Kettle size question

For those who like to brew BIAB just using their stovetop.
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Anders_B
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Kettle size question

Post by Anders_B » 2 years ago

I'm just starting to buy the things required to brew my own beer ala BIAB and have a kettle question for you.
As I probable will make some mistakes and experimenting in the beginning and therefor plan to make something like 9 liters finished beer my first batches.
After a while I would like to make 18 liters of finished beers to fill a corny keg.
To be able to make the larger batches I'm thinking a 50 liter kettle will be ok but will there be any downsides of making my smaller batches in this size of kettle?

/anders

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Post by Lumpy5oh » 2 years ago

The 50l kettle is a good size for full batches. It is the same size I use. I haven't done any smaller batches in it to date. I don't think 9l batches would be a problem. I wouldn't really want to go much smaller than that in the 50l kettle. Keep in mind that half batches are just as much work as full batches. You will save some time heating less water and can save some money on ingredients. I have read a few posts here that mention sometimes it can be a little more difficult to scale down recipes and may be a little more difficult to control the brew.
I understand not wanting to risk wasting time and money but if you can I would suggest going straight to full batches.
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Post by joshua » 2 years ago

If you can Check out BIABACUS it will tell you the Total Water Needed(TWN and the Mash Volume(less than kettle size) which is a bit larger than TWICE the Volume into the Fermenter(VIF), and around 2.2 times the Volume into Packaging(VIP).

A kettle that is too Large will have a High Head-space, and during the Boil it Can condense the Steam back into the Kettle (BTDT-Doh).

JMHO.
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Kettle size question

Post by Anders_B » 2 years ago

Lumpy: The reason I'm thinking 9 liter batches is that I dont want to much half good beer to drink. I'm thinking I'd like to try some recipes with different malts/hops before I make some larger batches.
Joshua: So what can the steam condensing back in the kettle cause? Will that be a serious concern with a to big kettle?

/anders


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Post by joshua » 2 years ago

Anders, The condensing steam, is the water, we remove to get to the Final Volume at Ambient temperature (VAW).

The steam also carries the DMS(the Cabbage/Corn Flavor)out of the Wort.

When the steam condenses it just recycles back into the Wort, and Lowers the specific gravity, and increases the Volume into the Fermenter(VIF).
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Post by Anders_B » 2 years ago

Thanks Joshua for the explanation. That makes the kettle buying both easier and harder. I suppose I have to decide how many small batches I'll be making.


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Post by PistolPatch » 2 years ago

I would go with your 50 L decision Anders. I use 70 L kettles and I can either single or double batch 19L (5 gal) into a keg with them. You are in the same position as I am divided by two :).

A lot of what Josh mentioned above I would agree with except I don't think brewing a small batch in a large kettle is a problem in our situations. It would be if you left the lid partially on during the boil but not otherwise. A good rolling boil for 90 minutes will see any nasties easily carried out of your kettle.

It could be also that a 40 L urn might suit your circumstances beter than a gas-fired rig? Lot s of things to think on.

;)
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