Dis-advantages of a Large Pot

Post #1 made 3 years ago
When I first started BIAB I did it with a friend and we did large batches using a 100 litre pot.

I inherited this pot and still use it for 23 litre brew lengths. I prefer 23 litre batches as I brew outside and have to lift the bag manually on my own (I can also fit in more brew days).

I’ve always wondered if there are any dis-advantages of using a large pot when I’m doing smaller batches in it? I’ve been thinking about downgrading to a 50 litre pot or is it a case of don’t fix what isn’t broken? :scratch:
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Post #2 made 3 years ago
The only Problem with an Oversize Kettle is, When it is Cold.
A large/High Head-space Kettle can Condense the Boiling wort steam, and drip it back into the Wort....which will need a longer boil.
Honest Officer, I swear to Drunk, I am Not God.
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Post #3 made 3 years ago
If the larger kettle had the same diameter as the smaller kettle, then I would fully agree with Joshua that condensation could be a problem.

But, the larger the kettle, then generally the wider the diameter and so condensation, even with lots of headspace, should not be a problem.

In fact, your evaporation rate will be much higher than a smaller kettle so it could well be that you need less of a boil time to drive off the nasties! One thing for sure though is if you use a larger kettle with the wider diameter, you will need to use more starting water than in a smaller kettle and therefore you will need to use more gas/energy during the brewing process assuming you want to boil for the same amount of minutes. To me, this increased energy cost is the only tangible disadvantage I can think of and it could be somewhat significant between a wide 100 L kettle and a narrow 40 L kettle.

In reality, on the quality side of things, there is no research that I know of. For example, is a brew boiled for 60 minutes in a really 'wide' kettle as good as a brew done in a narrow kettle for 90 minutes? I certainly don't know. Does anyone?

I do have a 70 litre kettle (two actually) and I have no problem with single or double batching in them (23 L VIF or 46 L VIF). I certainly can't taste any difference and, in any comps, neither batch size stands out so I wouldn't worry about it.

:peace:
PP
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Post #4 made 3 years ago
I have just got a 50 litre pot so going to be using that on the next few brews to see how it compares. That’s one thing I have noticed when using my 100 litre pot, is I use more gas than I thought I would. It’ll be interesting to see the difference with using the smaller pot.

The one thing I can’t get my head around is when I change the pot size on BIABacus. The larger pot uses less grain but more water, but when I input the smaller pot it uses less water but more grain. Is that because there is less water in contact with the grain to extract the sugars so you need slightly more grain to make up the difference? (sorry if I’m being a bit stupid here)
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Post #5 made 3 years ago
That's just the "auto calculate efficiency" wizard Windrider. ;)

The higher the water to grain ratio, the better the efficiency. Hence for a fixed gravity you will need less grain in that scenario.
The larger pot needs more water as it will evaporate that much more than the smaller one.
G B
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Post #7 made 3 years ago
laserghost wrote:What about during mashing ... if you have a lot of head space could you lose temps faster?
That has been my experience. I have a 20 gallon (75L) pot that I usually use for ~6 gal VAW batches. I typically lose 2-3C/4-6F during the mash. I did a double batch last weekend; mash volume was 18 gal, almost filling the pot. I think the mash temperature barely moved, maybe 1F in over 60 minutes. Obviously, the thermal mass was larger, but I think the biggest difference was the reduction in headspace.
Last edited by cwier60 on 28 Feb 2015, 11:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #8 made 3 years ago
The worst thing I find with using a large (70L) pot is that I could easily use a 100L pot.. Then eventually I'd want two 100L pots :thumbs: :lol:
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