Author Topic: trying 10 gallons with 5 gallon equipment  (Read 5306 times)

Offline Maine Homebrewer

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1371
trying 10 gallons with 5 gallon equipment
« on: April 29, 2010, 07:22:03 PM »
I mash in a brewbucket, the ones where the start of the lid/handle part is six gallons.  It sits in a big insulated box.
Two more, one with a spigot and another with a million holes drilled into the bottom serve as my lauter tun.
I've got a sparge arm that I feed from another of these buckets.
The result ends up in a 8 gallon brewpot on a burner that came from a turkey fryer kit.
It is cooled with an immersion coil.

For a while I did 5 gallon batches and kegged it all.  Lately I've been making six gallon batches, putting some in bottles and kegging the difference.

I came up with a bright (or hair-brained, but you don't know until you try, right?) idea that perhaps I could squeeze two five gallon batches out of the system.

I figured that the max dry crushed grain that will fit into my lauter tun without making a mess to be eighteen pounds.  I use ten pounds base in a six gallon batch with starting gravity in the high forties. Eighteen pounds should be enough grain to make ten gallons with a starting gravity in the high thirties.  Assuming I get similar efficiency.

My first idea was to boil whatever made it into the brewpot, split it between two buckets, then top it with previously boiled and chilled water.
My second idea was to boil whatever made it into the brewpot, continue to fly sparge, chill what was boiled and split it between buckets, boil runnings collected during the boil for ten minutes or so, cool split between buckets.  That would add an hour or so, but an hour is a small price to pay for four gallons of beer.

I'm just wondering if anyone has tried anything similar.

In your opinion is this realistic or hair-brained?
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline SOGOAK

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 383
Re: trying 10 gallons with 5 gallon equipment
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2010, 06:27:02 AM »
It is like a quazi-partigyle.  I'd say it should work.  I'd me leary of adding water to high 30s og wort.  It seems like it would be pretty weak. 

One way you could get ahead a little would be to make a cooler mash/lauter tun. 

60 quart or better and then start boiling the first pot full while you collect the extra and then mix.

My first 2 ag batches where in an 8 gallon turkey pot and I had to be creative to get enough hot water.

I batch sparge and let my first runnings wait in a bucket while I got enough and finnished collecting more.

(I was only aiming for 5gal)

I'd say the extra work in heating water and jockeying wort maybe cumbersome.
Good Recipe, Good Ingredients, Good Procedure, Good Sanitation = Good Brew.

Offline Maine Homebrewer

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1371
Re: trying 10 gallons with 5 gallon equipment
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2010, 07:06:33 PM »
Things didn't work out as planned.  The grain water mix occupied more volume than I could sparge. 
I split it in half after it passed the 'ol iodine test, and found myself with two buckets each containing 3.5 gallons of warm mash.
One I heated in the brewpot to 170, put it back in the bucket and heated the sparge water.
While washing the sugar off that grain I heated the contents of the other bucket along with some sparge water.
While the first one boiled I washed sugars off the second.
It was a pain in the ass that I'm sure with practice will become easier, and it only added 2hrs to my total time.

In the end I had a 100% increase in output paid for by a 30% increase in time and effort.

Not bad.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline mcbeer

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 11
Re: trying 10 gallons with 5 gallon equipment
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2010, 08:51:05 PM »
here's how I brew double batches to maximizes brew days.  . I brew 10 gallon batches but the principle is the same.  start the operation as normal, while you're waiting for the mash, heat strike water for a second batch, then when you empty the tun and start boiling the wort refill the tun with a second batch . boil the first batch as the second mashes, then you're cooling the first batch as the second boils, etc. think about it, an extra hour or so in the day can yield a double batch. i have a counterflow chiller which cools the wort instantly, you would have to transfer to a bucket so you could use your kettle to boil as the first batch chilled. i routinely brew 20 gallons of beer in 6-7 hours. it's a little hectic the first time or two but well worth the boost in productivity. one advantage over your first attempt (psuedo-partigyle) is that they can be two totally different beers.

dparilla

  • Guest
Re: trying 10 gallons with 5 gallon equipment
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2010, 05:45:41 AM »
I often use mcbeers technique brewing 2 or even 3, 5 gallon batches at a time.

 

modification