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5 gallon batch in 2 gallon keg

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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?

 

 

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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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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. 

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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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I do indeed put 2.5 gallons in each LBK.  I ferment at 64, and only Nottingham overflows, and just barely.  

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I crammed 2.5 gallons into a 6 gallon fermenter once! Whew! that was close..................

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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. 

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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

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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.)

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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...?

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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.

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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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2 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

2,000 gallons per adult per household

2,000 if there are two occupants, and 1000 if single occupant, this would be my case. believe it or not I get close to the 1000 mark every year

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hoppy check out not so deep thought on repurposing Lbk's... I might use one for sake!!!;

2 minutes ago, HoppySmile! said:

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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4 minutes ago, HoppySmile! said:

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

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/revitalize-little-brown-keg.html

here it is ,,a quick read

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2 minutes ago, HoppySmile! said:

2,000 if there are two occupants, and 1000 if single occupant, this would be my case. believe it or not I get close to the 1000 mark every year

 

My numbers were in humor.  Those who know can post the real answer. 

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2 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

My numbers were in humor

well in that perspective, I brew up to 5600 gallons per year

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Just now, HoppySmile! said:

maybe a wine batch would be inviting.

that got me curious as well....?

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1 minute ago, Stroomer420 said:

that got me curious as well....?

you know the ladies sure love their wine....... been curious about doing a mead as well for the non alcohol family members

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Just now, HoppySmile! said:

non alcohol family members

not too many in my family lol we're all drunks lol

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4 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

I'd feel a little guilty if I drill holes in the bottom of the lbk for drainage and filled it with dirt lol......use em for parties serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages outta em...?

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no, just hang them as planters and host a party.  when the women ask "what are those things", your SWMBO can say, hanging flower pots.  When the guys ask "what are those things", introduce them to home brewing.

 

 

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I'm pretty sure the limit is 200gal per adult per year. So most of us have a limit of 400 a year. Although I don't know if this is Federal or State.

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Not quite.  Federal law in 1979 allowed homebrewing to a max of 100 gallons per adult over 21 living in the home, for a max of 200 gallons per home.   You should familiarize yourself with your state's laws, which may limit transportation of your homebrew.

 

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/homebrewing-rights/statutes/

 

Edit - the law also specifically outlaws anything that HoppySmile does, but that's a whole different story...

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, RickBeer said:

Not quite.  Federal law in 1979 allowed homebrewing to a max of 100 gallons per adult over 21 living in the home, for a max of 200 gallons per home.   You should familiarize yourself with your state's laws, which may limit transportation of your homebrew.

 

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/homebrewing-rights/statutes/

 

 

 

Rick is correct, it is indeed 100 gallons per adult.  But then how are they going to know what you brewed in January when it is November.  This law is nearly unable to be enforced.  Unless you begin selling your homebrew nobody is going to mess with you on the quantity that you brew.

 

Transportation is another animal all together.  There are states where you can't transport homebrew outside of your house.  You can't send it to anyone via US mail anywhere in the US.  And there are other states where brewclubs break the law by consuming homebrews in the establishment that they meet in, especially if that establishment serves alcohol. 

 

You definitely need to read your states laws.  There are many of them that change and are in the process of changing.

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Right.   In addition, the first Saturday in May is National Homebrew Day.  Many LHBS have events, and many invite clubs to come and serve their brews on their property.  Not that the booze police are coming around, but transporting to the location and serving at the location could be in violation of a state's laws.  In addition, the LHBS could be in violation of that state's liquor laws also by allowing the consumption of alcohol on their premises without a license or permit, and in fact may be illegal regardless, since the general public is consuming the homebrew, not just club members.  This is different than major events where a fee is charged for admission, because those events obtain permits from the state and local communities to comply with the law.

 

Again, it's not like the booze police are driving around looking for you.  However, if you get stopped for speeding and there is a bunch of homebrew sitting on the seat, the officer might ask about it.  Unlikely, but may.  A bigger issue would involve someone consuming your homebrew, then getting in an accident, and the investigation gets into details about what they drank and where.  Again, probably not the authorities coming after you, but an aggrieved party may sue you for damages they incur.

 

I gave my son a case of homebrew when he was 21 and at college.  I told him that he could share, with select friends, but they could only have one bottle each time, and it was his responsibility to ensure they were sober and not driving.  He allowed certain friends to drink it as the first bottle they consumed, and they then switched to normal college swill, in his mind the swill would make them drunk, not my homebrew.  

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14 hours ago, HoppySmile! said:

been curious about doing a mead as well for the non alcohol family members

 

You mean for the non-beer drinking family members, right?  My two batches of mead were 11% and 12%, with the 12%er being a strawberry melomel.

 

I do like the idea of using the LBK for making mead.  I can go from a 1 gallon batch to a 2 or 2.5 gallon batch in the same basic space.

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On 3/22/2017 at 7:31 PM, RickBeer said:

I do indeed put 2.5 gallons in each LBK.  I ferment at 64, and only Nottingham overflows, and just barely.  

@RickBeer How do you go about transferring the wort and evenly distributing between the 2 LBKs? Auto siphon? or pour into a funnel and eyeball it..? =p

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Start with a gallon of cold water in each LBK.  Use a pint measuring cup I scoup out wort and pour into a quart measuring cup through a strainer to the quart line.  I then pour into an LBK, then switch to the next LBK and then back again.  Then I top off with cold water.

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9 hours ago, RickBeer said:

Start with a gallon of cold water in each LBK.  Use a pint measuring cup I scoup out wort and pour into a quart measuring cup through a strainer to the quart line.  I then pour into an LBK, then switch to the next LBK and then back again.  Then I top off with cold water.

Thanks Rick!

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10 hours ago, RickBeer said:

Start with a gallon of cold water in each LBK.  Use a pint measuring cup I scoup out wort and pour into a quart measuring cup through a strainer to the quart line.  I then pour into an LBK, then switch to the next LBK and then back again.  Then I top off with cold water.

*Scoop. S-c-o-o-p.  Scoop.

 

 

IMG_0460.JPG

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