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Old 07-18-2006, 05:49 PM   #1
Forrest
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I have purchased the book "Designing Great Beers" and have read it. Now I am beginning to formulate my own recipe. But since this is my first attempt at my own recipe, I wanted to brew a small batch just in case it doesn't turn out good, I will know without wasting 5 gallons of beer. I have found a pint beer bottle and have fabricated a stopper and an airlock to fit it. I want to try to Ferment just pints batches of my recipe until I get it where I like it then brew a full batch. As I may have mentioned before, I am in culinary school and I tried converting the Beer recipe just like I would a food recipe that I wanted to reduce. But I end up with some pretty small, hard to measure ingrediants for instance, I end up needing to use .05 of an oz of my bittering hops. Is there an easier way I could accomplish this very small batch brewing or am I on the right track?

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Old 07-18-2006, 05:59 PM   #2
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Post the recipe here, and the community will be happy to help you sort it out. This will prevent you from wasting your time trying to figure out how to scale down a 5 gal. batch to a 16 oz batch. Your better off doing a 5 gal batch, it won't be a waste of beer if you do it right.

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Old 07-18-2006, 06:06 PM   #3
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Personally I would design the recipe around a 5 gallon batch, then use one of the many online recipe calculators to scale the recipe down.

You said you found a pint bottle, is that 16 oz.? That just seems really small for the work involved. It should take you pretty much the same amount of time to do a pint as it would 5 gallons, with the exception of water heating time.

Also, remember your brew will change over time. If you only brew one pint of beer, you'll never be able to taste it as it ages. I'd probably look around and try to find gallon jugs or something instead of only a pint, but that's just me.

Oh, and depending on the style of beer you are making, you could always make more wort than you need for a batch, then try different hops and hop schedules and age in gallon containers.

DT

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Old 07-18-2006, 06:19 PM   #4
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There's such a difference between 16oz and 5 gallons that I can't imagine that you can effectively scale down the recipe that much. The hops utilization, for example, could be completely off. Any imprecisions in your ingredient measurement will be magnified.

Perhaps most important, beer changes over time. A brew you deem dumsterbrau after letting it age four weeks could very well turn into something special after two months. Buy yourself a couple 3 gallon carboys and brew 2.5 gallon batches. That'll be less ingredients, so less loss if things DO go awry, but the process will be very similar to brewing a regular 5 gallon batch and you'll have enough bottles to both sample it over time AND to enjoy it.

Plus, unless you are doing something REALLY weird, odds are whatever you brew will prove to be pretty drinkable anyway. You might find the next great recipe, but at the very least you'll have the best-stocked fridge on campus.

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Old 07-18-2006, 06:31 PM   #5
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Does anyone have a link to one of the online recipe calculators? Thanks for all your advice.

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Old 07-18-2006, 06:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forrest
Does anyone have a link to one of the online recipe calculators? Thanks for all your advice.
http://hbd.org/recipator/
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Old 07-18-2006, 06:50 PM   #7
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For recipe calculations you can use Promash. But I'd recommend at least a 2-3 gallon "half-batch" as opposed to just brewing 16 oz. In reality, what are you saving by creating smaller batches? The time involved is roughly the same, you'll still need a package of yeast, any grain you use is pretty cheap to begin with... The only benefit I can see is that if you are using extract you could save $10 or so by using half the extract, and you'll save a little time by not having to bottle so many beers. But, what if you really like the brew? Then you'll be kicking yourself for not brewing more.

Marc.

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Old 07-18-2006, 06:52 PM   #8
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Really doing a full batch of a designed recipe shouldn't be a problem. Just watch out for your BU:GU ratio, use malts & hops that are appropriate for the style, put the recipe in a calculator as mentioned above or download the evaluation version of brewing software like brewsmith or promash, and above all keep the recipe simple. Refer to the tips at the end of the style chapter in Designing Great Beers and you can't go wrong.

I've designed a couple of recipes after reading that book and I'm waiting to see how they come out. For those recipes I've posted my recipe on a forum like this for feedback.

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Old 07-19-2006, 02:39 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for your reply. The thing is that I live in a very small apartment and really do not have roome for beer brewing. I do anyway but My roomate really gets upset with me sometimes with all of my fermenters and brewing equipment taking up space in the living room. So, I though that if I could just do a small batch, it would save me some room, but I may just go ahead and try a full batch after reading your comments. I will let everyone know how it turns out. My reciepe is for a Rye Stout. Stout and Porter has got to be my favorite beer styles but I also love the taste of rye. You can't exactly buy a commercial Rye Stout anywhere (at least that I have found) so I am trying to make one myself. I am also wanted to experiment later with some lesser known and used grains but presently, I am having problems finding them. Well thanks again.

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Old 07-20-2006, 12:31 PM   #10
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Rye stout, sounds ambitious! Post your recipe if you've got any questions about it. Good luck anyway. My advice is to be generous with your beer to your roomate and maybe he'll warm to the idea of having fermenters all over the place.

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