Robbie
what do you guys think of using a soup urn (10L) for mashing one gallon batches of beer?  Is ten litres enough for doing a full volume no sparge batch? how much water do you normally use all in? cant be more than ten litres surely?  its a pity these things don't boil though, they would be awesome for one gallon batches me thinks
Beer is an expression of the human spirit. . . we use technical sciences as a tool to create it but its essence is and always will be a form of art - Handbook of brewing, chapter 2, page 55
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Pinto
Ideal with full volume BIAB or partial mash at that size.  It also allows you to do a lot of styles without having too much of a beer you might not appreciate.  I've been considering getting some HDPE 5 litre cubes and brewing a berliner weiss at 5L using no chill myself.
Beer is like porn - you can buy it easily enough, but its so much more fun to make it [wink]
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AdrianDBW
10L will be about right for a full volume mash I think- assuming a 20% per hour boil off rate and you want to keep 5 litres at the end- you'll need 6 litres after mashing. Then assuming a 1.5kg grain bill, so a 1.5 litre absorbiton you'll want to mash with 7.5 litres- so that gives you 2.5 litres of space for your bag and grain so should still let you stir it without making a mess!

I bought a set of 4 6.7litre plastic containers for fermenting 1 gallon batches in (intended for cider or wine really) but all 4 fit inside my fermentation fridge at once- I did look at it yesterday and think that perhaps I could do this with beer and make more of a variety. It's just finding the time to do 4 mashes and boils- I struggle enough to find the time to do one!
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Robbie
Thanks guys really interested in doing smaller batches simply for experimentation purposes.  Managed to find a 20 litre tea urn on gumtree near my home, surely that will be enough for smaller batches.  Really like the idea of having lots of different beers bubbling away or in bottles. kegging is good but when you only have two kegs drinking the same thing gets tedious and if you experiment and it doesn’t quite go to plan you are stuck with some crazee weirdo brew for ages.
Beer is an expression of the human spirit. . . we use technical sciences as a tool to create it but its essence is and always will be a form of art - Handbook of brewing, chapter 2, page 55
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Chug
Yeah spot on, I like doing smaller brews, means I brew regularly which is good coz I enjoy doing it but I'm not a heavy drinker, and then I have a few different styles to pick from, plus I can experiment and not have a whole load of 'crazy weirdo' beer to drink if it don't work out so good.
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Clibit
MSK wrote:
Thanks guys really interested in doing smaller batches simply for experimentation purposes.  Managed to find a 20 litre tea urn on gumtree near my home, surely that will be enough for smaller batches.  Really like the idea of having lots of different beers bubbling away or in bottles. kegging is good but when you only have two kegs drinking the same thing gets tedious and if you experiment and it doesn’t quite go to plan you are stuck with some crazee weirdo brew for ages.


20 litres is more than enough for one gallon batches. you could do 2 or 3 gallons.
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Pesho77

 Water volume calculations are
 
  batch total + boil off + hops absorption + malt absorption + losses to tun dead space

 A mash should be around 2.5 - 3 times the amount of water to malt, to make this calculation easy use Kg and Ltr's there (almost) directly transferable (ie 1L of water weights 1Kg)


 Pesh 
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GHW
If you don’t mind topping up you can do a 10L batch in a fairly small pan. I used to use an 11L pan for mine. Mashed in about 6L, dunk sparge in another 2 or 3 then boil and top up to ten at the end. Simples.

20L urn would be plenty big enough for a gallon
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AdrianDBW
I've been using a 20L urn for a 5 gallon batch- mash with as much water as possible and use top up water afterwards.
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Clibit
GHW wrote:
If you don’t mind topping up you can do a 10L batch in a fairly small pan. I used to use an 11L pan for mine. Mashed in about 6L, dunk sparge in another 2 or 3 then boil and top up to ten at the end. Simples.

20L urn would be plenty big enough for a gallon


Agreed. You could make 15 litres or more in a 20 litre urn without topping up, by sparging enough to give you a pre boil volume of 17-18 litres.

If it's one gallon batches you're after an 8-10 litre stock pot on the stove would do it neatly.
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Robbie
Its quite interesting, in my usual tun (also a tea urn) there is a bout 4 litres dead space, with the 20L urn there is hardly 2 litre dead space, i may infact use this for mashing although i bought it for doing small batches. It was pretty sad, it was a printers that were going out of business, they used it for making tea for Chinese customers who placed big orders for calendars. Guy had been in business since he was a teenager in the eighties and now cannot compete with cheap deals on ebay.
Beer is an expression of the human spirit. . . we use technical sciences as a tool to create it but its essence is and always will be a form of art - Handbook of brewing, chapter 2, page 55
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Robbie
AdrianDBW wrote:
I've been using a 20L urn for a 5 gallon batch- mash with as much water as possible and use top up water afterwards.


how much can you get away with for 5KG of grain, maybe 15L water?
Beer is an expression of the human spirit. . . we use technical sciences as a tool to create it but its essence is and always will be a form of art - Handbook of brewing, chapter 2, page 55
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AdrianDBW
MSK wrote:
how much can you get away with for 5KG of grain, maybe 15L water?


I suspect so. Last time mine took 15L and 4.5kgs of grain and there was a bit of space left.

After mashing I 'sparged' to bring the water back up to around 18/19L for the boil, then topped off with pre-boiled water in the FV up to 21 litres (was aiming for 20L but the FV was tilted and I put too much in!).
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GHW
In the grainfather I use roughly 3L per KG grain (for a 4-5% abv beer)
I use the calculator they recommend actually, but it always works out about that. Maybe a little more water
So 15L would probably be ok
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