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Thread: 60bbl fermenters with 20bbl batches?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Hastings, MI, USA

    60bbl fermenters with 20bbl batches?

    Greets all -- I've got a bit of a dilemma to work out; I have a 20bbl brewhouse but am having to work with just 3 x 60bbl unitanks, one 20bbl unitank and a 20bbl bright tank. I was wondering what deleterious effects if any, would occur if I just did a 20bbl batch and fermented in the 60's, knowing that I have 10-12 ft of headspace in the tanks. The 60bbl tanks have 3 jackets, so I'm pretty sure that 20bbl volume would cover the lower sensor, I'm just a bit wary of having that much headspace on top of my product.
    Theory tells me that the beer doesn't give a damn about headspace (open fermenters, eh?), but I'd rather err on the side of caution. I have no qualms about double batching to put 40bbls of volume in the tanks, but that somewhat cramps my ability to easily put out 5-10 beers in a reasonable timeframe. Any input greatly appreciated.

    Rob Zamites

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Rob, As long as you don't have temperature stratification in your tank, you should be fine. And if you just use them for fermentation, stratification is unlikely. Just curious why you would have a problem putting out beer in a reasonable amount of time by doubling up? Saves on time/chemicals.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Lansing, MI
    Rob - Having worked on the system your talking about many times, I found that making a 20 bbl. batch didn't really have any effect on the beer. The biggest problem for me was cleaing the tank afterward. The krausen ring will be about a 2/3rds down the tank and the sprayball is on the top. The spray doesn't really hit the ring, it just runs down the side of the tank. There's no real mechanical action going on. So it took a lot longer clean. If you want, call me and I can give you a couple of tips on how to do a double in that system that wil save you some time. 517-333-4040


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