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Old 04-19-2008, 04:30 AM   #1
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Default Scaling Down Recipes

How do you scale a 5 gallon extract recipe down to 2 or 2.5 gallons? I've gotten pretty experimental with my brews lately with hit or miss luck. I would rather ruin 2 gallons of beer than 5 due to cost. Can I just cut all the ingredients in half for a 2.5 gallon batch?

I currently do extract recipes with grain steeping with a 3 gallon boil, added to 3 gallons of clean water in the fermenter. How would a small batch affect ingredient amounts, boil time, and fermentation time?

Thanks!

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Old 04-19-2008, 04:33 AM   #2
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You can cut a recipe in half and it will work just fine. If you want to get technical and ensure you are matching a style with gravities and IBU's, then brewing software would be the best way to go about it, esp if you are looking at an intermediate size like a 3 gallon batch.

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Old 04-19-2008, 12:26 PM   #3
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Only cut the ingredients in half...leave time alone.

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Old 04-19-2008, 12:53 PM   #4
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I do small batches all the time, like the others said cut the ingredients in half and leave the time alone. I find I do need to add just a bit more hops to get the flover and bitterness I want. Good luck.

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Old 04-19-2008, 01:03 PM   #5
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Exactly- same boil time and just cut the ingredients in half. Except- use all the yeast. You wouldn't cut the yeast in half- use the whole vial.

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Old 04-20-2008, 02:12 PM   #6
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Can you ferment, say, a 2.5 gallon batch in a 5 gallon glass carboy? Is that too much empty space?

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Old 04-20-2008, 02:50 PM   #7
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it's fine, just don't let it sit too long in that five gallon after primary is done

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Old 04-20-2008, 03:21 PM   #8
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The CO2 produced by the fermentation will protect the beer for the duration of the primary. If you want to transfer to secondary you may want to look into a 3 gallon carboy, but otherwise you are good to go.

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Old 04-20-2008, 03:52 PM   #9
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Thanks, folks. Very helpful and quick information. I'm trying to get back into brewing after a hiatus, and am brewing a 5 gallon recipe today from a local homebrew store. I have 6.5 and 5 gallon carboys. I think I'll put this recipe in the 6.5 gallon carboy and then perhaps scale down a recipe and do that next weekend into the 5 gallon carboy. I'm trying to simplify things after inconsistent results in the past (thus, the hiatus) and am thinking of skipping secondary fermentation for the ales I intend to brew. So hopefully this will work and maximize the equipment I already have and keep my beer pipeline full!

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Old 04-20-2008, 04:26 PM   #10
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I use Promash software, and there is a feature in it where you lock ingredients to batch size. Then you just change the batch size, and it'll give you all the calculations for every possible volume you'd want to brew. I'm guessing Brewsmith probably has something similar.

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