One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

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SGB
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One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by SGB » Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:20 am

as a novice I haven't the experience and it's all a first. I began small First a small pot and a 4liter fermentation. Then I got a big pot and a few more 4liter ferments. Then I decided to go big (or not) I got 2 , 18liter and 2 , 9litre washes of ujssm going at the same time so I can do three stripping runs and one spirit run from per week.
Initially, my feeling was if something was to go wrong with one I still had others and wouldn't lose the whole thing. But it also seems like sometimes they are not in sync with each other and even though they all start at the same times and have the same ratio of ingredients, the starting and finishing SG is different however the final stripping runs are very close to the same. There could be a percentage difference (maybe can't get accurate readings on generations, IDK?) . I'm wondering if I should dump everything into one big trash can

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by CopperFiend » Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:31 am

There's always going to be tiny differences between batches, no matter what you do. There isnt a huge difference between fermenting in multiple small batches or one big batch, though it is easier for me to keep a larger volume of liquid at the right temperature as it has more thermal mass. The only downside of many fermentation vessels I can see is more cleaning and more floor/bench space.

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by greggn » Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:08 am

SGB wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:20 am
I'm wondering if I should dump everything into one big trash can
Your working environment, as well as your own physicality, has to be considered. Can you lift heavy containers ? Can your workroom suffer spills ? Do you have sufficient power ? I run small batches because my answer is "no" to those questions. But I've made it work to my advantage.

Though I make a token number of bourbons each year I am a vodka drinker. Since vodka matures in weeks, rather than months/years for whiskey, I've found that a regular schedule of mashing and distilling provides me a steady supply of drinkable product. An unexpected side benefit is that I can constantly analyze, tinker, and improve my processes.
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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by v-child » Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:26 am

As Copperfiend stated, more vessels equal more cleaning and more risk of infections. If your recipe and procedures are fairly consistent, your product will follow.

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by Durhommer » Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:28 am

I do my wineos wash in large single ferment and most my whiskey in smaller batches then blend together in the spirit run yeah more fermenters but are you set up for large batches how will you get rid of large amounts of grain
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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by jonnys_spirit » Tue Oct 27, 2020 6:00 am

Compost bin or spread it in the yard for the birds & squirrels... Some folks bag it and chuck it in the trash too.

I've found that in the warmer months a black soldier fly bin makes pretty quick work of spent grains then dump it in the compost.

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by Bushman » Tue Oct 27, 2020 6:26 am

greggn wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:08 am
SGB wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:20 am
I'm wondering if I should dump everything into one big trash can
Your working environment, as well as your own physicality, has to be considered. Can you lift heavy containers ? Can your workroom suffer spills ? Do you have sufficient power ? I run small batches because my answer is "no" to those questions. But I've made it work to my advantage.

Though I make a token number of bourbons each year I am a vodka drinker. Since vodka matures in weeks, rather than months/years for whiskey, I've found that a regular schedule of mashing and distilling provides me a steady supply of drinkable product. An unexpected side benefit is that I can constantly analyze, tinker, and improve my processes.
+1 at 71 years old I use 6 gallon containers as lifting anything heavier or moving it around is a problem. Plus I built a fermentation cart that will hold up to 8 gallon size but two 6 gallon ferments fits perfectly in my boiler for a run. Below is a picture of my fermenting cart.
B8BA9699-941D-4DBE-B8D1-323E48336DC5.jpeg

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by Deplorable » Tue Oct 27, 2020 7:08 am

For me, also a novice, I quickly went to a 32 gallon Brute. I have a 13 gallon milk can boiler. I ferment on grain, so I can get 50# of grain and 25 gallons of water in it with room to spare. That gives me two stripping runs and a spirit run that can be done in a weekend. My Brute is on wheels, so it's relatively easy to move around the garage. Another benefit is that all my still components all fit in the boiler, and the boiler in the brute. A tidy package that tucks away in conspicuously in the corner of the garage.
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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by jog666 » Tue Oct 27, 2020 7:24 am

