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Double batch brew

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Thatscold

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Having a young family means time is at a premium so I want to maximise my brew days by scaling up to 42L (2 cornies). My kettle is 70L and I’ve bought a new 47L cool box to up-size my mashtun. My brew fridge will take two 30l fermentation buckets, so I think I have everything covered. Do any of you do this, any tips?
I’ve only used dried yeast up to now, so perhaps I should try using a starter to save buying two packs of yeast per brew. I’m partial to a lager so I guess even more important? Can I get away with growing a starter in an empty 5l ashbeck water bottle, I don’t have a stir plate?
 

Zephyr259

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Brewing big batches shouldn't really be much different from smaller ones, just takes a bit longer to do things. I've split 23L batches and pitched different yeasts and my recent batch was a full-on blended parti-gyle giving a Maibock and a Best Bitter so you should be great as is.

Without a stir plate you're going to need to build huge starters, then lagers need double the yeast of ales so that's even bigger starters which makes them really expensive on DME. I have a homemade stir plate my father-in-law made and a 2L flask which has done me well for 4 years now. Really need a 3 - 5L flask for lagers I've found though, or very fresh yeast. Shaking starters does work, and my first few were made in cleaned and sanitised milk jugs, I've also fermented in a PET bottle which is basically what an Ashbeck bottle is but the yeast growth is about half what you get from a stir plate.

Makes me feel like dried yeast is just easier in this case, especially for the lagers.
 

Thatscold

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Thanks - maybe I'll just bite the bullet and spend extra on dried yeast for now. I'd rather pay a bit more to get a better end result.
 
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