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Old 12-14-2010, 02:11 PM   #1
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Default Small batch brewing......

I've been brewing for about a year and I want to try some different beers, cider and sours.....basically some things I've never tried or tasted before....... since I am unsure how well I will like some of these things I want to be able to do small or 1/2 batches so I do not end up with 50 bottle of something that is "not good".............obviously I can cut all the 5 gallon recipes in half to do a smaller batches but what do I use to ferment in? Can I use my regular bucket or will the additonal air space cause problems? Do I need to pick up a 3 gallon better bottle? I assume I need to also use 1/2 the yeast or is ok to use the full amount? Just looking for some ideas......thanks in advance!

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Old 12-14-2010, 02:17 PM   #2
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I half a half batch bucket - Originally contained cake icing. Got it free at walmart. Think it holds 5 gallons. I bought a black grommet for fifty cents at the brew store, drilled a 5/8" hole in the top of the lid, installed the grommet and boom! half batch bucket I know others find 3 gallon PET water bottles, but my local stores only have the ones with the recycle number 7

Yeast, depends on the brew, but generally a full pack will not hurt, and in some cases it may be the right amount of yeast to pitch!

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Old 12-14-2010, 02:24 PM   #3
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There is a ton of small batch threads on here, including those in the similar thread box below.

You can brew any sized batch you want. I do a lot of 2.5 gallon recipe test batches. You can even do 1 gallon AG brews. The basic brewing guys call that the six pack brew.

A recipe is scalable, so a 1 gallon recipe is 1/5th of a 5 gallon one....a 2.5 gallon one is half the ingredients.

2.5 gallons is one case of beer.

I use my normal 5 gallon mash tun for most of them, but I do a lot of Experiments, test recipes, or beers that I know I won't need/want more than a case of.

I sometimes use an unmodified 2 gallon cooler for a lot of my small btaches it holds up to 4 pounds of grain.

I just us a folding steamer in the bottom along with a grain bag. Just break off or unscrew the center post.



One of these, it helps to lift the grain bag above the spigot to keep the drainig from getting stuck.







I posted a lot of info in the mr beer thread that you may find helpful.

I posted some all grain small batchrecipes here, http://www.homebrewtalk.com/785533-post702.html

ANd a bit of a primer on AG with pics here http://www.homebrewtalk.com/738927-post659.html

But I mostly use my regular 5 gallon cooler mash tun which holds 14 pounds of grains...and 14 pounds of grain for a 2.5 gallon batch can be a mighty big beer.....


One of our memebers chubbykid had plans for a minikeg mashtun http://sites.google.com/site/chubbyk...keg-lauter-tun



THe basic brewing radio guys are big fans of tiny batch brewing...3/4 gallon (1 6pack) in a 1 gallon winejug fermenter.

They demo the 6-pack IPA here

http://en.sevenload.com/shows/Basic-Brewing/episodes/PERGFAJ-01-12-06-Basic-Brewing-Video-A-Six-Pack-of-IPA
and they also have done barleywines as well.

I ferment my 2.5 gallon batches in all manner of things, I have a 3 gallon better bottle, I also use 3 gallon water jugs, AND my old Mr Beer keg (it's perfect because you can even lager in your own fridge with it when you are starting out.)

You can even ferment a 2.5 gallon batch in a 5 gallon carboy if you want, though I would say a 6.5 gallon carboy is a little too much headspace for my confort.

Hope this helps....any more questions feel free to ask...But look through ALL THE OTHER INFO first and I bet you, you won't HAVE any other questions. This has been thoroughly covered like just about everything else.

Oh, and you don't have to do anything with hops in terms of hop utilization, except scale it in the same proportion, as you do your grain. Nothing else.

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Old 12-14-2010, 03:54 PM   #4
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Revvy, I picked up a 2 gallon cooler last night and it's quite a bit smaller than I thought it would be. Before I jump into brewing something with this small batch method, could you tell me how much water will fit in the cooler with a full grain load?

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Old 12-14-2010, 03:59 PM   #5
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Please use the `Can I Mash It?' calculator.

http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml

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Old 12-14-2010, 04:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IffyG View Post
Revvy, I picked up a 2 gallon cooler last night and it's quite a bit smaller than I thought it would be. Before I jump into brewing something with this small batch method, could you tell me how much water will fit in the cooler with a full grain load?
??? A two gallon cooler holds two gallons. Of course it's gonna be small.


The amount of water is going to be determined by your mash to grain ratio. The 4 pounds is with the standard 1.25 quarts/# grist to water ratio.

According to the gree Bay Racker's Can I mashi in it calculator. 4# of Grain with a grist/water ration of 1.25/# takes up 1.57 gallons of space. 5# of grain with the same ratio takes 1.96 gallons of space, but I don't know if the lit would fit or not...but you could do 4.5 pound comfortably.

You can do 6 pounds with a 1.0 quart/# ratio but that's a thick mash.
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Old 12-14-2010, 04:21 PM   #7
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Yeah... probably pretty stupid on my part to think it would be bigger, but what can you do. haha

Thanks for the input.

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Old 12-14-2010, 04:47 PM   #8
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Bobby_M's This is how big your Mash Tun Needs to be is good for figuring it out the size based on efficiencies... Looks to me like you could do 4.8 lbs at a 1.25 qt/lb with 70% efficiency for up to a 1047 brew OR if you get 80% a 1054. I looked online and they sell 3 gallon coolers, but they are almost as expensive as what I paid for my 13 gallon cooler!

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Old 12-14-2010, 11:30 PM   #9
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I use a 4 gallon PETE plastic water bottle from Menard's (hardware store), comes with water for $5.50. Perfect for a 3 gallon batch which I think is better than a 2.5 gallon batch because I seem to get the same amount of yeast cake and gunk out of a half batch as a full batch, so the yield from 2.5 gallons of wort is a little on the small side for me. Regular universal stopper fits the mouth just fine.

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