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Old 03-18-2010, 05:44 PM   #1
Special Hops
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Default fermenter size vs batch size.

What is the general thinking behind batch size vs. fermenter size to leave enough head space for the Krausen (sp?)

After a long break from brewing because of being out of town. I am looking to get back into it this weekend. I have recently upgrade my boil kettle to a 15.5 gallon keggle and am using 7.75 gal pony keg as a fermenter.

Due to probably more limited brewing time due to a little 20 month old running around, I am looking to maximize my batch size to make the most out of a brew session.

Could I reasonably ferment 7 gallons in a 7.75 gallon fermenter without having to worry too much about the airlock overflowing ? Realizing it all depends on yeast and style of beer too.

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Old 03-18-2010, 05:56 PM   #2
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You answered your own question "Realizing it all depends on yeast and style of beer too."

Some people use Fermencap to keep the Krausen down. I don't but it is an option. I'd look to get a second fermenter ($25 for a 6 gallon better bottle) and split a 10 gallon batch between the two.

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Old 03-18-2010, 06:05 PM   #3
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You could ferment in a 15.5 gal sanke keg. I ferment 12.5 gallons in mine and have never needed a blow-off tube.

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Old 03-18-2010, 07:00 PM   #4
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If you plan on a 7gal batch with only 3/4gal of headspace I'd definitely invest in some fermcap and a blow off tube.

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Old 03-18-2010, 08:41 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses - will probably either do a blow-off tube or do a 10 gal split batch.

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Old 03-19-2010, 11:35 AM   #6
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I was interested in the same question.

Have a Sanke fermenter (hence the user name) and can brew 15 gal of wort or less. I had already planned on the blow off tube. Don't want to use fermcap. I have heard everyone here that uses a keg fermenter say they only brew <~13 gal in them.

Would it be stylistically or otherwise detrimental to a healthily pitched beer to ferment 15 gallons in a 15.5 gal fermenter thereby not letting the krausen fall back into the beer? How little headroom is too little? Anyone actually try this and can attest?

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Old 03-19-2010, 11:45 AM   #7
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Some actually think it's beneficial, it's called the Burton Blow Off Method, the disadvantage I see is that you could potentially lose a lot of beer.

http://www.beersmith.com/blog/2009/10/10/better-beer-with-the-burton-union-blow-off-method/

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Old 03-19-2010, 12:04 PM   #8
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Cool. Thanks for that link. I'll try it. Wanna brew as much as I can per batch.

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Old 03-19-2010, 12:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Special Hops View Post
Due to probably more limited brewing time due to a little 20 month old running around, I am looking to maximize my batch size to make the most out of a brew session.
Have you considered fermenting right in your 15 gal keggle that you boil in?

I know, sounds crazy, but it is done w/ good results and saves time and effort.

I believe Lonnie of the "Brutus 10'" does this, as do I. Of course, YMMV.
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
Have you considered fermenting right in your 15 gal keggle that you boil in?

I know, sounds crazy, but it is done w/ good results and saves time and effort.

I believe Lonnie of the "Brutus 10'" does this, as do I. Of course, YMMV.
How would you seal the top?
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