Ok where to start....Sorry about the metric measurements, when I have a little more time I'll edit them to the US equivalents.
I'll start off by describing my equipment.
18L (to the brim) SS Pot
14L (to the brim) Ali Pot
25L (to the brim) SS Still boiler
19L/5 Gallon MLT Rubbermaid w/ SS Braid - yet to make
Immersion chiller - yet to make
I do 23 L batches, why? Because I live in New Zealand and that's the size batches we do here
well kinda, all my fermenters are marked at the 23L point and it works out well having 6 350mL bottles for drinking before it's ready, 24 x 750mL for drinking when it is, and another 6 350mL for drinking down the track.
Anyway, I'm looking to make the move to PMs in the very near future but before I go out buying more equipment I just want to clear things up.
1) The 25L still boiler looks like it would boil 23L comfortably, but it has an internal element (ie it would be sitting inside the wort) that I could use, will that be a problem? I'm thinking trub will sit around it and burn. Also, it's only a 1380W element, will this get hot enough?
Otherwise I could sit it on top of a gas burner but I don't think mine has enough grunt to boil the wort, the burner brings 11L of wort to a nice boil so 23L might be pushing it.
I know the simple answer is buy more equipment, but I like how this hobby/craft is cheap...well it's getting a little more expensive hehe.
Anyway, next question...
2) Since I can only boil 23L thats the most amount of wort I can take off from my MLT right?
From what I've read one wants to use the same amount of water to sparge as to mash, which I'm assuming in my case would be 23/2 = 11.5L. So I would want to mash with enough water to get 11.5L out and use another 11.5L to sparge (batch).
So I need to know what the max amount of grain I can use is seeing as one would use 3 - 4 L water / kg of grain and that the grain will absorb some water. How do I figure this out?
I think I'm missing something there or have something wrong.
Any help would be greatly appreciated, and sorry again for the metric measurements, any one who helps out is free to drop by my house for a brew if you're ever in my city/country.