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Incognitum

A question for 5 gallon brewers

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A few questions:

How often are you brewing 5 gallon batches?

Do you do several 2 gallon batches at a time?

How much time do you devote to this, including brewing and bottling?

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I'd like to start doing 5 gallon batches and splitting between 2 LBKs. I was curious how often you brew batches this size (including the dreadful hell of bottling 50+ bottles of brew).

I could see maybe doing one 5 gallon brew a month and supplementing it with a couple LBK's.

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Typically I brew a 5 gallon batch per month. I don't see the point in splitting it between 2 LBKs unless I am doing some kind of experiment. Otherwise it is just more work. I do all grain which means a 5 hour brew day. You can do extract in around 2. For me bottling day is an hour and a half.

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well i do a 3 week rotation with a 5 gal. ale pail and 2 lbks with a 2.5 gal batch in 'em. meaning i started an lbk, the next week i started the other lbk, the next week i start the ale pail. the next week i bottle the first lbk clean sterilize and cook another batch. and so on starting the 20th of this month i will have a case of beer the next week another, the next week 2 cases and so on. i am disabled and i never really thought about how much time. the extract cook from set up to cleaning and putting away. i'd say it takes me 3.5 maybe 4 hours. a partial mash an hour or more longer but i'm forced to stop alot and sit down. also i never rush as i got all day and well, it's beer and beer accessories. bottling, from putting the bottles in oxi clean all the way to putting my clean pail and bottling bucket away. probably another 4 hours. but can be spread out over many days for the cleaning the bottles part.

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I brew 5 gallons about every other week. I brewed the last 2 Sundays in a row and 3 of the last 5 weeks. But, I'm trying to build up my pipeline before it gets too hot.

A few months ago I brewed 2-Mr. Beer kits 2 days in a row but I've never done 2 at one time.

My 5 gallon all grain batches take me a bit more than 4 hours in the winter when tap water is cold enough to quickly chill and add 45 minutes in the hottest part of the summer. Then there is my promise to SWMBO to mop the kitchen each and every time I brew (honestly, while I don't make a mess, it does need a quick mopping after a brew day).
I only bottle my 2 gallon batches and keg the rest. Kegging is the reason I brew so much. If I had to bottle 5 gallon batches all the time, I wouldn't.

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I brew every Sunday. If I'm lucky enough to have time on Saturday, I bottle on Saturday, to save time on Sunday.

I have two LBKs and a five-gallon set-up. So I brew a fiver every third week. And they're all-grain batches, so it takes about four or five hours total. The LBKs are used for Mr. Beer recipes, so they don't take very long.

The bottling isn't so bad, because I've gotten my procedures down, and things move pretty smoothly.

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"Incognitum" post=361887 said:

How often are you brewing 5 gallon batches?

Pretty near every time one of my two 6.5g fermenter buckets gets empty, which translates into every two to three weeks. I try to keep the pipeline going enough to have all three taps on the keezer active and something in bottles to share with folks at work or church. Lately, I've messed myself up a bit by doing stuff that will take extra time (like Chocolate Stout and a Maibock).


"Incognitum" post=361887 said:


How much time do you devote to this, including brewing and bottling?

If you ask SWMBO, too darn much. It's not just the brewing/bottling time. I often have brew-related projects that I spend time doing. I'm now giving some thought to building a single (15.5g) vessel 240V recirculating E-BIAB system. That one will take a good deal of time. :ohmy:

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As far as how much time, you can look at it several ways. I mean, I'm posting to a homebrew community message board right now; does that count?

If you're talking about the physical act of brewing/bottling, it will depend on the size of the batch and the method of brewing. As noted, if I'm bottling a fiver and then brewing another AG fiver, I'll try to get the bottling done on Saturday, and the brewing on Sunday, because the total time spent is going to be over seven hours, most likely. But if it's a Mr. Beer recipe in both cases, it's only going to take a couple of hours total.

I do my brewing on Sunday mornings, when the missus is out grocery shopping and I can have the kitchen pretty much to myself for most of my brewing activity.

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I probably brew a five gallon bunch one out of every five batches. I really don't drink that much and I tend to want different types depending on my mood at the time. Two gallon batches seem to be just about right for my preferences as I like to have a variety of different beers.. :cheers:

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I've been brewing two LBKs every 3 weeks. I plan on doing a 5 gallon recipe on my next batch, split between two LBKs. Likely using the Caribou Slobber recipe.

That said, how often is clearly a question of consumption and/or desire for a pipeline. I currently have 6.4 cases ready to drink with 1.8 cases ready in two weeks and another 1.8 cases ready in 5 weeks. That's way more beer than I need - but the BREADTH is what I go for. Excluding the almost gone batches, I have 6 to pick from right now and will have 8, then 10 to pick from in the coming weeks.

I was going to slow to one LBK each time, depends if I'm doing a 5 gallon recipe and whether I think it makes sense to cut it in 1/2.

