2 batches in 1 fermentor?

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2 batches in 1 fermentor?

Unread postby Seahawks12 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:32 pm

I am planning on brewing 2 batches of the same beer this Saturday. I was going to use two 30L fermentors but I also have a 60L that's empty. I was thinking I could dump both in the 60L. Is there any reason that this is not a good idea? Should I pitch all the yeast after the first batch, half after the first and half after the second, or wait and pitch all the yeast after the second?
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Re: 2 batches in 1 fermentor?

Unread postby McMullan » Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:19 pm

I don't see any major issues with combining 2 batches of the same recipe in 1 fermenter. Chill the first batch until ready to combine. Oxygenate when combined and pitch. Two batches in 1 day would be a lot though, unless you're doing some kind of overnight mash tonight. Why not one tomorrow and one Sunday, using 2 fermenters?
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Re: 2 batches in 1 fermentor?

Unread postby Nesto » Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:41 pm

Seahawks12 wrote:I am planning on brewing 2 batches of the same beer this Saturday. I was going to use two 30L fermentors but I also have a 60L that's empty. I was thinking I could dump both in the 60L. Is there any reason that this is not a good idea? Should I pitch all the yeast after the first batch, half after the first and half after the second, or wait and pitch all the yeast after the second?

I agree with McMullan - you can easily do it. Wait and pitch all the yeast once you've combined. Make sure your sanitation practices are good. Pitching twice just gives more opportunity for introducing other stuff and you can also be more certain you are pitching at the temp you want. I did a double brew day recently, it wasn't too bad - a nine hour day from start to finishing cleanup. With all the reviews about overnight mashing, I'll probably try it that way next time.
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Re: 2 batches in 1 fermentor?

Unread postby Seahawks12 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:43 am

Thanks for the advice. I would like to avoid brewing Sunday so I can give my full attention to watching the Seahawks crush the Patriots in the Superbowl! I have read the thread about overnight mashing and want to try it soon, but I'm pushing the grain bill to the max on this one and want to watch it. Another thought I had was brewing one batch, wait until high krausen a couple days later and adding the second batch in then. Any thoughts? I've read that some breweries do that regularly.
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Re: 2 batches in 1 fermentor?

Unread postby McMullan » Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:49 am

Yeast fermentation goes down a defined route. First the yeast adapt to the conditions and composition of your wort. As they change the wort (by metabolising it) they adapt to its new composition by expressing a different suite of enzymes. Combining after batch 1 develops to Krausen is very high risk. The sudden change in wort composition is likely to shock the yeast. Worse case is they get 'confused' and drop out to save themselves. Now they become 'superstitious' and reluctant to do much until conditions change. It's kind of like me asking you to run the 200m and calling you back to the start line when you get half way down the track. After apologising, I explain that I actually meant the 400m. You aren't going to run a good 400m unless you recover and build up your strength again.
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Re: 2 batches in 1 fermentor?

Unread postby dinnerstick » Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:07 am

There are many breweries i've heard in interviews (well, the brewers, not the breweries...) who run 2 batches into the same fermenter, often over two days, pitching the yeast into the first batch and then dumping the second on top. my thinking is that it's fine if you're adding the second while the first is in growth phase or high krausen. You certainly don't want to introduce oxygenated wort after the bulk of fermentation is complete. I have done this with no problems by pitching the yeast into the first batch at night and getting the second one in asap the next day, but with good sanitation practices i wouldn't be afraid to leave one batch in the fermenter sans yeast (whoops, i slipped into wallonian there), like i would for a lager as it cools to pitching temp overnight.
so, i think you're fine either way.
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Re: 2 batches in 1 fermentor?

Unread postby McMullan » Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:42 am

Yep, ask different brewers the same question and you'll often get different answers. A mix of superstition and reason. Brewing good beer is easy. The margins for error are tiny, if you follow a few well documented procedures and respect the biology of brewers yeast. Deviate and you introduce risks. You may or may not get a good beer. If you do, great. If you don't, bad luck.
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Re: 2 batches in 1 fermentor?

Unread postby dinnerstick » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:46 am

ask 2 brewers the same question and you'll be lucky to get only 2 answers!
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Re: 2 batches in 1 fermentor?

Unread postby McMullan » Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:28 pm

dinnerstick wrote:ask 2 brewers the same question and you'll be lucky to get only 2 answers!

Very true :lol:
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Re: 2 batches in 1 fermentor?

Unread postby piet_v » Sun Feb 01, 2015 6:25 pm

The germans have a word for it: darauflassen. Adding fresh wort to an already fermenting previuos batch. Standard practice in soms breweries.
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Re: 2 batches in 1 fermentor?

Unread postby McMullan » Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:28 pm

Yes, they do, and it is a 'standard practice' for some small breweries (lacking basic business planning) who have a fermenter capacity much bigger than their brew house capacity. I have a phrase for it: someone f*cked up.
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Re: 2 batches in 1 fermentor?

Unread postby McMullan » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:13 am

Actually, thinking about it. Germany traditionally has had lots of small, local breweries selling great beer for very reasonable prices. Given that big profits from beer are directly related to economies of scale, at least some of these small breweries might struggle to finance a bigger brew house capacity? Others might not have the space. Perhaps drauflassen is done out of necessity not choice? Unlike the home brewer, who has a choice.
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Re: 2 batches in 1 fermentor?

Unread postby Oz11 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:29 pm

We have a couple of double size conicals and a couple of singles. We can do a double brew day which takes less time than two single brewdays, as the second brew goes into the mash tun once the first is in the copper, and then into the FV on top of the first brew.

It takes up about the same space (on the floor) as a single FV, maybe a little more.

They serve our purpose and were good value on the second hand market ;)
FV: Northdown/EKG Bitter
Cond: Oatmeal Stout
On MiniKeg: Boadicea Bitter, Single Hop Boadicea, Dogbolter, US Amber
Bottled: Triple Stout, English Wheat Beer, Salem Porter, Triple Stout '15, JHB, Exmoor Gold, APA, Foundryman's Gold, Whitbread 1905 XK, US IPA, Irish Stout, SNPA, Autumn Mild, US Stout, Summit IPA, Milk Stout, Jaipur, 1930's Courage Stout

http://www.PubsAndBeer.co.uk
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Re: 2 batches in 1 fermentor?

Unread postby McMullan » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:46 pm

Sounds like a flexible design, Oz11. I'm planning to upgrade to a 50L BM then start double brews to ferment in 1 of 2 big conicals. Basically, increase my output with fewer brew days. When do you pitch the yeast? :cheers:
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Re: 2 batches in 1 fermentor?

Unread postby Oz11 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:10 pm

Normally once the first brew is in.

The other saving, of course, is only one FV to clean, instead of two. :beer:
FV: Northdown/EKG Bitter
Cond: Oatmeal Stout
On MiniKeg: Boadicea Bitter, Single Hop Boadicea, Dogbolter, US Amber
Bottled: Triple Stout, English Wheat Beer, Salem Porter, Triple Stout '15, JHB, Exmoor Gold, APA, Foundryman's Gold, Whitbread 1905 XK, US IPA, Irish Stout, SNPA, Autumn Mild, US Stout, Summit IPA, Milk Stout, Jaipur, 1930's Courage Stout

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