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Old 10-25-2012, 03:34 PM   #1
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Default Let's get small! (or) Apartment brewing processes!

I've got some fun brewing plans in store for myself in 2013, but wondered if maybe there was something more waiting in the wings.

I've been brewing for a little over 2 years in my 1000-ish sq. ft. apartment, making the journey from extract kits to making my own AG recipes. If, in 2013 while working my way through some BJCP styles I'm not familiar with, I made a few short videos or wrote up some articles on how I brew with limited space would that be something anyone on this board is interested in?

If you were interested, what kinds of things would you want to see? I'm in the middle of planning my brews for the first half of the year and figured I should budget in time and materials for whatever side projects I'm planning at the same time. This was going to be a fun project for me and the 7 people on my Google Plus beer circle. If more people are interested here, where the beer nerds gather, I thought I'd try to give a little back for all those years spent lurking.

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Old 10-25-2012, 03:52 PM   #2
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I would, and I think it is a good idea to show newer people they they done HAVE to brew in 5 gal batches because that is what kits are.

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Old 10-25-2012, 04:28 PM   #3
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My plan is to brew 5 gallon batches since AG can be quite a time sink but manage time and space in a space where a brewer may not have access to a garden hose for chilling via IC or plate chiller, or how to economize space when you need to brew on a porch that is 6' x 6', that kind of thing.

I could absolutely show small batch as well, if there is enough interest.

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Old 10-25-2012, 04:40 PM   #4
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Austin Homebrew has 1 gallon starter kits on sale for $32 right now, which is pretty good for people starting off with limited space and a small budget.

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Old 10-25-2012, 04:41 PM   #5
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I think its a good idea, but honestly, im doing all grain 5 gallon batches in my 650 sqft apartment without issue. All you need is a covered patio/deck. If you're brewing in an NYC studio apt, well, then disregard what I said.

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Old 10-25-2012, 04:42 PM   #6
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I live in an apartment and make batches from 6 to 12 gallons, size is not always a problem.

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Old 10-25-2012, 04:42 PM   #7
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I think it's a great idea. Everyone has to start somewhere, and most start on a stovetop. I think interesting points to hit on for small-space brewing would be: Storing fermenters, controlling temperatures, maximizing space. It's not brewing beer itself, but I think it could be quite informative.

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Old 10-25-2012, 05:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainyDay View Post
All you need is a covered patio/deck. If you're brewing in an NYC studio apt, well, then disregard what I said.
Hell, you don't even need that:



I use bar stools for a lot of my operations.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:34 PM   #9
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I use two 3 gallon pots to mash in the oven. I lauter in a bottling bucket with a copper manifold. Then I boil the wort in the same 3 gallon pots. I cool as much as I can in the bathtub then cool some more in the refrigerator.

I ferment exclusively in glass carboys, which live in the laundry closet with my bicycle. I control the temperature using the frozen bottle method in a big rope handle tub.

I use the dishwasher both as a bottling tree and a catch basin to bottle over. I bottle condition in the pantry.

I love doing this in the air conditioning in the six months we call summer. It costs me $1.50 extra for electricity on brew day, even with the additional AC load.

I suppose I could buy a couple grand worth of new toys and use ten bucks worth of propane outside, but I like to do it indoors drinking a beer and watching television.

How does everybody else do it?

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Old 10-25-2012, 05:35 PM   #10
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It sounds like there is interest, so I'm going to go ahead and plan out some sessions. My personal experience with apartment brewing is in a single bedroom, 3rd floor apartment in Chicago. I can't just take my mash tun out back and hose it out, getting 40# of ice to recirculate in my immersion chiller is a pain to haul up 3 flights of stairs (high tap water temps) as is 10+ gallons of water if I want a very soft water profile for a given beer style.

It won't be for everyone. However, every time I thought I had my process perfected I'd visit a friend who brews in a different space, read an article, or watched a video that gave me some idea how to tweak, improve, or streamline my own process.

That is what I'd like to do, show the process in as many ways as possible. At a certain point you've read all the books and max out the amount of raw data you know about brewing and all that is left is to try it and teach what you know to others. I'll be brewing, brewing with friends, talking to whoever I can at the LHBS and see what others are doing.

If you'd like to join me in this journey, cool. If not, maybe you can contribute and show me where I've gone wrong along the way :-)

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