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10 gallon vs. 5

Currently I do 5 gallon all-grain batches (kits), but need a bigger brew kettle. Initially I was doing 5 gallon extract and my 5 gallon brew kettle was fine. After a couple of batches of all-grain, I realize that I need several more gallon capacity to factor in boil over head space and evaporation.

My question is: is there a financial savings to doing 10 gallon batches or is it the same 5 gallon batch x2?

If the only advantage to 10 gallon is more beer and less frequent brewing, I will get a 7-8 gallon kettle. If I can save money on 10 gallon kits, then I will get a 15 gallon kettle.

The main savings is time. You still need to buy appx. twice as much ingredients. Maybe you could save some money with yeast by building up a starter for one big batch instead of two smaller ones.

If you got the 7-8 gallon kettle, you could always brew a really strong wort and dilute it with distilled water up to 10 gallons. A lot of the pros do that to make more beer than their kettles will hold.

Even for 5 gal batches, I’d get a 10 gal kettle.

If you’re brewing exclusively with kits now, you can save quite a bit of money by buying ingredients in bulk and banking yeast.

True, although if you’re going to go 10 gallon batches, you should look at a 15 gallon kettle, as your pre-boil volume will be in the 12 or 13 gallon range for a 90 minute boil.

A 10 gallon kettle would serve you well now, and if you decide to upgrade to a bigger vessel later, I’m sure you can find something for that lonely old 10 gallon to do. :slight_smile: (HLT, Decoction pot, big batch of chili…)

I’ve only done one 5 gallon batch, it’s been 10 gallon ever since. I have a 15 gal Megapot and wish I had the 20. Have had a couple batches that needed babysitting to prevent boilovers at beginning of and shortly after boil starts. In those cases I collected ~13.5 gallons and plnned on a boil time to meet my needed volume (+90 minutes). The 20 would allow me to walk away in those cases.
For full wort boils nothing less than a 15 gal in my opinion because of, as mentioned before, 12-13 gal to start with.

If you can split your 10 gallon batch into two 5’s (most likely your plan) then you can pitch two different yeast and really experience how much yeast influences the outcome.

In my case it does lessen the frequency of brew days, for me right now that is a plus.

Good Luck!

As mentioned, time is the biggest savings when doing larger batches, and basically the only difference is it takes a bit longer to get the mash water & boil up to temp. I have a 15 gallon BK too. Many times wishing I had a 20. 13 - 13.5 gallons in a 15 gallon pot puts it right near the top. I’ve had to use a smaller pot on another burner a few times. Fermcap is about the only way to keep the hot break in check but even then the rolling boil might jump out. Cheers!!!

I am totally new to all-grain and just bought the 15 gallon megapot…plan to brew my first all-grain next weekend. Can someone please explain why I am always hearing 90 minute boils vs. 6o minute boils. I understand that some do it for better hops utilization but I am thinking the frequency has more to do with hitting a particular OG with evaporation and such.

On a big beer you may need to collect more wort from your mash to help with efficiency so you would boil longer to get to your post boil volume, or you could just take the lower efficiency and up the grain bill. Some also boil for 90 minutes on light beers like pilsners to drive off DMS.

I’d recommend going with a 60 minute boil just starting out, that way you’ll get a handle on your boil off rate. Once you get consistent results you can make adjustments for 90 minute boils if you need to do one.

[quote=“a10t2”]Even for 5 gal batches, I’d get a 10 gal kettle.

If you’re brewing exclusively with kits now, you can save quite a bit of money by buying ingredients in bulk and banking yeast.[/quote]

I think this is very solid advice.

One of the primary benefits of AG is the cost savings. With kits, you’re being ripped off. And that means you’re going to have to write your own recipes…

Frankly, I would concentrate my efforts on the trial and error, rather than the scale, aspect of the hobby for the time being. 10 gallons of beer may save you some time, but if it’s crap beer, it’s crap beer. I’m sure you’ve scarfed down a batch of less than optimal beer in the past, right? We all have! :cheers: With ten gallons, you have another keg to go. I’d rather get myself dialed in on a smaller scale.

Last, I’m a tinkerer, I love designing beers and tweaking their finer points. I just can’t see myself locked into a 10 gallon system. I simply don’t love a single beer that much.

Since you’re working with kits now, I’d strongly suggest getting Randy Mosher’s Designing Great Beers. That book will get you pointed in the right direction.

