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Old 10-07-2012, 02:28 PM   #1
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Default 3 Kettle sizes, which for what (HERMS)?

Hey all,

Gonna build an electric HERMS 3 vessel system with two March pumps to do 10 gallon batches, I already have a 15.5 gal keg and a Bayou Classic 44 qt SS kettle (this is my original boil pot that I've had for about 5 years, I use it for a HLT now with a 10gal rubbermaid cooler MLT). I was planning on picking up another keg to convert or buying something in between 17-20 gallons. Couple of questions though:

Which for what? i.e. the 44qt for HLT, 2 kegs for MLT and BK, or keg HLT, 44qt pot for MLT, keg for BK? Sell/trade the 44qt for something bigger (another keg or bigger pot)? I am going to donate the cooler MLT and possibly the 44qt BC to a friend who is getting into brewing.

If I get more kegs, I would want to do bottom drain with a sanke adapter/valve where it is most beneficial. Problem is, I already cut the top off of the one keg I own, so is that one best suited for HLT, MLT, or BK?

Thanks for the help, I've been over a bunch of different scenarios in my head and just need to hear some other opinions.

Additional info, the 44qt BC has a weldless valve in the side, the keg only has top cut off.


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Old 10-07-2012, 07:10 PM   #2
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I'd use the 44 qt for the HLT. It's too small for a MLT doing 10 gal batches if you ever want to brew anything over ~1.070 OG. I use a 1/2 bbl keggle for my MLT doing 10 gal batches, and sometimes wish it were a little bigger.

If it were me I'd use the cut keg for the BK, and flip another one upside down for a bottom drain MLT with no dead space. Or find a 17-20 gal pot for the MLT. That's just me though.


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Old 10-08-2012, 12:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanMoore View Post
I'd use the 44 qt for the HLT. It's too small for a MLT doing 10 gal batches if you ever want to brew anything over ~1.070 OG. I use a 1/2 bbl keggle for my MLT doing 10 gal batches, and sometimes wish it were a little bigger.

If it were me I'd use the cut keg for the BK, and flip another one upside down for a bottom drain MLT with no dead space. Or find a 17-20 gal pot for the MLT. That's just me though.
Thanks, this was pretty much what I was thinking as well. So, I guess if I have three sizes, pretty much the largest kettle should be the MLT, followed by BK, then HLT. Thanks JuanMoore !
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:45 PM   #4
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I am in the same boat, but have some concerns. I have a 44qt Bayou that I BIAB with, but I am looking to move to a 3 tire 10 gallon batch electric setup. My concerns are the size of the keggle not being big enough, even though I know many people use them for their BK's and the 44qt HLT having to constantly add water to it. My first concern, is the keggle being only 15.5 gallons won't allow me enough room for a nice rolling boil of 12-13 gallons (1-1.5 boil off, finish with 11 gallons - 5.5 gallons in each carboy - 0.5g loss to trub and yeast cake). Are people using FermCap constantly to control their boil overs? Second concern, how are you anticipating the 11g HLT schedule? I have never used a typcial MLT so not 100% sure the process, but I would assume you'd drain most of the tank to the MLT and then have to top off the HLT for enough sparge water to get you to the 12-13g of pre-boil wort.
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:04 PM   #5
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I've been looking into the electric build, also. I currently use an 11 gall kettle, for HLT and BK, and was trying to think of a slow progression into the electric configuration. I think it's gonna be some time before I'm all in on the electric setup, but it'd be nice if I could slowly buy different pieces, implementing them in my current configuration, and slowly build up for the final conversion to electric. Ideally, I'd like to have Kal's setup with the 20 gal Blichmann's, but I'm not completey sure I'll go that route, mainly due to the cost. Then again, it'd be nice to have a sharp rig and never have an urge to upgrade again.


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