Back when I used nothing but buckets to ferment in, each one was just a little different. Anywhere from two at a time to ten at a time. There was always alot to clean up and alot of chances to make a mess. Then last year I ended up with over 100 pounds of fruit at once and decided to step up my fermenter. I had been thinking about it for some time & wish I would had done it sooner. Due to life being how it is, I have only had time to use a barrel to ferment in a few time and it is nice. You also have to factor in your physical condition, work space and your time. There are times I wish I only had my 7.75g keg so I can play around and be done that day. Then again I enjoy spending the day tending to my current 15.5g/7.75g set up & cant wait to swap the 7.75g out for another 15.5g

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by Demy » Tue Oct 27, 2020 8:29 am

It depends a lot on personal needs and partly on other factors as well. For example, I run small batches because I'm not a heavy drinker, but I happen to have seasonal fruit available and in that case a larger fermenter is needed. Usually very large fermentations produce a lot of heat especially in the hot season, which must be taken into consideration. On the other hand, small batches allow you to experiment a lot especially if you will distill various things. This is my case.

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by Bushman » Tue Oct 27, 2020 10:53 am

Looks like you have a decision to make. Members have given you good rational for both large and small fermenters now you have to make a decision according to your needs and space.

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by SGB » Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:55 pm

Thanks for your input guys. Weight I had not thought about
There's no way I could move anything around heavier than what I already have. Perhaps for just doing ujssm I could go bigger as I wouldn't have to move it around. But no way for anything else.
Thank you again very much. Very helpful advice

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by jog666 » Tue Oct 27, 2020 7:40 pm

SGB wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:55 pm
Thanks for your input guys. Weight I had not thought about
There's no way I could move anything around heavier than what I already have. Perhaps for just doing ujssm I could go bigger as I wouldn't have to move it around. But no way for anything else.
Thank you again very much. Very helpful advice
Stepping up to a barrel, weight is a big issue. Thats why I snagged a couple used barrel dollies and put new casters on them.

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by NZChris » Tue Oct 27, 2020 8:35 pm

If I'm using my 55g, I fill it in place and empty it with a siphon or a cheap 12V pump. If I'm worried about solids blocking the pump, I siphon through a sieve into a container and pump from the container.

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by Truckinbutch » Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:00 pm

I'm 70 and crippled . I built wheeled carts to accommodate my 32 gallon fermenters submerged in 44 gallon Brutes as water jackets . Siphon and bailing by hand as needed + squeeze the mash .
Large ferments and quick distilling . My setup yields 12.5 gallons of clear for the boiler and 12.5 gallons of murky stuff for the thumper for a strip run . I manage 3 of those when I am stilling .
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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by SGB » Tue Oct 27, 2020 10:35 pm

NZChris wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 8:35 pm
If I'm using my 55g, I fill it in place and empty it with a siphon or a cheap 12V pump. If I'm worried about solids blocking the pump, I siphon through a sieve into a container and pump from the container.
I'm using a well screen filter if I'm siphoning rice wine I'll use a noodle strainer with a sock and stick the pipe in it
IMG_20201028_142916.jpg
IMG_20201028_143001.jpg
IMG_20201028_143522.jpg

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by zapata » Tue Oct 27, 2020 11:08 pm

I've got 2 frozen shoulders (like seriously? At the same time?!) and 40 gallons fermenting. How heavy is your bathtub? Do you carry your truck over your head when you drive to town?

There are certainly advantages to small ferments, but I don't think weight is one of them. You'll note the people carrying fermenters around are the ones with light easy to carry fermenters...

Correction, I have 42 gallons fermenting. Maybe if I go pickup my saurgut and a yeast starter it'll help rehab these shoulders? OK, so light fermenters do have some advantages.

