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Old 04-05-2006, 10:26 PM   #1
Jester4176
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Default Stepping up to LARGE batches

A buddy and I recently acquired 2 industrial fridges to lager in. One will be our primary lager fridge, as it will hold 4 6.5gal carboys, and the other will be the secondary lager fridge as it can hold 6-8 5gal carboys. We're biting the bullet and buying a 26.4gal (100liter) kettle to step up batch sizes with. Getting a great deal on it from a local shop for $125. Originally made as a wine fermenter, but can be used as a kettle and has a built in spigot. All SS. Anyone have experience with a pot this big?

I figure I can just take a regular recipe and multiply it by 4 for an ingredients list. We brew extract at the moment, so I'm wondering how much longer does everyone think it will take to heat/brew a batch this big. The pot will be on a double burner propane cooker. Each burner is rated at 190K btu. Going to try to span the 2 burners so there isn't a single hot spot in the center of the kettle, but rather, 2 heat sources for more even heating.

Can someone with larger batch brewing experience step in and let me know if there is anything else I might need to brew this much beer at once with? I plan on pre-boiling 26-30 gal of water the night before for the batch. Only bad thing is, I'm having to use my small wort chiller until we build a bigger one. Any idea how long it will take to cool a batch of this size? And is there an easy way to divy up the worth equally into 4 carboys? Maybe build a 4-way manifold off the spigot, drop a line into each carboy, and hope for the best? Would like to get all this sorted out so we can brew this weekend.

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Old 04-05-2006, 11:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester4176
Maybe build a 4-way manifold off the spigot, drop a line into each carboy, and hope for the best? Would like to get all this sorted out so we can brew this weekend.
That's what I would do.

Also, you can help your chiller along by coiling up the intake hose in a bucket of ice water. You should be able to drop the temp of the water in the actual chiller by 10 degrees or more that way.
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Old 04-06-2006, 12:18 AM   #3
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Have you thought about hop utilization? I would think you will get better utilization with that large a batch size.

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Old 04-06-2006, 12:30 AM   #4
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inmersion chiller?
you may have to use glycol instead of water...
there is someone in this site that has shown something like that
don't remember the nick..

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Old 04-06-2006, 01:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_f
inmersion chiller?
you may have to use glycol instead of water...
there is someone in this site that has shown something like that
don't remember the nick..
brewpastor...iirc, he brews 25 gallon batches... maybe he'll stop in with some sage advice for the OP
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Old 04-06-2006, 03:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Have you thought about hop utilization? I would think you will get better utilization with that large a batch size.
Thanks for the replies. Actually, no...I hadn't given it a bunch of thought because I though I could multiply the ingredients and it would work the same. Thanks for bringing this up. Guess I'll pull out Papazian's and Miller's book tonight and see what they have to say about it.

If I use glycol, I'd need a loop with a way to recirculate the glycol after cooling it. I think I have something that might work.....my old pc watercooling rig. Have a dual core radiator about the size of a car heater core, tubing, and an eheim pump that's rated at like 1250gph. Maybe have a container of glycol for the pump to pull from. Then have the glycol pass through a radiator in an ice bath, then through the wort, back through a length of hose in another ice bath, then back to the pump reservoir? Seems lie a lot of work. Couldn't water going throung a big ice bath accomplish the same?

And what about the wort chiller? Would a single coil be enough for a pot that is 21" in diameter? Or should I build a dual coil (inner and outer) setup?
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Old 04-06-2006, 06:06 AM   #7
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One word Plate Chiller. Oops thats two words. Chill it on the way to the manifold or what ever. That way you don't need to worry about the size of the pot.

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Old 04-06-2006, 05:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
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One word Plate Chiller. Oops thats two words. Chill it on the way to the manifold or what ever. That way you don't need to worry about the size of the pot.
Like this one? http://morebeer.com/product.html?product_id=6242

Wouldn't I need a pump to recirculate the wort through the cooler until it was cooled? Don't have a pump yet, so I'm still looking to cool the wort in the pot. Unless you mean to sink the chiller in an ice bath on it's way to the chiller in the pot? If so, that's what I have planned. And aren't these hard to clean? Has anyone used one long term that can provide feedback on how hard it is to clean, and if it truly does come clean? I'm thinking with a Hop Stopper in line before it, I shouldn't have much buildup in it to clog up. Don't know though.

So the pot I'm getting is listed here as the 28gal italian kettle about 3/4 of the way down the page: http://www.northernbrewer.com/kettles.html

Plan on eventually getting a Hop Stopper for the bottom of it also so I can filter it easily on the way out the spigot. But that may have to wat a few batches.
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Old 04-08-2006, 08:04 AM   #9
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No, that plate chiller works like a counterflow chiller - you run cold water through it.

But I wouldn't recommend it - they are a bitch to clean.

I'd just build a nice 25' counterflow chiller and put it before your manifold. Since your kettle is already tapped you're halfway there.

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Old 04-08-2006, 02:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eleusis
No, that plate chiller works like a counterflow chiller - you run cold water through it.

But I wouldn't recommend it - they are a bitch to clean.
So I take it you have tried both?
I'm just about ready, as soon as I can afford it, to switch from my immersion chiller to a counter flow but I'm not sure which one would be better. a home made counterflow chiller would be cheaper for sure.
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