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Old 12-09-2011, 02:07 PM   #1
NCGrayson
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Default How long have you been brewing 5 gallon batches??

So....as the title says, how long have you been brewing 5 gallon batches for? The reason I ask is that I'm looking at new kettles online. I've always been a believer in buying something right the first time, so it will be sufficiently used in the future instead of having to buy something different again. I'm stuck between getting a 15.5 gallon, 62-quart bayou classic stainless and adding my own fittings, or getting a thicker, smaller (8-9-10gal) stainless kettle from some other company. the price isn't the issue, the question here arises when contemplating brewing 10 gallon batches in the future. Obviously a 15.5 gallon pot would work for 10 gallon batches, but the smaller wont. I'm leaning towards the bayou classic for the potential to grow to 10 gallon batches, but is that feasible? how many of you have happily been brewing 5 gallon batches forever with no thought of going bigger? I'm pretty much the only one in my family who drinks beer regularly, so i don't currently see the need to brew 10 gallon batches for sharing with family and friends, but I like the idea of having the potential to.

So the ultimate question is......budget 15 gallon pot + fittings....or higher quality 8-9-10 gallon pot?

PS...sorry for the long/non-descriptive/rambling/rant.

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Old 12-09-2011, 02:15 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by NCGrayson View Post
So....as the title says, how long have you been brewing 5 gallon batches for? The reason I ask is that I'm looking at new kettles online. I've always been a believer in buying something right the first time, so it will be sufficiently used in the future instead of having to buy something different again. I'm stuck between getting a 15.5 gallon, 62-quart bayou classic stainless and adding my own fittings, or getting a thicker, smaller (8-9-10gal) stainless kettle from some other company. the price isn't the issue, the question here arises when contemplating brewing 10 gallon batches in the future. Obviously a 15.5 gallon pot would work for 10 gallon batches, but the smaller wont. I'm leaning towards the bayou classic for the potential to grow to 10 gallon batches, but is that feasible? how many of you have happily been brewing 5 gallon batches forever with no thought of going bigger? I'm pretty much the only one in my family who drinks beer regularly, so i don't currently see the need to brew 10 gallon batches for sharing with family and friends, but I like the idea of having the potential to.

So the ultimate question is......budget 15 gallon pot + fittings....or higher quality 8-9-10 gallon pot?

PS...sorry for the long/non-descriptive/rambling/rant.
If I am the only one drinking it then 5 gallon for life. What if I screw it up? 10 gallons down the drain. Also, I enjoy the work. It is rewarding and I don't want to turn it in to a dependency. It's a hobby only for when extra money is available not a staple that I must have.
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Old 12-09-2011, 02:24 PM   #3
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I've never done a 5 gallon batch unless it had an insane abv.

I figure it this way, it takes as much work to do a 10 gallon batch as it does for a 5 gallon. Also I've only made one beer that was bad so 10 gallon batches work for me.

If for some reason I wanted to do a 5 gallon batch I could do it with 10 gallon equipment.

Go with a 15 gallon kegel, if you don't like it, (but you will) you can sell it on craigslist.

That's my 2 c

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Old 12-09-2011, 02:38 PM   #4
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I've always made 5 gallon batches (well closer to 6 but same thing basically). I have a 15 gal pot and an 8 gal conical, but I've just never found a reason to make the jump. My beer goes slow as I don't have many people over anymore, so the sampler batches are perfect. I mIght even go smaller soon.

On a side note, why is Friday's avatar showing up on all the buttons right now? Is that happening to anyone else?

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Old 12-09-2011, 02:49 PM   #5
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I have stuck with 5 gallon batches for the last couple years however I really wish I had gone with the bigger brew kettle from the start just for extra head space so I don't have to watch it like a hawk for boil overs. Do it right the first time and make a keggle. Check your local scrap metal yards for old kegs. You can pick them up for the price of scrap. Fittings are cheap too. For less than a decent quality smaller pot you can have a monster


I picked up a keg recently and will be making the jump sometime soon after the holidays.

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Old 12-09-2011, 03:06 PM   #6
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I have a converted keg, which is 15.5 gallons. I make 5 gallon batches all the time- and I make some 10 gallon batches. I see no advantage at all to a 8 gallon pot. You can easily do 5 gallon batches with a larger pot.

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Old 12-09-2011, 04:15 PM   #7
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For me the pot is not the problem. I have made big 5 gallon batches (like 6+). To finish with this much beer you probably start boiling 7.5 gallons. But as the batches get bigger I find that moving large amounts of wort becomes the issue. If I was setup with a pump to move liquids around I think I would make bigger batches.

Also some folks have trouble boiling bigger batches. Need something hotter than the standard kitchen stove.

Mike

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Old 12-09-2011, 04:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I have a converted keg, which is 15.5 gallons. I make 5 gallon batches all the time- and I make some 10 gallon batches. I see no advantage at all to a 8 gallon pot. You can easily do 5 gallon batches with a larger pot.
you know.....i'm liking the idea of keggle more and more and more...
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Old 12-09-2011, 04:20 PM   #9
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8 gallons pots are not worth it unless you are getting a really good deal.

I used a turkey fryer (7.5 gallons) for a long time, but I also got the pot + burner combined for $30 or so. Every single batch you have to watch it like a hawk to prevent boilovers, and even then it's not always enough.

I would say minimum 10 gallons. 15 gallon pots you can also do 5 gallon batches in, BUT you want one with a narrower aspect ratio. The megapots, morebeer pots, and others with a similar profile tend to waste more wort without doing some extra work due to the wider base.

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Old 12-09-2011, 06:42 PM   #10
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I see it this way. At the moment, I live in a tiny apartment, so I dont want to store batches that will end up being five cases of beer. Plus, it's just me and the missus, so how much beer can we reasonably drink and share? I'm certain that sometime in the distant future, I'll want to brew 10 gallon batches, but not right away.

I don't understand the "spend tons now, but never again" mentality, especially when most brewers seem to be in a state of constant upgrade even with nice systems. Anything I buy now, I can sell again later to recoup some of the cost- I don't have to keep every piece of equipment I ever buy, so it's not like I'm going to end up wading through a sea of brewing detritus in my old age. I prefer to buy a system that fits my needs now- even if you buy a 10 gallon system, you're going to be constantly upgrading it regardless.

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