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"Graduating" to 5 Gallon Extract Brewing

I’m currently brewing using the small batch kits (running 3 fermentors). I really enjoy it and would like to move up to doing a 5 gallon batch, mostly for the added recipes available but also just to have more beer. Any recommendations on which 5 gallon kit should upgrade to? Additional needed equipment?

Thanks!

When I added the ability to brew 5 gallon batches, I wanted a plastic wide mouth primary fermenter. There are a number of options (reddit homebrewing has a number of posts that cover the options). I bought a NB BMB and its working as expected.

You’re going to need a bigger pot

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I agree with @smallbatchbrewer. I have a few of the plastic buckets for fermenting, but I just got the siphonless big mouth bubbler and I wish I would have gone this route to begin with. Helps with the sediment.

You realize you can put a spigot on you bucket for a couple bucks

Sad to say but I’m too much of a tech nerd where I don’t trust myself with doing that correctly. Horrible with construction, but if you need your software testing automated I’m your guy lol

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Thats exactly what Brew Cat said, its just software, er, plastic buckets. Buy a spickett, then measure it a few times, drink a brew and just picture it in your mind. You could go slow, drill a small hole to start with then step up to bigger bit… RDWHAHB Sneezles61

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@sneezles61

I gave up on Bob the builder… More of Tim the Tool man mentality!! AURGH AURGH!! Sneezles61

TIM THE TOOL MAN.

I actually watched a few episodes the other day. Could be nostalgia, but I thought the show was still just as good.

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Let’s see if we can “un-hijack” this thread for a reply or two. :slight_smile:

When I moved up to 5 gallon batches, I looked at the NB kits. There were just too many items that I didn’t need.

So I decided to ‘piece it together’. It may have been my “inner MacGyver” trying to escape, but we’ll leave that for another episode post :slight_smile:

I bought a BMB and a bottling bucket and did some batches over the winter with the existing kettle using this approach: https://byo.com/mead/item/1505-the-texas-two-step-method . Looking at brewing outside now - so it’s research time for a properly sized kettle and heat source.

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^^^^^^ electric!! Sneezles61

Are you planning on doing full boils or partial boils. If doing full you will need a burner for brewing it outdoors and a pot at least 8 gallons, and a spigot makes it easy to transfer wort to fermenter. You will also need an immersion chiller to cool it if you have been doing ice baths. Obviously you will also need more bottles, at least 2 cases for a 5 gallon batch. If doing partial boils on the stove then a pot at least 5 gallons in size. As far as fermenters that’s a toss up as to your preference. I like to see the process so I don’t use buckets. And you will need 2 fermenters if you are going to use a secondary. How about a way to control the fermentation temp? Swamp cooler or other means to keep the temp in the proper range is important. I never did small batches but I would think that it may be more difficult to control temp on 5 gallons vs 1 gallon. This is all stuff to think about before you get into brewing bigger batches. Just be prepared and when its done you will have about 2 cases of tasty beer to enjoy instead of a sixer. Awesome right?

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Braque is so right on… yet, if doing a 5-er, get a 10 gallon kettle… You won’t regret it! Sneezles61

Best thing i did upgrade to 10 gal brew system. I do use propane.

I would think I would do partial boils. Not sure if I want to commit to having to do it outside with a propane burner. Is there a significant difference between partial boils and full boils? Again, I’m extract brewing and don’t really have the desire (at least not yet) to go into the “real” brewing.

I do partial boils all the time. Light colored beers will use the late extract addition technique to preserve the light color. Most brown ales or stouts and porters I’ll add all the extract used at the beginning of the boil for a little extra character.

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There will be - if the kit or recipe “does it wrong”.

How to Brew 4th edition :slight_smile: explains the details behind the wort a/b approach found in the AHA Big Brew Day recipes. Pretty much what @flars (and others) has been saying plus some additional refinements.

I still do extract also but plan on going BIAB soon. Have to get a bigger boil kettle first. I started doing full boils because its supposed to be an improvement in the beer. I’m not sure that’s the case with extract. maybe someone else can chime in. I enjoy doing the full boils outside on the patio or in the garage in the winter. I do believe that my beers have improved but just not so sure I would attribute that to doing full boils vs partial. Little things like adding half the extract later in the boil like Flars says I think make a bigger difference. Nothing wrong at all with extract partial boils, it is real brewing just a different approach to it.

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