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Old 09-27-2012, 06:15 PM   #1
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Default Mash Tun / Volume / Grain Bill Question

I intend to do my first 10 gallon batch next, on the suggestion of a few friends and my LHBS. You know, the logic of "it's the same amount of work for 5 or 10 gallons, so you might as well make more" etc.

The question is, do I need a bigger mash tun in order to do a 10 gal batch? I know it depends on the recipe/grain bill.

The next beer I wanted to do, as a 10 gallon batch, is an Alpha King clone. Something similar to this: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/thre...-clone-192385/ (I have cut and pasted the recipe on this post as well)

I'm new to AG, but hooked. The last beer I made was an attempt at a 5 gallon IRS that should have come in around 11% abv, but is probably topping out between 8 and 9% (racking to keg tonight, so I'll find out.)

Unfortunately, my 10 gal cooler mash tun was insufficient for my massive grain bill, and I couldn't keep an inch of water on the top of the grain... everything was just BARELY submerged, and my lid floated on top of the grain. Mash profile be damned. I didn't hit my numbers, though I probably could have sparged more and just boiled a lot longer... the second runnings made a small beer... so there was clearly a ton of sugar left to pull.

I'm not really interested in competitions... just in making frakkin' delicious beers, so it's not a big deal to me... this one tasted great as wort, looks gorgeous... I can't wait to get it carbed! The big deal would be to make the same sort of mistake twice.

Anyone using a 10 gal barrel cooler for a mash tun, do a recipe of similar size (noting that the description below is for a 5 gal?)

Here's an example recipe:

BYO Alpha King Clone
Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 8.79 gal
Estimated OG: 1.056 SG
Estimated Color: 8.3 SRM
Estimated IBU: 69.6 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
5 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM) Grain 54.19 %
4 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 39.41 %
1.9 oz Caramunich III (Weyermann) (71.0 SRM) Grain 1.18 %
1.6 oz Caramel Malt - 60L (Briess) (60.0 SRM) Grain 0.99 %
1.6 oz Caramunich I (Weyermann) (51.0 SRM) Grain 0.99 %
1.6 oz Carapils (Briess) (1.5 SRM) Grain 0.99 %
1.6 oz Melanoidin (Weyermann) (30.0 SRM) Grain 0.99 %
1.6 oz Special B (135.0 SRM) Grain 0.99 %
0.5 oz Wheat - Soft Red, Flaked (Briess) (1.6 SRM) Grain 0.30 %
1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (Dry Hop 3 days)Hops -
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops -
0.50 oz Magnum [13.50 %] (60 min) Hops 30.2 IBU
1.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops -
0.58 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [12.00 %] (60 min) Hops 31.2 IBU
2.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (1 min) Hops 8.2 IBU
1 Pkgs American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) [Starter 2000 Yeast-Ale

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body
Total Grain Weight: 10.15 lb
----------------------------
Single Infusion, Medium Body
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 3.17 gal of water at 170.1 F 154.0 F
10 min Mash Out Add 1.78 gal of water at 198.5 F 168.0 F

I have a keggle for boil and a keggle for hot water. I haven't finished building the keggle I will be using for my mash tun yet, so that's why I'm concerned.

Input appreciated!

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Old 09-27-2012, 06:22 PM   #2
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I don't think a 10 gal cooler is going to be big enough for a 10 gallon batch. I have a 48 qt (12 gal) MLT that I use for 5 gallon batches and I wouldn't attempt to do 10 gallons of your recipe with that. You obviously need a bigger cooler anyway if you are going to make big beers once in a while, so it looks like it's time to upgrade.

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Old 09-27-2012, 06:52 PM   #3
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That's kind of where my head is on this as well. I'm all ears for ideas, but yeah, I think you're right. I think I'd be able to pull it off with the keggle, but I may just have to do another 5 gallon batch for this one.

It's a bummer because the real variable I want to play with is different yeast strains on a malty pale ale recipe... and because of keg sizes and all of that jazz, it'd be much more efficient to do a 10 gallon batch than two 2.5 gallon batches.

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Old 09-27-2012, 06:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TapeDeck View Post
That's kind of where my head is on this as well. I'm all ears for ideas, but yeah, I think you're right. I think I'd be able to pull it off with the keggle, but I may just have to do another 5 gallon batch for this one.

It's a bummer because the real variable I want to play with is different yeast strains on a malty pale ale recipe... and because of keg sizes and all of that jazz, it'd be much more efficient to do a 10 gallon batch than two 2.5 gallon batches.
I think you will find this link helpful:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/how-...-needs-123585/

I know I did!
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TapeDeck View Post
That's kind of where my head is on this as well. I'm all ears for ideas, but yeah, I think you're right. I think I'd be able to pull it off with the keggle, but I may just have to do another 5 gallon batch for this one.

It's a bummer because the real variable I want to play with is different yeast strains on a malty pale ale recipe... and because of keg sizes and all of that jazz, it'd be much more efficient to do a 10 gallon batch than two 2.5 gallon batches.
I hear ya man. I came to the same point where you're at now and decided to go all out and build a 1 bbl brew rig. I still ferment in buckets though, so I can use different yeast, dry hop differently, and so on. My reccomendation is to decide whether you are going to stick with this hobby for the long run and if so, build a rig that will easily satisfy your consumtion rate and minimize time spent brewing. With some frugal shopping and a hefty dose of DIY, you can put together a pretty descent rig without breaking the bank.
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by BBL_Brewer View Post
I hear ya man. I came to the same point where you're at now and decided to go all out and build a 1 bbl brew rig. I still ferment in buckets though, so I can use different yeast, dry hop differently, and so on. My reccomendation is to decide whether you are going to stick with this hobby for the long run and if so, build a rig that will easily satisfy your consumtion rate and minimize time spent brewing. With some frugal shopping and a hefty dose of DIY, you can put together a pretty descent rig without breaking the bank.
Define "breaking the bank". Some banks are bigger than others.
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:57 PM   #7
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Breaking the bank, for me, would be spending what some people refer to as money.

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Old 09-27-2012, 09:00 PM   #8
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Why do you think you couldn't double that recipe and make it fit in a 10 gallon round cooler? Your looking at what....roughly 22 pounds of grain.

http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml

@ 1.25qt/# your looking at about 8.5 gallons of space used in the MLT. I've had way way more than that in my 10 gallon cooler. Unless you have a huge deadspace..... Brew on!!!

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Old 09-27-2012, 09:23 PM   #9
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Why do you think you couldn't double that recipe and make it fit in a 10 gallon round cooler? Your looking at what....roughly 22 pounds of grain.

http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml

@ 1.25qt/# your looking at about 8.5 gallons of space used in the MLT. I've had way way more than that in my 10 gallon cooler. Unless you have a huge deadspace..... Brew on!!!
I agree. I just did a 10 gal. batch with 27 lbs. of grain in my 10 gal. round cooler. Worked just fine. I say go for it.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:28 PM   #10
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I agree. I just did a 10 gal. batch with 27 lbs. of grain in my 10 gal. round cooler. Worked just fine. I say go for it.
I agree as well, I can handle about 25lbs in my 10g bev cooler but I will say stirring is a little tough and efficiency suffered a bit
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