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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Brewing 3 gallons vs 5?
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:46 PM   #21
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I like variety, so I ended up doing 2.5-3 gallon AG batches instead of 5 gallon extract (I brew stove-top). Now that I'm a bit busier, the temporal economy of scale favors bigger batches. I push toward 3-4 gallons sometimes, and I'm experimenting with doing split batches--like partigyles without the big difference in gravities. I'll take a malt bill for a 5 gallon 1.05-1.06 recipe, evenly split the runnings (same gravity) then dilute half or add sugar to the other half to get a Best Bitter and an IPA, or a Tripel and a Saison. Consecutive boils with different hops and yeasts gets me two beers for one brew day.

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Old 01-22-2013, 02:59 AM   #22
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I do 1 gallon batches in glass jugs as experiments or to dial in a recipes, sometimes as many as 3 variations at a time. But I do 5 gallons to "fire for effect" on proven recipes. I try not to experiment with 5 gallons worth of ingredients' +1 on yeast washing bringing down the cost of small batches. I also have no trouble disposing of beer, I have plenty of people to drink it.

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Old 01-22-2013, 06:58 AM   #23
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I only brew 3 gallon batches- less bottles- 30 bottles is enough- if it is good, I'll brew it again- nice to have a fridge full of several varieties of homebrew- right now there is about 20 bottles of nut brown ale, 20+ porters, 10 ginger ciders, 10 blueberry ciders and 30 stouts coming soon right behind it- if I was doing 5 gallon batches I would run out of room and/or only have one or two varieties in there...

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Old 01-22-2013, 05:04 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wobdee View Post
I love my 2.5 gl setup. I can either do a quick 2 hour extract brew or an all grain BIAB. Like others have stated smaller batches take up less space, more experimentation, less clean up and 2.5 gl is just about the right amount of beer for me.

Here's my system.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/my-o...system-380656/
For a 2-3 gal set up, that is pretty awesome. How has the attached screen worked out compared to the concerns mentioned? I am going to have to look into that. I have a 9 gal pot and a 5 gal pot that I use and just toss my hops into a nylon bag. Oops...thread jacked. My mistake.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:14 PM   #25
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I use the 6g or 6.5g for 5-5.5g batches, the 5g for ~4g batches, and the 3g for 2.5g batches. (2.25g of WM brand apple juice (3qts per container) makes a perfectly sized Apfelwein batch as I frequently get strong blowoff) This seems to work out quite well.

I've made a few suggested stout recipes in the 3g, a lactose porter in the 5g, and of course most my batches in the standard.

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Old 02-04-2013, 03:43 AM   #26
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I made a 3 gallon batch that boiled down to about 2.5 gallons. If I can bottle 2 gallons of it ill get about 20 bottles of beer. And with ~$14 in ingredients I think it's worth it. Ill probably start a pattern where I brew and bottle on the same day every 2 weeks. Maybe throw in a larger batch every now and then. Should give me a good selection and turnover.

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Old 02-04-2013, 02:21 PM   #27
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You can always dilute post boil, or even post-fermentation.

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Old 02-04-2013, 05:05 PM   #28
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It's more aggrevating for me. Takes the same amount of time and you're left with 3-4 sixpacks less beer. The only extra piece of equipment you really need for the larger batch size is a wort chiller.

Recipe design is also a hassle since most recipes are based on 5 to 5.5 gallons. I have a bunch of recipes written down with the boil/batch size differing almost every time. It sucks to go back and convert them all since I'm doing mostly 5.5 gallon batches now.

HOWEVER, if I did not have the ability to brew 5 gallon batches, I would stick with 3 gallon batches of undiluted full wort boiled beer and NOT top off a concentrated batch with half the volume of plain water.

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Old 02-04-2013, 08:38 PM   #29
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I was reffering to just missing your volume. You wanted 3 gallons but got 2.5--just add .5 gallon distilled water, and you're golden. I do this almost every batch (I haven't bothered getting my boil-off down to an exact science).

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Old 02-06-2013, 03:54 PM   #30
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bobbrews: I don't find it that much of a hassle to multiply all the values by 0.6 to convert a recipe from 5 to 3 gallons. Sure the hop utilization won't be spot on but most people won't notice the difference.
The 18-24 fewer beers you see as a negative is what many of us see as a positive. You'll find that most of the people brewing <5 gallon batches are only brewing for 1 person. So it sometimes takes a while to work through 2 cases of beer. It also allows people to experiment with bold or expensive ingredient combinations without fear of having 5 gallons of a beer they hate. Brewing small batches allows for a constant variety in beer choice, particularly if you live in a small apartment or otherwise don't have room to store hundreds of bottles.

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