Upgrading to 10 gallon batches - Minimal Equipment (AG)

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Theropteryx

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Hi all,

I've encountered the "time to brew vs free time" problem - sounds like this is common amongst people who share this hobby. A common solution to this problem is to produce more beer per brew day.

With that said, I would like to attempt make the volume jump by purchasing minimal equipment.

I'm currently brewing 5 gallon AG batches - that's to say that I have:

8 gal mash tun
8 gal boil kettle
(no HLT)
Chugger Pump
Bayou classic burner
Multiple fermenters

If I were to purchase a 15 gallon mash tun (I prefer steel kettles for easy temperature control during step mashes), I could (theoretically) use my old mash tun as a HLT and a boil kettle during the same brew day. So the workflow would look something like this:

1.) HLT (8 gal mash tun) sits on top of burner 1
2.) 15 gal mash tun sits on top of burner 2
3.) First runnings and second runnings from the sparge would be split between my two 8 gallon pots, and thus the boil would be split across two burners and two pots.

If I do this, the main problem is that initially, the concentrations of sugar between 8 gallon pots would be different. I'm sure that I could use my pump to equilibrate the concentrations of the wort, however I'm not sure if that would be difficult to achieve in reality (as it sounds simple in text).

I think that this would mean that all I would need to purchase would be another burner and a 15 gal mash tun.

Thoughts on this? Do any of you brew 10 gallon batches in a similar way?
 

ancientmariner52

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Hi all,

I've encountered the "time to brew vs free time" problem - sounds like this is common amongst people who share this hobby. A common solution to this problem is to produce more beer per brew day.

With that said, I would like to attempt make the volume jump by purchasing minimal equipment.

I'm currently brewing 5 gallon AG batches - that's to say that I have:

8 gal mash tun
8 gal boil kettle
(no HLT)
Chugger Pump
Bayou classic burner
Multiple fermenters

If I were to purchase a 15 gallon mash tun (I prefer steel kettles for easy temperature control during step mashes), I could (theoretically) use my old mash tun as a HLT and a boil kettle during the same brew day. So the workflow would look something like this:

1.) HLT (8 gal mash tun) sits on top of burner 1
2.) 15 gal mash tun sits on top of burner 2
3.) First runnings and second runnings from the sparge would be split between my two 8 gallon pots, and thus the boil would be split across two burners and two pots.

If I do this, the main problem is that initially, the concentrations of sugar between 8 gallon pots would be different. I'm sure that I could use my pump to equilibrate the concentrations of the wort, however I'm not sure if that would be difficult to achieve in reality (as it sounds simple in text).

I think that this would mean that all I would need to purchase would be another burner and a 15 gal mash tun.

Thoughts on this? Do any of you brew 10 gallon batches in a similar way?
If I understand your goal correctly, you could:

1. Mash in 15 gal kettle.

2. Store wort in 2 x 8 gal kettles.

3. Clean mash tun. (Just hose it out, sanitizing not needed.)

4. Boil wort in 15 gal kettle.

No need for 2 burners (I think).
 
OP
T

Theropteryx

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You've got it right, that makes it even simpler. Something that I had not realized is that my immersion chiller will not work in a deep 15 gallon pot.
 

Dland

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I had similar time/batch size situation. Had a nice Blichman 8 gallon set up I bought used, but could only make one C keg's worth per brewing day. After 1st brew with small kettles I went to a home made 15 gallon keggle system pictured in my avatar. The only reason I used two burners is so I don't have to move kettles around, and sometimes heat sanitation water when boiling wort. Just added an electric element to HLT, an easy upgrade on a keg kettle, by the way...faster, cheaper to run than propane.

I usually use 2 pumps, but can get away with one if I elevate the HLT and let the sparge water gravity feed.
 

pvpeacock

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Alternatively, you can mash and boil a high gravity wort and then dilute it with water in the fermenters before you pitch the yeast. When my keg pipeline gets low, I do this and brew 10 gallons using my 5 gallon set up. As long as you have the fermenter capacity for 10 gallons, it is easy to do.
 
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I do something similar pretty often. I have a 15 gallon mash tun and two 10 gallon kettles. Sometimes I'll party-gyle. Other times I'll collect my wort in a 20 gallon trash can and split it. The thing I dig about it is that I can make 2 different beers any way I do it.
 
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Theropteryx

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This is all great advice. There's more than one way to skin a cat, so your comments have helped clarify what I need to acquire/do. I see the advantage of having a second burner (electric or gas), but I'm also considering purchasing a chest freezer for better fermentation control. I suppose we all go through the phase in brewing (...and life!) when we realize that there's more that we want than what we need, so equipment selection becomes something that you can really overanalyze when you're trying to upgrade your brewing system.

Thanks guys!
 
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