Author Topic: More beer than I can fit?  (Read 2838 times)

Offline VonMessa

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More beer than I can fit?
« on: May 21, 2010, 10:05:47 AM »

I have an all-grain single tier system with a 15 gallon boil kettle (keg)

I have been making 10 gallon batches without a hitch since I made the boil kettle.

I need to step up and make some 15-gallon batches as there are a bunch of summer shindigs that SWMBO and I have been invited to this summer.  (Interesting how the ratio of parties one is invited to grows in direct proportion to the number of people that try ones homebrew.  I'm sure I'm not the only one that has experienced this phenomenon :)  )   

If I try to boil more than 12-13 gallons max, things get......   "interesting"   :)

My grain bill is 36 pounds (counting rice hulls it would be 39).   The larger of my two mash tuns has a 30 gallon capacity, so no problem there.   Using the 1.5 qt./lb ratio I get 54.qt (13.5 gal) for mashing (do I need to count rice hulls in the total grain weight for the 1.5/lb ratio?  It looks as though BeerSmith is)  If so, that puts me at 14.6 gallons using the same ratio.  Knowing that I will progressively lose water along the way in the mash, dead space in MLT et cetera, that might get me to 13 gallons.  This is not including water for mash-out (I can't heat my mash tun because it is a Igloo cooler) but I will need a fairly viscous mash because I have about 65% wheat in the grist, nor does it include any sparge water (I batch sparge, usually with 2 rounds if possible)

  Mash profile is Double infusion, light body as follows (per BeerSmith):

Protein Rest       8.28 gallons  (ratio is .23 gal/lb)
Saccrification     7.20 gallons  (ratio is .43 gal/lb)
Mash Out          7.20  gallons  (ratio is .63 gal/lb)

With standard boil-off, chiller, trub losses, etc, BeerSmith is giving me a boil volume of 17.17 gallons which obviously I can't fit into my 15 gallon keggle.

I would like to adjust my recipe to meet the following conditions (without getting a stuck sparge considering all the wheat involved):

- 12/13 gallons max into boil kettle
- Some sort of mash out for more viscosity when lautering
- At least one round of batch sparging.
- Split wort evenly into (3) primary vessels and top-off each one with sanitized      water
-15 gallon final volume (in 3 separate fermenters)

Too much to ask?  I don't want to destroy my efficiency by screwing with the mash water ratio too much. 

I'm not willing to sacrifice quality for quantity.  If that is the case, I'll just have to make (2), 10-gallon batches  :)

I do recall from back in the day however, making extract batches on the stove and topping off with water in the fermentor without any ill effects.

Questions, recommendations, opinions, comments and flames welcome.
Give me a woman who loves beer, and I will conquer the world.   -Kaiser Wilhelm

Offline Pirate Point Brewer

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Re: More beer than I can fit?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2010, 02:51:39 AM »

Sucks about your friends!! ::)  We have the same enjoyable problem here. We're all boaters in the summer (and we don't have temp controls to brew). So we try to brew ahead all winter. They have nothing to do, so they come over to "Help Us Brew". Then we're behind instead of ahead! ;D

We've worked around with this. We're not smart enough to find a way to get the boil down below 17 gal and then we're not sure if a mash that thick would be very efficient. You didn't say but we assumed 50%/50% Pilsner to wheat in the grist with 3 lbs rice hulls. We include the rice hulls in the calcs because they absorb water in the mash. We're not sure they absorb as much as the two whole grains but they do absorb some. 

Perhaps you could make a smaller mash, then increase the gravity by using wheat extract in a separate small boil. Then add the two together in the fermenter. Hopping would be a bit of a guess.

Others may be more help!

In Fall and Winter, we burn wood in the fireplace and brew beer.
In Spring & Summer, we're on the water or walking the beach!
 Then back at the dock we create a reason to brew!