Good advice from all the posters…I brew in mostly 10 gallon batches with a 15 gallon kettle, and design my own recipes…have not dumped a batch in a very long time. Just take careful notes so that you can reproduce what you love and evolve what could be improved. Another potential plus to a 15 gallon brew kettle is room for large amounts of grain if you decide to make any high gravity ales…a barley wine or great big Belgian can require enough grain to fill a 10 gallon kettle pretty quickly. As you get your recipes dialed in, your friends will be delighted to beta-test your recipes…it’s fun to share! :cheers:
John

That’s only a concern if you’re mashing in the kettle though.

Kettles are like boats. Have a 20 footer, wish you had a 27 footer…

Thanks for all the post. I think I will stick with 5 gallons, as I enjoy brew days and may not even be able to consume 10 gallons without it getting stale.

I plan on taking the advice and researching how to get away from kits for the cost savings. I also plan on banking yeast in the future. Can someone provide me with a receipe of your favorite less expensive 5 gallon beer? I looked at the receipe exchange, but didn’t see a thread that factors in cost.

Cheapskate American Pale Ale

7lb domestic 2-row, $0.75 x 7 = $5.25
1lb crystal 40, $1.50 x 1 = $1.50
1lb sugar, $.50/lb x 1 = $0.50

0.5oz Magnum hops at 60min, 12%AA, $2.00/oz x 0.5 = $1.00
0.5oz Centennial hops at 10min, 8%AA, $2.00/oz x 0.5 = $1.00

Ferment with 1056 or equivalent, reuse yeast 5x so cost is $1.25/batch.

OG should be around 1.050, IBUs around 30, total cost $10.50 for 5gal.

And if this one doesn’t suit ya, theres many more recipes where this came from. Maybe a Scottish 60/-, it is low hopped so you save money there. Or a brown ale or something. The key is finding sacks of domestic base malt for under $1/lb. I get mine for $0.65/lb.

[quote=“Troglodyte”]

Since you’re working with kits now, I’d strongly suggest getting Randy Mosher’s Designing Great Beers. That book will get you pointed in the right direction.[/quote]

I’m working my way through Ray Daniels’ “Designing Great Beers” now, and I’d suggest that one.

I brew 10 gallons after having moved from 5 gallon extract to 5 gallon all grain. Some time ago I decided I really like this hobby. When I figured I would continue to expand I also said, “I will not purchase equipment twice.” Always look to your future. It saves in the long run.

Thanks Tom for the receipe. How would you compare the cheapskate to a commercial beer? I configured it locally and it came out to $22, but the second batch would be substaintially less as I would already have the yeast and hops (hops are only sold by the oz.) 2 row was $1.50 per pound. Could I use Safale US-05 Yeast?

I would love a receipe similar to Newcastle Brown Ale.

Oh yeah, that’s a good sub for the 1056. I’ve found by re hydrating it 15 minutes or so before pitching it gets off to a better start.

Here’s a tasty Brown ale I make that everyone seem to enjoy:

5 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 55.56 %
2 lbs Barley, Flaked (1.7 SRM) Grain 22.22 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 16.67 %
8.0 oz Pale Chocolate (175.0 SRM) Grain 5.56 %
0.75 oz Magnum [12.00 %] (60 min) Hops 30.8 IBU
1 Pkgs American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) Yeast-Ale

Base Malts: Briess 2-row Brewers Malt - 5 lb
Crystal Malts: Weyermann® CaraMunich III (Crystal 60) - 24 oz
Specialty Malts: Muntons Chocolate Malt - 8 oz
Flaked Barley - 32 oz
Hops: Pellet Hops Magnum .75 oz
Dry Yeast: Safale US-05 Yeast

Glug Master, does this look right?

[quote=“Sooner49er”]Base Malts: Briess 2-row Brewers Malt - 5 lb
Crystal Malts: Weyermann® CaraMunich III (Crystal 60) - 24 oz
Specialty Malts: Muntons Chocolate Malt - 8 oz
Flaked Barley - 32 oz
Hops: Pellet Hops Magnum .75 oz
Dry Yeast: Safale US-05 Yeast

Glug Master, does this look right?[/quote]
I would use pale chocolate male, it’s mellower and lighter than regular chocolate malt. If you do use regular chocolate malt, I’d cut it to 4 or 5 ounces. I really like the pale chocolate though.

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