5 Gallon System....thinking of jumping to 10 Gallon

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ivndrago

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Have a 3 vessel electric (induction) 5 Gallons system that been working awesome. Lately have been thinking of jumping to a 3 vessel 10 gallon system to increase production and reduce my brew cycles. Thoughts or ideas on:
1- is it worth the investment to increase volume
2 - Suggestions on which system is tried and true and best value to consider
 

Ridenour64

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When I started brewing I started with 5 gallon batches. I built a keezer and purchased several faucets thinking I would have several beers on tap. It wasn’t until I started brewing 10 gallons that I was able to consistently have more than 1 faucet pouring. Unless your brewing more often or drinking/ sharing less than me this may not be an issue for you. I BIAB, so really the increase in cost may just be 1 kettle and a bag for you. Would it be worth it to purchase a 3 vessel system, I can’t say. I prefer Spike for hot side equipment.
 

Jtvann

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I did the same about 3 years ago. My biggest piece of advice is to consider how much beer you’ll have and how much you enjoy the brewing process.

3 years ago I was giving a ton of beer away to lots of friends where I lived. I got to brew at least every 2 weeks. It was a lot of brewing and sometimes I couldn’t keep up with 3 different beers on tap and 2 fermenters. I decided to move up to 10 gallons.

I moved. I don’t give nearly the amount of beer away as I used to. I’ve moved to bottling beer and giving it away some in the summer. Now I’ve got so much beer that I can go 2-3 months before I have room to store the beer I made. My next batch will likely be my last batch until about January or February. I will have 6 full kegs and about 300 full bottles.

I miss the process and wish I could brew more often some times. Some times it’s nice to never worry about falling behind and I get to enjoy other hobbies. Just picked up reloading for my 300 wsm.

Can’t advise you which way to go. Just offering my thoughts for consideration.
 

Ridenour64

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I can brew 5 gallons on my system too, which I do when I’m making a beer I don’t think will be as popular with friends or something I won’t drink several of. A stout for example.
 
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ivndrago

ivndrago

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I have a keezer with 4 taps and have brewed so different types...love to explore. I am thinking of having a my 2 best beers always on tap so brewing once to get 2 full kegs would be great. The other two would be rotations. Want to explore with same grain bill with different yeast and dry hops. I love the process and do give away beer. Am actually thinking of setting up my basement into a mini-brewery and having beer tasting gatherings once or twice a month. If I could just quit my job and do this, I would.....that I am thinking about as well.
 

Golddiggie

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For systems, I really like my Spike+ kettles. If you have the budget for it, you can get one of their complete setups. That can include pumps, chiller, table and control panel for the entire thing. I LOVE their SCL for the BK. It makes it easy to brew inside since there's no wort residue on the walls/ceiling now.

I bought my setup in parts, so I don't have their control panel (have the new version from Electronic Brewing Supply). I went with 15 gallon HLT and MT and a 20 gallon BK. I can easily brew 12 gallon batches with the setup. Most of the time, my end volume is about 6-7 gallons of finished beer. Putting part into keg and the rest into cans. Easily done using a conical fermenter (comes out of fermenter ready to drink).
 

sicktght311

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I've got a 4 tap keezer, and a 3 vessel electric 5 gallon system. I've caught the bug of wanting to move up to 10 gallon, but ultimately i dont because there are times where i feel limited, and the beer goes too quick, but then its followed by periods where i have the same stuff on tap for months and i'm not brewing as much. Best is to take a look at it from a long term standpoint. If you have just as many times where you're full, as you are empty, then you're breaking even and your system is adequate. If you feel like you're constantly out, and have to constantly brew more, then yes upgrade.

Personally, i like running out a little bit quicker, as it forces me to experiment more and try different things, instead of brewing larger batches of something and sticking to my comfort zone. Easier to dump out 5 gallons than 10 gallons
 

Golddiggie

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I have a six tap keezer, with room for 10 kegs. I could fit up to eight 6 gallon kegs, plus another two 3 gallon kegs on the hump (collar made with 2x8 for the spacing). I'm about to have all six with beer on them. I have two batches that will be getting kegged and canned before the end of next week. That's in preparation for another "Brew 'n Q" day (next weekend) where people will be having what's on tap and taking cans home.

