Kettle Size & All Grain

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Frostymug

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Hello, new here to this forum. I have been brewing beer for a year or so with the help of my local supply store. I have started making all grain and love it. The beer is great however I think I'm not doing correctly. I'm using a 5 gallon kettle and mashing 10lbs of grain in a bag with 3.5 gallons of water. I sparge 1 gallon and go to a 60 min boil. I then add to the carboy which has 2 gallons of almost frozen water in. Cool to 72 degrees and pitch the yeast.

I have been reading and think I need a 16 gallon kettle. I appreciate any assistance here. Just don't want to go to far in the wrong direction. Want to get serious where in the new year.
 

chickypad

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If the beer is great then by definition I'd say you're doing it correctly :)

There are many ways to brew with no one "right" way. I usually do 3 gal batches, but I will occasionally top off to 5 gals just like you are describing. The main problem is you will max out on gravity at a certain point unless you are willing to add extract or other sugars. I also don't do this with very hoppy beers as the topping off will also dilute the IBU's. If you want to do a full volume mash BIAB and get 5 gals finished you'll probably need in the neighborhood of a 10 gal pot. Of course you can go bigger. If you are willing to sparge to do a full boil you can get away with a smaller 7 gal kettle or so (as long as you're sticking to 5 gals finished).
 

jmill

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I'd say go bigger than you think you need now. You can always fill a big kettle half way....if you want to go bigger, you have to replace. A 15-16 gal kettle will let you easily do 10 gal batches of light to medium beers and slightly smaller for huge DIPA or barleywines.

I started doing 5 gal and continued until recently, even with 15 gal kettles. For the past two brews, I did 10 gal batches to keg half and bottle the other half. Twice the beer, same amount of brew time.
 

jtratcliff

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I do 6 gallon BIAB batches in a 10 g kettle... 12 ish lbs of grain... 6.5-7 g of strike water, 1.5 g dunk sparge in a separate smaller kettle...

I still have enough room in the 10g kettle to stir well without worrying too much when I dough in...
 
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Frostymug

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Thanks that's what I thought. Also if I decide to experiment with a 3 gallon batch am I still good in my 5 - 6 gallon carboy. Read something about head space when fermenting. Still uncertain here about that.

Also do you all use any beer apps to record your recipes or go old school and spiral notebook it? Thanks again.
 

PADave

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I do 6 gallon BIAB batches in a 10 g kettle... 12 ish lbs of grain... 6.5-7 g of strike water, 1.5 g dunk sparge in a separate smaller kettle...

I still have enough room in the 10g kettle to stir well without worrying too much when I dough in...
Same here, only I don't sparge. Plenty of room with a 10 gallon kettle. And for when I get around to doing something with a really big grain bill, I'll do a dunk sparge.
 
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