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Varmintman 01-11-2013 12:54 PM

How small can you go
Currently I brew 6 gallon batches and my last brew a Irish Red I was a little less than pleased with the hop profile. So I am thinking of experimenting with hops on a small scale.

What I am thinking of doing is using the same base malt like 2 row and the same hop and adding it in the same amounts through out different batches at different times so I can tell the difference between bittering and aroma.

But since I get about 10 beers per gallon I think that would kind of suck to have to drink 10 beers of only bitter or 10 beers of only aroma. So I am wondering has anyone done a batch of say 24 ounces. I am thinking I could ferment in a half gallon milk jug and use coopers to carb with.

And yes I tried making hop tea and brother I will never do that again. I truly wish that there was some way to easily convey the differences between the hops and additions or explain what I like in the beer.

ludomonster 01-11-2013 01:24 PM

It's doable. One concern I would have is the accuracy of your scale. Many 5-gallon beers use measurements to the tenth of an ounce of hops. Some brewers care more about it than others, but to do this, you would want to be able to measure 0.1 +/-5 oz. That is, the scale should be accurate to 5 hundredths of an ounce.

In your scenario, you will be scaling your recipes down from 5 * 128 oz to 24 oz. This is a 1 : 0.0375 ratio.

For a 1 ounce hop addition to 5 gallons, you will be adding less than 5 hundredths of an ounce. Therefore, your scale needs to be more accurate. It's probably ok to be accurate to 5 ten-thousandth of an ounce.

The second issue is innoculation. An 11g sachet of US-05 is appropriate for 5 gallons of wort. It contains about 200 billion viable cells. You need about 6 billion. Overpitching can change the character of your beer, and you want to experiment under conditions similar to a regular 5-gallon batch. Pitching twice as much probably isn't an issue, but pitching 33 times as much could get wierd.

My suggestion is to design an experiment using as many different 24-ounce recipes as you can with the same yeast. You can taste them side-by-side.

You can try using different hops and malts and give yourself an impression of various combinations.

Varmintman 01-11-2013 01:39 PM

The yeast I think would be the problem and I had planned to try a clean yeast that I have a slurry of and use a syringe to pull a measured amount. I realize that will not be optimal but other than going to a 1 gallon batch I am at a loss.

I guess though dumping a gallon would not be so bad

Odin_Brews 01-11-2013 02:52 PM

If you measure your hops in grams that should help with the accuracy of your scale.

Varmintman 01-11-2013 02:57 PM

I have two scales and sadly my uber accurate one is packed up getting ready to move. I have a US balance scale I have been using for hops that is 0.1 grams. Not to close but I think close enough.

Kind of looking forward to doing this in a way. I think I will brew better beers and honestly a small gallon batch on the stove just seems kind of fun

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