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2.5 Gallon Batch Equipment

About 5 years ago I brewed my first batch of beer. I brewed several more batches before moving away from all my brewing buddies. After telling a new friend that in the past I made my own beer he's been bugging me to brew up some beer. I still have all my old equipment for brewing 5 gallon batches, but we both agree that 2.5 or 3 gallon batches might be a better start for us.

I guess my question is what size primary and secondary should I be using for these smaller batches?

Also what should I be mindful of when adjusting a 5 gallon recipe to a smaller amount?

Thanks,

Jeremy

 the_bird 11-29-2006 07:12 PM

If it's two of you, why not go a five gallon batch and split it up? That's only a case each.

Well we pretty much only drink beer when we are together. :D

-- Jeremy

 dantodd 11-29-2006 07:17 PM

I'm with the bird on this one, if you are drinking your beer a 5 gal. batch is really about as low as you need to go. I can understand experimenting with smaller batches but for a drinking beer 5 gal is the default.

But, you didn't ask for my opinion on your idea, just how to do it.

Smaller carboys and cornie kegs are available and just use the size you like. The recipes are all linear so you can simply multiply all the ingredients by .5 or .6 depending upon your batch size (2.5 or 3 gal. respectively)

I use beersmith and it is a huge help in defining ingredients and it has a scale function that will do all the math for you. This is a nice shortcut for converting recipes other folks post.

welcome back to brewing and good luck.

 the_bird 11-29-2006 07:18 PM

I'd get a couple carboys, 5 gallon for primary, 3 gallon for secondary, and do three-gallon batches. The five gives you plenty of room for fermentation, the 3 limits potential O2 exposure. If you decide that 3 gallons is too little, the 5 is perfect for the secondary, and you can use the 3 for a cider or a mead or something else like that.

 Orfy 11-29-2006 07:20 PM

It depends whether you want 2.5 gallon boils or 2.5 gallon primaries or 2.5 gallon bottled.

Just a few things to think about.

I'm pretty sure if you get into it you'll figure out for the same work you can have 5 gallon instead of 2.5 gallon.

I use 2,5 gallon for stuff I don't drink a lot of or if I want to trail a recipe or I just want to use some bits up.
I quite often skip secondary on 2.5's

Thanks Guys!

I am sure after a few batches we will step it up to 5 gallon batches once we get rolling again. The real key will be getting our freinds hooked on drinking up our latest brews. At that point 2 cases makes sense.

Now I just need to pull my gear out, figure out what I have, and what needs to be replaced.

-- Jeremy

 Orfy 11-29-2006 07:28 PM

\Go for it.

If drinking it is the obstacle then you need help!!!!:mug:

 dantodd 11-29-2006 07:49 PM

I think I like orfy's suggestion best. A 5 or even 6 gallon primary fermenter won't hurt anything so just brew a couple batches that don't require secondary fermentation. This means you don't have to invest any more money into the hobby until you know which way you are going with it.

The only caveat is that a great way to get excellent initial results is to buy "ingredient kits" from online stores or your LHBS. I have purchased such kits from morebeer.com and they make 5 gallon batches. Going this route will greatly increase your chances of making excellent beer on your first batch which IMO will greatly increase the chance of keeping you buddy interested in the process.

 Bobby_M 11-29-2006 08:10 PM

Again, you didn't really want a debate, but I'm gonna suggest going right to 5gal batches. By the time you factor in those premature tastings, you'll be down to a case and a half. Then you'll want to send a couple to a couple friends, etc.

It's nice to brew a lot so that you accumilate a variety of stock. I have my 5th batch in primary right now and I'm disappointed that I only have a sixpack of my first batch left. When I have people over, I'd rather give them a 5-6 beer menu to choose from because not everyone likes IPA or Stouts, etc.

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