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by Corsaire » Tue Oct 27, 2020 11:22 pm

I put my big fermenter on a bike lift. When it's done, lift goes up to allow easy siphoning into the boiler.

Just gotta hope my bike doesn't need fixing while a ferment's going ;-)

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by v-child » Wed Oct 28, 2020 5:43 am

Corsaire wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 11:22 pm
I put my big fermenter on a bike lift. When it's done, lift goes up to allow easy siphoning into the boiler.

Just gotta hope my bike doesn't need fixing while a ferment's going ;-)
As do I.
I built a brace in the ceiling of my garage a few years back strong enough to lift a four banger car engine. I also use a hand truck from time. Twenty years ago I could toss one of these 15 gallon drums on my shoulder without breaking a sweat. Necessity is the mother of invention.

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by Deplorable » Wed Oct 28, 2020 7:10 am

Corsaire wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 11:22 pm
I put my big fermenter on a bike lift. When it's done, lift goes up to allow easy siphoning into the boiler.

Just gotta hope my bike doesn't need fixing while a ferment's going ;-)
That's a good idea. Too bad I sold my bike lift when I sold my four wheeler.
Like others here I use a cheap pond pump wrapped in a paint strainer bag.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by Fredistiller » Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:34 am

Looks I'm not the only one with a broken back! I also use wheels and an home-made pulley system to move my 35L fermenters.
I like many small fermenters for the reasons listed above by others but also because it allows me to use different type of yeasts at the same time for the same mash.

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by SuburbanShiner » Fri Oct 30, 2020 10:20 am

I moved from small fermenters to a 32 gal plastic garbage tote this summer. I only have to move the 5 gal buckets a few feet during racking as opposed to toting through the house to the garage since I previously fermented in small 5-8 gal fermenters in the master bathroom. The 32 gal is just sitting on the floor, however, so siphoning is slow and difficult and I have to get the last few gallons by hand and pour through a colander with cheese cloth into a 5gal bucket. I read in an earlier post about using a cheap pond pump in a paint strainer bag. I am going to give that a try.

I might also add that, for me, the ferments in the 32 gal have been quicker and easier. Plus, I have significantly increased my wash production (UJSSM).

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by Durhommer » Fri Oct 30, 2020 10:28 am

SuburbanShiner wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 10:20 am
I moved from small fermenters to a 32 gal plastic garbage tote this summer. I only have to move the 5 gal buckets a few feet during racking as opposed to toting through the house to the garage since I previously fermented in small 5-8 gal fermenters in the master bathroom. The 32 gal is just sitting on the floor, however, so siphoning is slow and difficult and I have to get the last few gallons by hand and pour through a colander with cheese cloth into a 5gal bucket. I read in an earlier post about using a cheap pond pump in a paint strainer bag. I am going to give that a try.

I might also add that, for me, the ferments in the 32 gal have been quicker and easier. Plus, I have significantly increased my wash production (UJSSM).
How do you keep a stable mash/wash temp
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason....

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by SuburbanShiner » Fri Oct 30, 2020 10:48 am

Durhommer wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 10:28 am
SuburbanShiner wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 10:20 am
I moved from small fermenters to a 32 gal plastic garbage tote this summer. I only have to move the 5 gal buckets a few feet during racking as opposed to toting through the house to the garage since I previously fermented in small 5-8 gal fermenters in the master bathroom. The 32 gal is just sitting on the floor, however, so siphoning is slow and difficult and I have to get the last few gallons by hand and pour through a colander with cheese cloth into a 5gal bucket. I read in an earlier post about using a cheap pond pump in a paint strainer bag. I am going to give that a try.

