops out before the wort hits the fermenter. A False Bottom isn't going to stop pellet hops, so you may want to stick with the strainer bag. You may want to try whirlpooling, depending on how your pickup tube is configured.

On the other hand, having a False Bottom is one step closer to All Grain and using the Keggle for a Mash Tun, should you ever decide to go that route.

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Originally Posted by jamursch View Post
2. Water: I typically would fill the kettle with 6 gallons of filtered water, but with moving to 12 gallons that would take forever. Do others use water from a garden hose or do they just fill it using filtered water or store bought water?
Don't use hose water, unless you have good tap water (or don't care), and have a potable water hose. I typically fill a 5 gallon bucket with tap water a few times and dump that in. (My tap water is acceptable.) Or grab some water at the store.

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Originally Posted by jamursch View Post
3. Gravity issues: I use the Blichmann Burner without the leg extensions, so after I cool the wort the 10 gallons will be too low to the ground to just drain into my buckets. What are people doing to creatively solve this problem without lifting 10 gallons of wort onto a table?
You could buy a pump. Or, if the wort is cooled (or you have a stainless racking cane), you could try to siphon out the top. You may also try putting the burner up on something heat resistant (cinder blocks?) and doing a normal gravity drain.

I have a wide block wall around my patio, and I've been known to put my burner up there and drain down into my fermenter. I've since bought a pump and have not regretted it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamursch View Post
The plan would be to use BeerSmith2 to double my batch size and then split the cooled wort into 2 fermentation buckets and pitch my yeast.

Anything else I should be aware of?
Practice (and patience) makes perfect. Try your new setup a couple times with the attitude that things will go wrong, and be willing to tweak things as you go.
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:54 PM   #3
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3. Gravity issues: I use the Blichmann Burner without the leg extensions, so after I cool the wort the 10 gallons will be too low to the ground to just drain into my buckets. What are people doing to creatively solve this problem without lifting 10 gallons of wort onto a table?
Buy the leg extensions! They're alot cheaper than a pump and fittings!
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:57 PM   #4
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I make 10 gallon batches all the time. I just fill two 5 gallon fermenters, so I can lift/carry/cool/etc. I don't know how low your burner is, but since you've got the FB already, I'd get the leg extensions and gravity drain to the fermenters. How are you chilling?

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Old 09-12-2012, 12:13 AM   #5
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I make 10 gallon batches all the time. I just fill two 5 gallon fermenters, so I can lift/carry/cool/etc. I don't know how low your burner is, but since you've got the FB already, I'd get the leg extensions and gravity drain to the fermenters. How are you chilling?
I probably will just buy the leg extensions. By the time I rig something I might as well spend the money and have a safer setup.

I have a chiller I hook to the garden hose. No way I tackle 10 gallons with an ice bath.
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by abarnett

A False Bottom in a BK is used to filter trub and hops out before the wort hits the fermenter. A False Bottom isn't going to stop pellet hops, so you may want to stick with the strainer bag. You may want to try whirlpooling, depending on how your pickup tube is configured.

On the other hand, having a False Bottom is one step closer to All Grain and using the Keggle for a Mash Tun, should you ever decide to go that route.

Don't use hose water, unless you have good tap water (or don't care), and have a potable water hose. I typically fill a 5 gallon bucket with tap water a few times and dump that in. (My tap water is acceptable.) Or grab some water at the store.

You could buy a pump. Or, if the wort is cooled (or you have a stainless racking cane), you could try to siphon out the top. You may also try putting the burner up on something heat resistant (cinder blocks?) and doing a normal gravity drain.

I have a wide block wall around my patio, and I've been known to put my burner up there and drain down into my fermenter. I've since bought a pump and have not regretted it.

Practice (and patience) makes perfect. Try your new setup a couple times with the attitude that things will go wrong, and be willing to tweak things as you go.
Do I take the false bottom out along with the angled pipe and just use the valve for a boil? I could drain into a bucket with the strainer bag in and essentially accomplish what I do now. The drain will work much slower though and I imagine will take some time to empty and the. I'll have the amount below the valve that I'd need to tilt to drain.

All of this seems somewhat common sense-ish but I'm just trying to think ahead and avoid any big blunders.
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