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Old 10-26-2007, 04:36 PM   #11
5 Is Not Enough
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Hmmm...
Guess I should clarify, this is actually a joint effort. The kegs would be distributed, so I wouldn't have to drink 25 gallons of a single brew, more like 10. The equipment cost is also being split, as is the workload.
My thought: me and my friends + a couple Sunday afternoons + one big batch ~3-4 hours + kegging + $90 worth of ingredients = 11 cases of beer / $8/case.
I've been spending more on commercial beer($30-$40/case) because I run out of homebrew and don't have time to do a batch every week.
Also, buying 33lb LME for $60 is pretty economical. I already bought a year-old 44lb box of coopers DME from my local HB shop for $110 and it makes it easy for me to control the O.G. pretty easily (not stuck to just the 33lb tub + small cans...)
The batch size to brew was not my question. I was hoping to get some advice from brewers that are brewing larger batches, that may be able to alert me of additional concerns with the larger sizes and a recommendation of the equipment I'm looking at and the prices I've found.
I only want to buy one more set of equipment, then the mash tun next year (yeah, I'll start w/ a couple smaller batches for that). I will also be brewing smaller "experimental" batches in the carboys that I have.

If the 30' cf chiller is inadequate, what would be my best bet?



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Old 10-26-2007, 04:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5isnotenough
If the 30' cf chiller is inadequate, what would be my best bet?
Therminator



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Old 10-26-2007, 04:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5isnotenough
If the 30' cf chiller is inadequate, what would be my best bet?
Glycol chiller & while your at it, you might as well bypass the 25 gallons, and go directly to a 1BBL system.
Your gonna need some conical fermenters, cold room, a yeast lab, and a good roller mill. I can't see how it could possibly be more cost effective to extract brew that much beer. I'm maing ten gallon batches at 20 cents a pint on a good day.
Just curious....what is your projected average cost for brewing 25 gallons using extract?
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Old 10-26-2007, 05:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5isnotenough
Hops- undecided whether or not to buy the bulk (1lb-$10) for common bittering hops...
Given the hop shortage, I'd grab all you can if you're serious about going to 25 gal.

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Not sure how much yeast will be needed for pitching the large batch, but probably use Muntons Gold, I guess packets(?)
Try the pitching rate calculator at http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html


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Also, for 25gal, will a converted 100qt cooler work for a MLT later?
You'll max out at about 1.060 OG. As long as you're OK with that (or don;t mind doing bigger beers as PMs), the 100Q should be sufficient


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Will a rectangular shaped PE tank cause any complications?
Cleaning the corners would be the biggest concern. Good place for nasties to hide.
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Old 10-26-2007, 05:23 PM   #15
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I know a couple of guys that brew 15 gallon batches and split it up. They will do 2 or 3 beers in a single brew session. It works well for them and brewday is one big party with people dropping in and out. If you are brewing as a group and splitting it up, this is a good idea, but I bet you will still run out if you don't do more than one batch at a time.

That said, it will be hard to get that 25 gallons to a good rolling boil. I would suggest trying to find a used steam-jacketed kettle from a restaurant supply store or off ebay/craigslist. Another idea would be to buy two kettles and split the batch. You could combine them in the fermenter. I would also suggest you stick to tried and true recipes when going that large. Maybe do 5 gallon test batches until you have your recipe down.

I say go for it and report back and let us know how it went.

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Old 10-26-2007, 05:27 PM   #16
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25 gallon extract batches? Why, WHy, WHY? This is giving me flashbacks of the really shiny, super-duper, first-ever, all-in-one, extract brewing system that's available for the amazing low price of $4k.

I agree with the consensus here. Get a burner, a wort chiller, a keggle, and do a cooler to MLT conversion and start doing 10 gallon AG batches.

If you buy everything new you'll have around $300 in it.

25 gallon batches with a stash of only 10 cornies? That's madness.

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Old 10-26-2007, 05:40 PM   #17
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You can get an Igloo 162 qt marine cooler.



That would be one hell of a batch sparge!

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Old 10-26-2007, 05:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cookiebaggs
You can get an Igloo 162 qt marine cooler.



That would be one hell of a batch sparge!
I have one of these... dont use it for beer though... only Tuna / mahi / albacore / mako
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Old 10-26-2007, 05:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I have one of these... dont use it for beer though... only Tuna / mahi / albacore / mako



Yeah, we routinely put 200+ lbs of salmon from Lake Michigan in one on a fishing trip.
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Old 10-26-2007, 07:11 PM   #20
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WOW?!!
Glad to see that everyone in this forum is so open minded and willing to help!
So... guess I'll get no advice from anyone with any experience in this kind of situation.
Brew your batches... 10 gal at a time. Don't expand and if you do, you have to do AG, you have to spend $4000, you have to have 40 extra kegs, you won't drink it fast enough...
Thanks for all the help!



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