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20-Gallon vs. 5-Gallon Batch?

I’m planning on brewing my first all-grain beer, an IPA next weekend. It will be a 5-gallon batch. After that, I want to start making enough to last (kegging), and want to know if there is anything I should consider (other than the obvious larger brew kettle and mash tun) when kicking up the brewing four fold. Is it ok to just multiply everything by 4? Thanks.

Yep, just multiply by 4. Equipment is going to be your biggest concern. Ingredients, not so much.

In the long run, brewing will be cheaper per pint, because you can start buying all your specialty malts in bulk if you use them a lot. On the other hand, you’ll be paying a lot more overall compared to a little guy like me who only brews 1.7-gallon batches and brews in a bag almost exclusively. It’s a very personal decision.

But yeah. Ingredients and recipes are not a concern.

I brew 20+ gallons and if you can, do what I did and go with natural gas. Lots of reference material on my website. Basically you get 4 kegs for each 5-6 hour brew day.

[quote=“dmtaylo2”]Yep, just multiply by 4. Equipment is going to be your biggest concern. Ingredients, not so much.

In the long run, brewing will be cheaper per pint, because you can start buying all your specialty malts in bulk if you use them a lot. On the other hand, you’ll be paying a lot more overall compared to a little guy like me who only brews 1.7-gallon batches and brews in a bag almost exclusively. It’s a very personal decision.

But yeah. Ingredients and recipes are not a concern.[/quote]
Yup, that’s what I figured. I’m looking at making my own mash tun from a large rectangular cooler. I’m thinking I’ll go with two burners and two 15-gallon kettles. Thanks, brother.

That’s an awesome brew station, MullerBrau! I’d not make it past the soldering of the pipes, or the welding of the frame, unfortunately. Love the yeast starter graphic. And, those are some bad-ass ribs you got on the grill! I like the beer bottle labels also. Expensive?

Also love the beer crates. Nice touch. Why not keg, what with so much life-giving brew?

Hey Muller, the “Grain Crushing” video has a broken link.

And, compliments on the brew cave. Finally, as a retired Army veteran, I raise my glass of Chimay Blue to your Marine Corps son!

There are a couple of small things that are different when you brew bigger - dead space in mashtun and boil-off rate - that will make the total water used not quite as simple as 4x a 5-gal batch.

That’s an awesome brew station, MullerBrau! I’d not make it past the soldering of the pipes, or the welding of the frame, unfortunately. Love the yeast starter graphic. And, those are some bad-ass ribs you got on the grill! I like the beer bottle labels also. Expensive?[/quote]Thanks, the beer bottle labels are about 2 cents each and another 2 cents for the neck labels.

[quote=“monk-e-business”]Also love the beer crates. Nice touch. Why not keg, what with so much life-giving brew?[/quote]I do keg - those crates are from many years ago. I still have a few left but sold most of them to pay for my 21 kegs.

[quote=“monk-e-business”]Hey Muller, the “Grain Crushing” video has a broken link.[/quote]The link on the right side works, I will remove the one on the left.

[quote=“monk-e-business”]And, compliments on the brew cave. Finally, as a retired Army veteran, I raise my glass of Chimay Blue to your Marine Corps son![/quote]Thanks. He was in Pearl Harbor training for the last 9 weeks and now he gets to come home for 3 weeks starting the middle of August. Can’t wait. Looking forward to his visit.

Kettle wise you should be fine as long as you can boil enough to get down to 20 gallons. My kettle is a 25 gallon and it has to be very full to get an actual 20 with evaporation and dead space. Sometimes I just settle for a little less than 20. It doesn’t change the OG enough to worry about it.

Mash tun wise you may want to consider having couple of them if you will still do 5 gallons. My 25 gallon MT is very full for a big beer but reasonable the rest of the time. A 5 gallon in it would leave a lot of room.

I also simply multiply recipe ingredients by 4.

[quote=“HD4Mark”]Kettle wise you should be fine as long as you can boil enough to get down to 20 gallons. My kettle is a 25 gallon and it has to be very full to get an actual 20 with evaporation and dead space. Sometimes I just settle for a little less than 20. It doesn’t change the OG enough to worry about it.

Mash tun wise you may want to consider having couple of them if you will still do 5 gallons. My 25 gallon MT is very full for a big beer but reasonable the rest of the time. A 5 gallon in it would leave a lot of room.

I also simply multiply recipe ingredients by 4.[/quote]
Thanks, man. I figured a 120-quart drink cooler may be the best way to go. If my calculations are correct at 4 quarts to a gallon, that’s 30 gallons. Should do well.

[quote=“MullerBrau”][quote=“monk-e-business”]Also love the beer crates. Nice touch. Why not keg, what with so much life-giving brew?[/quote]I do keg - those crates are from many years ago. I still have a few left but sold most of them to pay for my 21 kegs.

[quote=“monk-e-business”]Hey Muller, the “Grain Crushing” video has a broken link.[/quote]The link on the right side works, I will remove the one on the left.

Awesome. I guess 21 kegs will do. lol. Training in Pearl Harbor, huh? Salt in an open wound if I know the Marine Corps well enough… i.e. they usually don’t let them off base much during the early trainings. Must suck if he spent 9 weeks there and didn’t get some liberty.

That’s an awesome brew station, MullerBrau! I’d not make it past the soldering of the pipes, or the welding of the frame, unfortunately. Love the yeast starter graphic. And, those are some bad-ass ribs you got on the grill! I like the beer bottle labels also. Expensive?[/quote]Thanks, the beer bottle labels are about 2 cents each and another 2 cents for the neck labels.[/quote]
I’m guessing you buy blank labels? Where? And, print them yourself? The last time I researched beer labels they were about $1 each! Some company that advertises in the trade.

Forgive me, Shadetree… what does dead space do to the mash? I know that’s probably a silly question. Temperatures?

It just means you need more sparge water and will lower your efficiency slightly, as the water left behind has some sugar in it.

[quote=“monk-e-business”]Awesome. I guess 21 kegs will do. lol. Training in Pearl Harbor, huh? Salt in an open wound if I know the Marine Corps well enough… i.e. they usually don’t let them off base much during the early trainings. Must suck if he spent 9 weeks there and didn’t get some liberty.[/quote]He got one week off when he first got there to explore the area. They gave them a van too.

[quote=“monk-e-business”]I’m guessing you buy blank labels? Where? And, print them yourself? The last time I researched beer labels they were about $1 each! Some company that advertises in the trade.[/quote]Onlinelabels.com 6 per page and they are removable adhesive.

Cool beans. That must had been fun!

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