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In the summer I am lucky if i get to brew more than once!!!! In the winter I do not work so I brew till I have my 3 fermenters going and I have my 6 cornies full. Than as often as needed

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Sounds like you have a heck of a pipeline going Rick!

I have just started doing 5 gallon batches and find that I struggle with the idea of a long brew day for a small batch. If I'm doing a Mr Beer batch, that is only going to take me a couple of hours from start to finish, 2.3 gallons is great.

However, if I'm doing steeping grains and hop boils, my brew day can take as much as 3-4 hours even with extract, and I figure I might as well get 5 gallons of beer out of that kind of time commitment. And I really can't imagine doing a 2 gallon AG recipe! 5+ hours for one case of beer just doesn't make sense to me! lol.

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I brew a 5 gallon batch twice every three weeks. Between sanitizing, bottling, steeping, boiling and cleaning I probably spend 8-10 hours a weekend. Still doesn't feel like work with 40 gallons done this year. I rather enjoy it. It's also been teaching me patience...which I have lacked in years past. Now I feel like I can wait for anything and slow down to do it right. Haven't done a 2 gal in a few months although I'm going to try a 2 gal AG batch soon.

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Do I get to count the number of hours I spend on bicycles each week trying to ride off the homebrew? :stout:

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When I have room in my pipeline, I brew about once a month, alternating between LBK-sized and 5 gallon batches. One month I'll do an LBK-sized batch, the next month I'll do a 5 gallon batch. I usually always "tweak" my brews anyways so I find that there's really no difference in the amount of time it takes me to brew an LBK-sized batch from a 5 gallon batch.

I'll probably be brewing the white IPA seasonal this weekend. I've got 2 cans of it sitting on my shelf and I'm contemplating throwing both into my 5 gallon fermenter to brew them both at the same time as a 5 gallon batch (realizing that I may compromise ABV a little bit). It'll probably be a game time decision.

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From September to May I do about one 5 gallon and one LBK batch per month.

Once yardwork season rolls around, I tend to do just LBK batches through the summer to ensure the pipeline is sufficiently stocked. Like manosteel said, the 5gal batches require quite a bit more of a time commitment. With 2 acres, I don't have that time in the warmer months. By May I try to have 8-10 cases in stock so I can get through the summer without doing a 5gal.

MrB LBK batches provide a quick, easy and tasty way to continue brewing throughout the summer.

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"manosteel9423" post=362027 said:

Sounds like you have a heck of a pipeline going Rick!

I have just started doing 5 gallon batches and find that I struggle with the idea of a long brew day for a small batch. If I'm doing a Mr Beer batch, that is only going to take me a couple of hours from start to finish, 2.3 gallons is great.

However, if I'm doing steeping grains and hop boils, my brew day can take as much as 3-4 hours even with extract, and I figure I might as well get 5 gallons of beer out of that kind of time commitment. And I really can't imagine doing a 2 gallon AG recipe! 5+ hours for one case of beer just doesn't make sense to me! lol.

That's been the goal. Laying "tubing" in my backyard as we speak. :laugh:

Seriously though, we don't drink alot. I'm now up to maybe 4 beers a week unless we have company which is like 4x a year. So we're only consuming a case every 5 weeks or so, counting what SWMBO drinks. That's why I need to slow down the brewing now that the shelves are stocked and the breadth exists.

[attachment=12741]pipeline_2013-04-12.jpg[/attachment]

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"OikoEco" post=362042 said:

When I have room in my pipeline, I brew about once a month, alternating between LBK-sized and 5 gallon batches. One month I'll do an LBK-sized batch, the next month I'll do a 5 gallon batch. I usually always "tweak" my brews anyways so I find that there's really no difference in the amount of time it takes me to brew an LBK-sized batch from a 5 gallon batch.

I'll probably be brewing the white IPA seasonal this weekend. I've got 2 cans of it sitting on my shelf and I'm contemplating throwing both into my 5 gallon fermenter to brew them both at the same time as a 5 gallon batch (realizing that I may compromise ABV a little bit). It'll probably be a game time decision.

You'll compromise flavor as well. Why not brew a 4.5gal batch?

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"m3n00b" post=362068 said:

"OikoEco" post=362042 said:

When I have room in my pipeline, I brew about once a month, alternating between LBK-sized and 5 gallon batches. One month I'll do an LBK-sized batch, the next month I'll do a 5 gallon batch. I usually always "tweak" my brews anyways so I find that there's really no difference in the amount of time it takes me to brew an LBK-sized batch from a 5 gallon batch.

I'll probably be brewing the white IPA seasonal this weekend. I've got 2 cans of it sitting on my shelf and I'm contemplating throwing both into my 5 gallon fermenter to brew them both at the same time as a 5 gallon batch (realizing that I may compromise ABV a little bit). It'll probably be a game time decision.

You'll compromise flavor as well. Why not brew a 4.5gal batch?

