MiniYoda

5 gallon batch in 2 gallon keg

46 posts in this topic

So, I was surfing the net, like I every day at work (when it is slow), and see 5 gallon kits sold on other sites.  Some interesting recipes that I'd like to try.  Then I realized a problem.  The LBKs are 2 gallon in capacity, and two 2-gallon LBK's doesn't equal  one 5 gallon kit.  So, I took an empty LBK, filled it with two empty 1-gallon jugs, and it was very close to the #2 mark of the keg.  I then added 1/2 gallon (8 cups) of water.  The LBK does hold 2.5 gallons of water, but it's so close to the top that there's no doubt in my mind there will be a blow-out if it were beer fermenting.

 

Has anyone used the LBKs to brew 5-gallon kits?  The only thing I can think of is to ferment two kegs at the normal 2 gallon each, then on bottling day at 8 cups of room-temperature water to each keg, to get it to 2.5 gallons each.  I only use bottled spring water for brewing, and sanitize anything that touches the water, so that wouldn't be a problem.  Since I'm getting the two halves of the batch from 2 gallons each to 2.5 gallons each, it shouldn't taste too strong or too diluted.  I could use the 6-gallon fermenter that is sold here, but I'm approaching the warm days of summer, and am worried about temperature control (don't want to spend money on fridge that the 6-gallon would fit in...right now).

 

Thoughts?

 

 

MrWhy likes this

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It has been done quite a few times over, most often by our very own Mr. @RickBeer. You fill both up to a comfortable level, maintain temps to avoid overflows, and voilà. 

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So you're saying go ahead and fill the keg to 2.5 gallon before pitching the yeast?  I can try it but still wondering about adding 1/2 gallon after fermentation

 

 

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7 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

So you're saying go ahead and fill the keg to 2.5 gallon before pitching the yeast?  I can try it but still wondering about adding 1/2 gallon after fermentation

 

 

Why exactly are you adding 1/2 gallon after fermentation?

 

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8 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

So you're saying go ahead and fill the keg to 2.5 gallon before pitching the yeast?  I can try it but still wondering about adding 1/2 gallon after fermentation

 

 

And no, I would fill it just over 2 gallons in order to leave a modest amount of headspace for krausen buildup. It won't make much of a difference in the end. 

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I'm starting with two kegs of wort, two gallons each.  That means that each keg would come out stronger in taste than it should be.  I'm thinking of adding 1/2 gallon to the keg to "dilute" the final product back down to the correct volume it should be.  Thus, instead of having two 2-gallon batches, I'd have two 2.5 gallon batches, thus giving the proper 5 gallon total

 

 

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8 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

I'm starting with two kegs of wort, two gallons each.  That means that each keg would come out stronger in taste than it should be.  I'm thinking of adding 1/2 gallon to the keg to "dilute" the final product back down to the correct volume it should be.  Thus, instead of having two 2-gallon batches, I'd have two 2.5 gallon batches, thus giving the proper 5 gallon total

 

 

I wouldn't add water after fermentation because of the potential to contaminate the beer. I believe you can get a solid 4.5 total gallons into 2 LBKs, leaving enough headspace. I don't believe that would affect the beer much. 

If you're still insistent on diluting after fermentation, buy a 5-gallon bottling bucket, transfer both LBKs to it, batch prime, and bottle. This process exposes a large potential for aeration and contamination. I'd just rather have beer that's a little stronger. :P

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I'll give the 4.5 gallon idea a try.  Basically make the batch like the instructions indicate, put one gallon of cold water in each LBK, split the wort evenly between the two, then fill with cold water to the #2 point, add an additional 4 cups of water, then pitch the yeast.  The first batch I would do is a Scotch Ale, and as we all know, the Scotch can never be too strong.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

I'll give the 4.5 gallon idea a try.  Basically make the batch like the instructions indicate, put one gallon of cold water in each LBK, split the wort evenly between the two, then fill with cold water to the #2 point, add an additional 4 cups of water, then pitch the yeast.  The first batch I would do is a Scotch Ale, and as we all know, the Scotch can never be too strong.

 

 

I'm sure Rick will offer up some additional pointers as well. 

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I've decided that if/when I go with two LBKs for a 5 gallon batch, I won't start with 2 gallons each and then top off another 1/2 gallon before bottling.  Not a fear of contamination, but more of disturbing the trub.  Unless I had a way to add 8 cups of water and diffuse the pour so that it doesn't hit the bottle of the keg really hard, I'm risking mixing up the settlement on the bottom of the keg and having "icky" stuff in the bottles.

 

Big Sarge, unless there are ideas, I'll go with your idea and fill the LBK to 2.25 gallons (4.5 total) before pitching the yeast.  When the temps got back down in late Fall, I'll consider 2.5 gallons per LBK, and hope I can keep the temp under control better in the fall/winter.  Last summer, I had temp control issues, but that was in a different situation, so I'm hopefully things will be good from now on, but I'll play it on the safe side for now

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I know I've seen rickbeer post that he does five gallon batches split between two lbks ,,2 1/2 gallons in each...i have not done it yet but plan to soon...

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2 minutes ago, scouterbill said:

My $0.02. Modify 2 LBK lids with blow off tubes and put 2 1/2 gallons in each. I've done that to 2 of mine and it works great. 

 

Can I bribe you for some pictures?

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Real simple. Food grade tubing. Food grade silicone adhesive (search for it on amazon). Drill hole in lid to 'just accommodate tubing and silicone in place. Run blow off tube into jug with star-san and you have a blow off tube (vapor lock).

