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Brewhouse vs. FV/BBT - sizing options

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  • Brewhouse vs. FV/BBT - sizing options

    Is there any rule of thumb regarding mismatched sizes of the FVs & BBTs in relation to the brewhouse?
    In other words, is there any problem with transfering into a fermenter that is 1.5x the size of the brewhouse, for example brewing on a 5bbl brewhouse and transferring into 7bbl fermenters & Brite tanks, or a 7bbl brewhouse into 10bbl fermenters/BBTs, etc?
    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Normally you would want a FVs and BBTs to be in multiples of your brewhouse. Like 15, 30, 60, 90, 120.... So you could do double, triple, and quad batches...
    Joel Halbleib
    Partner / Zymurgist
    Hive and Barrel Meadery
    6302 Old La Grange Rd
    Crestwood, KY


    • #3
      My concerns would be cooling zones number one and fermentation flavor profiles two (a minor concern for what you propose). For the sizes you speak of, I would not think you would have any trouble. For logistics it would be best to have batch size multiples but if you are getting a screaming deal to make a mismatch FV farm, then so be it. Many brewers knock out smaller volumes into their tanks when they make high gravity beers.


      • #4
        What beauxman said!

        Cheers, Tim


        • #5
          I would definitely welcome some extra head space for some of my beers.
          I see plenty of beer blow off during high krausen and go down the drain. For the brites you would want them matched closer to the brewhouse capacity.
          Ted Rice
          Marble Brewery
          111 Marble Ave NW
          Albuquerque, NM 87102


          • #6
            Head space is certainly helpful for fermenting bigger beers... However, one issue to consider is the increased consumption of CO2. Three extra barrels of head space to fill with 15 pounds of CO2 can add up, especially if you are transferring without pumps. Also, with a conical fermenter and angled racking arm, you might end up wasting 5-10 more gallons of beer because the arm won't reach deep enough.

            These are both small things, but will certainly add up in the long run...

            If you do end up with a 7B brewhouse and 10B ferm/bbts, you might consider brewing 'concentrated' wort and diluting it in the fermentor...

            just my two cents...


            • #7
              Thanks to everyone for the input...Beauxman is on the right track, I have a chance to pick up some tanks at a good price. I know when I home brew I always brew 5 gallons into mt 6.5 gal carboys and definitely am happy for that extra headspace...My last ESB still managed to "escape"!!!

              So the vote is OK for the FV's but not the servers? Why is that? Is this just due to the extra airspace? Could you flush the tank with CO2 prior to filling? And how does this differ from a server emptying as you use up the brew?

              Interesting info...I'm new to this stuff.


              • #8
                Rafters...I was sending my last question when your reply came through...I like that idea...good stuff!