Yeah, if I do this it'll be slightly less than a full 5 gallon batch. Not sure. I may hang on to the second can in case I want to tweak it a little bit.

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With 3 LBKs, I've been on a wicked 1 LBK batch per week for a good while now. With a pretty full pipeline at the moment, I'll be backing off somewhat. Since I recently starting doing AG recipes, I'm looking to do more of these. With that in mind, it really makes sense to pump up the volume and split it between 2 LBKs.


Rick

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How often are you brewing 5 gallon batches?
i usually start another batch as soon as i have the fermenter available. which is between two and four weeks depending on what style im brewing

Do you do several 2 gallon batches at a time?
no, i do make either five gallons or used the LBK

How much time do you devote to this, including brewing and bottling?
it takes me about three hours to complete a five gallon batch with LME and specialty grains and about two hours to bottle 2 case's

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i brew 1-2 times a month, i finally broke down and got a 10 gallon pot to accomodate the 6-6.5 gallons of pre-boil wort and it takes about 5-6 hours including set up and clean up. IMO i like all grain 5 gal batches but it takes time.between brwing and 2 small kids,its a looooong day!! brew on!! :cheers:

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I start "tasting" other homebrews while brewing so time seems to slip away after a few and really I have only done 1 5G batch which gave me plenty of time to "clear out" bottles for cleaning as the batch was brewing. :banana: :banana: :banana:

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The trick is to have an exciting recipe, new yeast type or a new piece of equipment or process to use on brewday. Of course having the 6 uninterrupted hours to be left alone to enjoy the brewday is essential too but I've managed to sneak in a run to a store or long lunch on brewdays and still had an enjoyable time.

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I usually do a five gal every two weeks unless I have some extra dineros or time.
The time usually doesn't happen!
As far as the amount of time goes, as several others have stated, it can be as short as 4 1/2 hours or as long as 7 hours, clean up included.
I usually mash for 75-90 mins so that adds some time, and if your brewing a pilsner you boil for 90 mins. You can add an extra 45-60 mins in just those two processes!

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I can't drink that beer in a month. You must be giving a lot of beer away or I am just not cut out for the major leagues when it comes to beer drinking!

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I have beer last in my kegs for months before they are finished. Good to the last drop. The only ones that have lost on me were a couple of ipas. The aroma and hop flavor declined a bit. I think by installing something that has the beer flowing thru hops before serving will take care of that issue.

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"Incognitum" post=361887 said:

A few questions:

How often are you brewing 5 gallon batches?

Do you do several 2 gallon batches at a time?

How much time do you devote to this, including brewing and bottling?

-------

I'd like to start doing 5 gallon batches and splitting between 2 LBKs. I was curious how often you brew batches this size (including the dreadful hell of bottling 50+ bottles of brew).

I could see maybe doing one 5 gallon brew a month and supplementing it with a couple LBK's.

I was trying to do a 5 gallon batch every three to four weeks, but I just bought a second fermenter today, so that could potentially increase to every other week.

I have 4 LBk's, and a few times I have made four batches in a day. But now that I'm doing more 5 gallon batches, I've cut back to no more than two LBK's at a time, usually just some experimental recipes.

Time depends on the batch. Lat Sunday I did my favorite cream ale recipe (5 Gallon), and including dragging my equipment up from the basement,steeping grains, cleanup and mopping the floor, I think it took about 5 hours. However, while some of the hands off stuff is going on, I generally surf the web, read my mail, and pay bills, etc.

I don't bottle as much anymore since I got a kegerator, but I got so that I could bottle a 5 gallon batch pretty quickly, even faster if my son helped. I always clean my bottles ahead of time, then put some plastic wrap over the mouth. That way on brew day I can just give them a quick shot with the power washer, then a quick squirt from the vinerator.

I normally don't brew much during the summer, so I build up my pipeline during fall/winter/early spring.

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I brew 5 gallons "every once in a while".

Normally it's just for parties or when I have a tried-and-true recipe that I want to do again. They are never big beers (6% being the max) because it takes me a while to drink even an LBK batch (typically). It's nice to have a session beer in the 5G keg so I can pull a few pints at a time.

I'm just getting ready to keg my Dead Guy and once that is done I will likely do the Levitation again, but that won't be for months.


Typical brew day for a 5G for me is about 4.5 hours.

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"Banjo-guy" post=362381 said:

I can't drink that beer in a month. You must be giving a lot of beer away or I am just not cut out for the major leagues when it comes to beer drinking!

Alot of the beer I drink has been conditioning for a while. I usually drink one or two after work during the week, and on Saturday, depending on what I am doing, I might drink 6-8.
I work third shift and Sunday night begins the week, so I don't usually drink on Sunday.
I have 8 different beers conditioning or I'm drinking at the moment.
I like having the variety, and having beer on hand! And, having that much in the pipeline allows you to give your new brews ample time to condition.
It's not about "drinking" them all to me. It's about having a choice of My flavorful beer and not having to buy it at the store! :P

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