I keep family in homebrew as well. At least when either mom comes over, or I go to their place (bringing some with me when possible). I might have to slow down the beer side for the winter. Although I have a couple of bigger beer recipes on deck that will take longer to be ready. Plus since it's apple cider season, I'll be making batches of hard cider while I can. Cider doesn't go on tap but goes direct to can.
 

Golddiggie

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Hell no to NPT fittings. TC is a LOT easier to use, easier to clean completely (disassembly) and are actually considered 'sanitary' where NPT is not. After getting my Spike+ kettles, I won't go back to NPT. I've actually changed over to TC everywhere possible. The only thing I have left that's not TC native is my plate chiller. I hope to fix that sometime in the next six months (not going to a smaller chiller, so need to step up to a big boy/Blichmann Pro chiller).
 
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ivndrago

ivndrago

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All my current stuff is NPT.
Thanks for the inputs. Ill narrow my search to TC systems.
 

Golddiggie

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All my current stuff is NPT.
Thanks for the inputs. Ill narrow my search to TC systems.
My older setups were all NPT as well. Mostly because I had a low budget level when I set them up. Now, pretty much everything is TC. I don't miss playing the Teflon tape game anymore. I can remove all fittings/valves/sensors down to what's welded into the kettles (or fermenters) and easily (and quickly) put it all back together again. I changed my pumps over to TC head versions (Chugger) as well.
 

Deadalus

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If you were looking to brew 10 gallons, you can go with a 15 gallon brew pot.

I brew in a 3 vessel 2 pump keggle system. I can do 5 or 10 gallon batches. I thought what @sicktght311 said about running was well said, plus the mentions about keeping your taps going. I like to keep all four of my taps operating. I do have the flexibility to brew a big batch if needed, but since I like to brew different styles and my good friends don't live close by, I typically only brew 5 gallon batches, well I am aim for 6 actually, and with regular brewing I can keep them flowing. It's just that I have a few occasions a year where I like to bring my jockey box with 4 kegs that puts a crunch on the supply.

I put a bit of work into shining my keggles, so if I were to upgrade, I would potentially go to a 15 gallon system, but I would definitely go the TC route. Not that the NPT is horrible but it would be influential in letting go of my keggles.

Last thing to think about though. What types of beers do you like to brew? If you are brewing 10 gallons, it's a larger fermenter or doubling up on your fermentation vessels. If you are using fermentation chambers, you need to think about what you have or you may want to look at glycol chillers. As an example, I have two mini fridge chambers. If I brew a 10 gallon lager, I have just tied them out for 3-4 weeks. I can't brew another lager any time soon. I think I am about 50/50 on ales and lagers, possibly a little higher. I am looking to build a glycol chiller though, but then I will need to adapt that to my fermentation vessels. I am not exactly familiar yet on what additional costs that will entail, Also, the temperature control issue is a reason I am still at the beginning planning stages of getting a conical.
 
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ivndrago

ivndrago

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Great input. Ill start looking into that conversion as well.
 

Fr8Dog

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I brew 5 and 10 gallon batches in a Brewer's Hardware 15 gallon system converted to electric. The HLT and BK have 5500W elements in them. My system does not include the burners that are shown in the photo. The system is all TC. The brew stand is awesome and the manifold and riptide pumps make brew day easy. Brewer's Hardware welded the the TC ports to the BK and HLT for the heating elements and added a HERMS coil to the to the HLT as part of the electric conversion. We are five brews into it and couldn't be happier.


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Brewer's Hardware BH15
 
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ivndrago

ivndrago

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I brew 5 and 10 gallon batches in a Brewer's Hardware 15 gallon system converted to electric. The HLT and BK have 5500W elements in them. My system does not include the burners that are shown in the photo. The system is all TC. The brew stand is awesome and the manifold and riptide pumps make brew day easy. Brewer's Hardware welded the the TC ports to the BK and HLT for the heating elements and added a HERMS coil to the to the HLT as part of the electric conversion. We are five brews into it and couldn't be happier.