 

I'd give you pics, but I'm on the road for work (enjoying a Founder's Azacca as we speak). :D

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3 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

So, I was surfing the net, like I every day at work (when it is slow), and see 5 gallon kits sold on other sites.  Some interesting recipes that I'd like to try.  Then I realized a problem.  The LBKs are 2 gallon in capacity, and two 2-gallon LBK's doesn't equal  one 5 gallon kit.  So, I took an empty LBK, filled it with two empty 1-gallon jugs, and it was very close to the #2 mark of the keg.  I then added 1/2 gallon (8 cups) of water.  The LBK does hold 2.5 gallons of water, but it's so close to the top that there's no doubt in my mind there will be a blow-out if it were beer fermenting.

 

Has anyone used the LBKs to brew 5-gallon kits?  The only thing I can think of is to ferment two kegs at the normal 2 gallon each, then on bottling day at 8 cups of room-temperature water to each keg, to get it to 2.5 gallons each.  I only use bottled spring water for brewing, and sanitize anything that touches the water, so that wouldn't be a problem.  Since I'm getting the two halves of the batch from 2 gallons each to 2.5 gallons each, it shouldn't taste too strong or too diluted.  I could use the 6-gallon fermenter that is sold here, but I'm approaching the warm days of summer, and am worried about temperature control (don't want to spend money on fridge that the 6-gallon would fit in...right now).

 

Thoughts?

 

 

I do 5 gallon batches in the LBK all the time. Just put 2.5 gallons in each. 

MrWhy and dale hihn like this

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Well, I'm a new guy here, so I should probably hold back my opinions, but I have to wonder:

 

If you want to do five-gallon batches, why not just get a bucket?

 

I did a lot of five-gallon batches 8-10 years ago and the main reason I quit, then returned with Mr. Beer, is that I wanted to streamline and simplify. If you want the complications of all the options and equipment, I'd just stretch to the five-gallon kits with buckets and carboys and hydrometers and auto-siphons, etc. It's a lot more work, but it sounds like that's what you're after.

 

Jim

MrWhy, Shrike, kedogn and 3 others like this

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1 minute ago, jasbo said:

Well, I'm a new guy here, so I should probably hold back my opinions, but I have to wonder:

 

If you want to do five-gallon batches, why not just get a bucket?

 

I did a lot of five-gallon batches 8-10 years ago and the main reason I quit, then returned with Mr. Beer, is that I wanted to streamline and simplify. If you want the complications of all the options and equipment, I'd just stretch to the five-gallon kits with buckets and carboys and hydrometers and auto-siphons, etc. It's a lot more work, but it sounds like that's what you're after.

 

Jim

 

The operating principle here is never hold back your opinion.

 

For me, there are two things holding me back from a bucket. First, I am not sure one will fit into either of my fermenting fridges. Second, I would love to have the option of splitting my bottling over two days instead of one. (Bottling one LBK one day and the other another.)

John K., HoppySmile! and C-ya like this

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Half the weight to carry, fits fixed shelves in fermenting freezer.

 

And "it's a lot more work" is a great reason to NOT move to buckets, carboys (glass carboys are dangerous), auto-siphons, ...

 

As I've documented many times, I brew 5 gallon extract batches, which are basically 2.5 gallons of water, grain steeps, LME, hops, and result in at most 3.25 gallons of wort (depending on grain absorption, can be as low as 2.25 gallons), which I then distribute into two LBKs that each have 1 gallon of refrigerated water in them, then top off to 2.5 gallons in each.

 

The option of adding water after fermentation is one that should not be pursued.  Top off water is added BEFORE fermentation.  You run the risk of infection (unless you boil and then cool the water first), you run the risk of oxygenation of the wort, you run the risk of stirring up trub that you don't want in your bottles (unless you're doing batch priming), ...

 

If at time of consumption you think the beer is too strong, you have two options:

 

1) Leave this forum you pansy... :lol:

 

2) Put some water in your glass, then pour in the beer

 

Option #2 is sometimes done by people in a different manner when they make a beer they don't like, i.e. they mix two beers together to get a beer they do like.  My Black and Tan is that - two different beers poured into the same glass (with the proper instrument) to make a truly layered beer.

C-ya, dale hihn, MRB Tim and 1 other like this

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23 hours ago, Stroomer420 said:

for me once I do a five gallon batch the main reason would be cause I have like ten Lbk's ,,so might as well use em...😁

I've got about 6 LBK's, do u want a couple of em? right now I have three 8 gallon buckets, a 20 gallon fermenter I built, and two 7 gallon fermonsters. in addition to two 6 gallon carboys, one 5 gallon wide mouth glass carboy, and two new 7 gallon wide mouth carboys...

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1 minute ago, HoppySmile! said:

I've got about 6 LBK's, do u want a couple of em? right now I have three 8 gallon buckets, a 20 gallon fermenter I built, and two 7 gallon fermonsters. in addition to two 6 gallon carboys, one 5 gallon wide mouth glass carboy, and two new 7 gallon wide mouth carboys...

I appreciate the offer Ty....😊... I think I got enough lbk's for now but maybe someone else on here would for batch priming or something...

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um......what was that "legal" limit for personal brewing at home?  @RickBeer, is it something like 2,000 gallons per adult per household?

 

@HoppySmile! how many households do you have?  should I help you brew for you?

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Just now, Stroomer420 said:

I appreciate the offer Ty....😊... I think I got enough lbk's for now but maybe someone else on here would for batch priming or something...

I even have  5 gallon plastic carboy I never used, I ordered a 6 gallon and the 5 gal. was sent by mistake, so I got it free. so if someone wants the few LBK's I would throw in that 5 gallon carboy. I need the space

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