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Old 03-05-2010, 01:28 PM   #1
StarCityBrewMaster
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I have only made one batch of beer and planning my second. Obviously I'm a big dreamer already thinking about a 3 tier brewing system. My father in law is a welder and could easily put together a rack like the one in the video listed.

http://www.youtube.com/JoePolvino#p/u/1/Zk6d1dy9jOc

This video and a couple others listed really help me to understand how the system works (and how easy it can be) but what do I do if I want to brew 10 gallons at a time? Me and a buddy have split everything down the middle, which is nice from a cost stand point, but it would be nice to come away with 2 cases of beer each after every brew. So I am curious what you would do to come away with 10 gallons.

Is it as simple as adding one more burner/keggle and doubling the ingredients used then splitting between the two keggles or do most of you just do 2 batches in a row? Just trying to understand everything about the systems. I know they are not necessary to brew all grain but man do they look sharp and I'm sure help the process flow smoothly.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:56 PM   #2
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If you already plan to use a keggle, why not just brew 10 gallons all at once. You're boil kettle should be big enough to handle it... that is certainly easier than doing 2 smaller boils or brewing twice in a row.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:58 PM   #3
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It's really just a basic size issue. Rather than adding additional vessels you just need to make sure the vessels you have can handle the volume of a 10 gallon batch. Now the keggles are good for 10 gallons as they have a 15 gallon capacity which leaves room for the additional water in the brew kettle you will need to boil to account for boil off. To collect 10 gallons you need to boil somewhere around 12-14 gallons as you will lose some to evaporation which varries by system and environment.

The brewer in the video is limited in batch size by his 5 gallon mash tun. He is also limited even in a 5 gallon batch to at most moderate sized beers. If he wanted to brew a big high alcohol beer his grain bill would not fit. He could change to a 10 gallon water cooler and be able to do any 5 gallon beer and many 10 gallon beers, but again be unable to do really high alcohol beers. Many brewers who know they want to brew 10 gallon batches just go ahead and use a 3rd keggle as the mash tun. This gives you a 15 gallon hot liquor tank, 15 gallon mash tun and 15 gallon brew kettle. Some will even go up to a 20 gallon brew kettle as with the 15 gallon one and starting off with as much as 14 gallons or wort does not leave much error for boil overs.

As long as you mount any hardware you want on your keggles such as thermometers or sight glasses low enough in the keggles, an all keggle system will also work fine for 5 gallon batches as well.
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:22 PM   #4
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So your saying the set up on the left is what I should shoot for eventually?




Then I'd be able to do any beer I wanted including high alchohol and get 10 gallons easy?
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:29 PM   #5
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Yes, that is correct. The only issue would be watching your boil for boilovers at the start, and that can be greatly negated by using a foam control product such as fermcap in the boil.

Also rather than using keggles you could use any 15 gallon stock pot. Many go with keggles because they can be found cheaper than many stock pots and they have a "cool" factor.
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:33 PM   #6
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The difference is the 3 tier works off of gravity and the 1 tier you need a pump both can make 10g batches

Top tier is HLT
middle tier is MLT
bottom tier is BK

 
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:46 PM   #7
ibbones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarCityBrewMaster View Post
So your saying the set up on the left is what I should shoot for eventually?


Then I'd be able to do any beer I wanted including high alchohol and get 10 gallons easy?
That's kinda what I am looking for. I have one keggle that I use as my BK but I might have access to another and just use the cooler for the mash tun. I like the setup better than the three tier system.
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:48 PM   #8
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I built a hybrid of these two systems....mine is a 2-tier system with the HLT and Kettle on the lower tier and the Mash on the top.

This allows me to pump my sparge water from the HLT on top of the mash and then gravity feed from the mash into the kettle...then i can use the pump to push the wort from the kettle through my plate heat exchanger and into the fermentors...

 
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padstack31 View Post
I built a hybrid of these two systems....mine is a 2-tier system with the HLT and Kettle on the lower tier and the Mash on the top.

This allows me to pump my sparge water from the HLT on top of the mash and then gravity feed from the mash into the kettle...then i can use the pump to push the wort from the kettle through my plate heat exchanger and into the fermentors...
2years later and a dollar short....do u have any photos?

 
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarCityBrewMaster View Post
I have only made one batch of beer and planning my second. Obviously I'm a big dreamer already thinking about a 3 tier brewing system..
Brewing all grain beer can be accomplished very simply without tiers or pumps....I would suggest getting your head out of the clouds and into the kettle and get brewing and get some hands on experience. Check out dennybrew for the ultra simple approach, and when you have that down and are making some decent beer than worry about posting a photo of your "rig".

http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/

OK...I apologize if I was a bit harsh above, but I just feel that until you understand the basic concepts, a three tier or using pumps is like handing the keys to a race car to a permit driver.

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