So our brew club just started and we made a pretty typical mistake of starting off too small. There's about 15 of us and we decided to do 3x 15 gallon batches per month. We went with 3x 100qt pots and 3x coleman coolers for mash tuns. We want to scale up production and do 1 brew per week, but just make it bigger. To provide a low-cost upgrade to what we currently do, and keep an upgrade path, I'm looking to scale up from my current setup (bayou classic burner + 100qt stock pot + coleman cooler) to be able to brew somewhere around 35-45 gallons at a time, with less effort. Right now we heat up mash water outside, bring upstairs inside to mash, bring the pot/water outside for the sparge water, back up the stairs to sparge, then back down the stairs outside to boil. Just a lot of carrying/waiting to boil/propane use/etc. Being indoors would be nice as we're in Canada too!
I'm thinking to do this I'm going to use a dual 4500W element electric system, put into a 200qt stock pot, and then just mash in a 55 gallon blue HDPE drum (or maybe even just split the mash into the 3 coolers we have right now). This way we could heat up water quicker, and inside, then drain into our respective coolers, drain the mash into one of our existing pots, sparge, put the mash/sparge back into the kettle, boil, then into fermenters (we're currently using 30 gallon brute garbage pails). Still some lifting and such needing to be done, but a lot less, and alot less fuss checking water temperatures and timing out heating up the water with a completely automated system.
This would give us a nice upgrade path eventually to a 3 kettle system with pumps/etc, but be a nice stopgap to minimize the effort we put in now and scale up production quickly.
I had the following questions:
-Does this make sense as a whole? Should I be looking at something else? We're not really wasting money on things we won't use in the future from what I'm seeing.
-Is there any way to wire a 50A GFCI breaker AFTER the typical stove plug? I'd like to be able to move this setup around to our respective houses by having the GFCI protection like this, but can't find out if this is safe to do, or how to go about doing it:
Stove Plug (50A breaker) -> GFCI Protection -> Temperature Controller -> Heating Elements
-Anywhere to source a 200qt pot for cheaper than $250? That's what the "Thunder Group" brand alumnium pot goes for on Amazon, which is the same as our 100qt pots which we've been happy with.
-Anything else I'm blatantly missing?