I might also add that, for me, the ferments in the 32 gal have been quicker and easier. Plus, I have significantly increased my wash production (UJSSM).
How do you keep a stable mash/wash temp
When I fermented inside, I used belt heaters and checked the temp fairly often. When I moved to the 32gal in the garage, I just decided to give it a go and see what happened. The garage was generally 85F throughout the summer. The ferment was done is 4-5 days as opposed to 2 weeks inside. I decided to not rock the boat and just kept with it. I've had 5 good ferments (approx. 20 - 23 gallons per) so far. Probably just got lucky with the stable temps as I haven't had a problem yet. However, I will have to think about heating it if I try to ferment in the winter. I still have enough wash for 3 strips in my 13gal still so that will keep me busy the next few Fridays.

I am running out of places in my yard to ditch 30# of spent corn, though, since I didn't start another ferment immediately after the last one. Had to go out of town unexpectedly.

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by howie » Fri Oct 30, 2020 4:30 pm

SGB wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 10:35 pm
NZChris wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 8:35 pm
If I'm using my 55g, I fill it in place and empty it with a siphon or a cheap 12V pump. If I'm worried about solids blocking the pump, I siphon through a sieve into a container and pump from the container.
I'm using a well screen filter if I'm siphoning rice wine I'll use a noodle strainer with a sock and stick the pipe in itIMG_20201028_142916.jpgIMG_20201028_143001.jpgIMG_20201028_143522.jpg
thanks, i just thought of another use for my gin caddy botanicals basket.
when siphoning the wash off the trub, i'll put the basket in the last 6'' and the end of the siphon into the basket.
the small mesh of the basket should keep the bits out.

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by Deplorable » Fri Oct 30, 2020 5:48 pm

Durhommer wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 10:28 am
SuburbanShiner wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 10:20 am
I moved from small fermenters to a 32 gal plastic garbage tote this summer. I only have to move the 5 gal buckets a few feet during racking as opposed to toting through the house to the garage since I previously fermented in small 5-8 gal fermenters in the master bathroom. The 32 gal is just sitting on the floor, however, so siphoning is slow and difficult and I have to get the last few gallons by hand and pour through a colander with cheese cloth into a 5gal bucket. I read in an earlier post about using a cheap pond pump in a paint strainer bag. I am going to give that a try.

I might also add that, for me, the ferments in the 32 gal have been quicker and easier. Plus, I have significantly increased my wash production (UJSSM).
How do you keep a stable mash/wash temp
I use a seed germination mat plugged into an inkbird. Tape the heat mat to the side of the Brute 32, plug it into the inkbird, suspend the temp probe in the mash from the lid. Set the temp and wrap the brute in reflectix and a wool blanket if needed. Easy and cheap.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by NZChris » Fri Oct 30, 2020 10:47 pm

Durhommer wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 10:28 am
How do you keep a stable mash/wash temp
The bigger the fermenter, the more stable the temperature is.

Today, I have 160W underneath a 55g fermenter and an old sleeping bag wrapped around it. The temperature is slowly climbing towards the setpoint and if it goes too high, there is a fan pointed at it, connected to the same STC-1000 controller looking after the heating. There is an aquarium air pump in the head space pumping the CO2 back down to the bottom to provide plenty of circulation.

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by Durhommer » Sat Oct 31, 2020 4:44 am

Thinking about the aquarium heater plugged into a controller of some sort as my winter solution to my cold basement/garage. Any suggestions on a control NZ said a stc 1000 deplorable has an ink bird can someone show a picture of their controller and how they run it
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason....

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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by Durhommer » Sat Oct 31, 2020 4:53 am

Screenshot_20201031-074714_Chrome.jpg
I found this n Amazon could I use this by itself or do I still need a controller
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Re: One large ferment Vs multiple small ferments

Post by Deplorable » Sat Oct 31, 2020 8:30 am

Durhommer wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 4:53 am
Screenshot_20201031-074714_Chrome.jpg
I found this n Amazon could I use this by itself or do I still need a controller
I had the seed mat already, I purchased the Inkbird because I read about them on here. You need a submersible temperature probe to drop in the mash. The inkbird aquarium heater controller fits the bill.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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