View attachment 742668Brewer's Hardware BH15
So this is a custom setup? I like the price point and the compactness of the stand. Ill keep looking at this one.
 

Beernik

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It is nice to have the versatility to brew 5 or 10 gallons.

That said, I doubt I’ll be brewing 10 gallons again anytime soon unless I’m splitting the beer with someone.
 

Golddiggie

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It is nice to have the versatility to brew 5 or 10 gallons.

That said, I doubt I’ll be brewing 10 gallons again anytime soon unless I’m splitting the beer with someone.
I brew to get about 6 gallons of finished beer out of fermenter. Using the 15 gallon Spike+ MT and HLT and 20 gallon BK. I wanted the larger BK for when I wanted to get either 10 or 12 gallons out (did a single 12 gallon batch so far) I could.
 

Fr8Dog

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So this is a custom setup? I like the price point and the compactness of the stand. Ill keep looking at this one.
It is a custom setup based on the BH15. Brewer's Hardware was very easy to work with on the changes that I wanted to make. I use a use a UniFlex controller from BruControl. The BruControl software makes the brew day and fermentation very easy. The customer service from BruControl has been excellent.
 

day_trippr

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fwiw, I increased my batch size from 5 gallons to 10 when I realized brewing a 5 gallon batch every other week through an entire year would not keep up with demand :D

Cheers! (messed up grammar edited)
 
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Beerstein

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fwiw, I increased my batch size from 5 gallons to 10 when I realized I'd brewing a 5 gallon batch every other week through an entire year would not keep up with demand :D

Cheers!
I'm in much the same boat. Moved to a 10g (10g total volume) Spike Solo. Been doing about 7 gallon batches, hoping to get bigger fermenters later this fall. Going bigger is never a bad thing. +1 to tri clamps
 

Golddiggie

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I almost wish I had just done the Spike 20 gallon setup (complete system) from the start. But what I have is working well for my current batch sizing. I might upgrade to 20 gallon MT and HLT in the coming year, or two. Before moving to a 1bbl system if things go to plan. ;)
 

Phischy

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Having gone from 5 gal to a 20g system (morebeer 2020 flat) with 26 gallon kettles and I generally brew 10g batches with the occasional 15 when I'm teaching so the 'student' can walk away with a batch of beer too.

I've gone full stainless, and everything is on casters. Going bigger is fine, you get more stability out of batches to some degree, but the fermentaion side is another set of problems. If you do carboys that math is simple, if you're upgrading to larger vessels then you have weight issues, cooling issues etc...

I have 2 14g FV on casters that are chilled via 40F cold water. I have all my older kettles and I finally picked up a Flex+ so I can get back to 5 g batches for the stuff I don't need or want 10 gallons of.

Keep in mind that if you go 'big' for 10g batches with larger kettles and you want to do a 5g batch, if it's a low grav beer your MT may not be optimal. So don't sell everything!
 

Murph4231

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A lot of good information has been offered to you here. I'm beyond all the larger batches. I now brew nothing larger than 5 gallons. When I brewed larger batches I ended up getting tired of some of them long before they were consumed. But it's all about how much of a particular beer you want to have around or how many drinkers you are supplying with beer. My advise is think about whether or not you really want larger batches and do you have the capacity to brew, ferment, chill, store and serve the increased volumes of beer.

Just relax and have a homebrew. Have fun doing it your way. That's what it's all about,
 

greywolf

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I went from a two vessel system optimized for 5 gallons to a 20 gallon BIAB (basket). My old system made great beer. My new system makes twice as much great beer with a very similar time commitment. nearly every 10 gallon batch gets split into cornies for different hopping, yeasts, sometimes the wort gets something different. It keeps the pipeline full and also it keeps it interesting. I find the part that I like in brewing is not watching things boil. Double batches do it for me.
 
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