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Old 08-08-2012, 03:09 PM   #1
rs3902
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Default 2.5 Gallon All Grain

Hey everyone,
So after getting my all grain set up, 10gal round cooler MLT, and outdoor cooker/turkey fryer, I've made 2 good 5 gallon batches. ...but now I'm moving. At my new apartment there is nowhere I can brew outside, so that rules out the turkey fryer. And making a 5 gallon batch boil on the stove is a pain. So can I just half my recipes and do a 2.5 gallon boil on the stove? Will the 10 gallon MLT be too big for mashing ~6lbs of grain?
Also, can I pitch a whole packet of dry yeast in a 2.5g batch? How about a whole smack pack?
Thanks in advance for your advice!

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Old 08-08-2012, 03:24 PM   #2
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You can definitely half your batches with your equipment. You may experience some heat loss in your mash from the dead space, but laying some aluminum foil over the top will help. Pitching the smack pack directly should be fine on that volume and a whole dry yeast pack should be ok too even though it is technically over-pitching.

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Old 08-08-2012, 03:27 PM   #3
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I would think you may need to construct a new mash ton. I BIAB so I would just get a smaller round cooler and throw a bag in. Pull it out to dump the wort. No mods necessary. I also use a small cooler for my primary when I sometimes do small batches. I went away from smack packs due to cost and using one in a 2.5 batch is just to expensive for me. I use a whole packet of dry. No problems and I just make ales so S04 or S05 works great.

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Old 08-08-2012, 03:36 PM   #4
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I did a 2.5 gallon batch a couple of weeks ago and pitched half a pack of S04, I'm reserving the other half in the freezer for another mini batch. It's nice to be able to do a brew day in the kitchen instead of in the garage, less to set up and tear down, plus chilling the wort is easier when you can move the pot wherever you want (sink, ice bucket, whatever). I have a 5 gallon MT that works great for this when I can fit in it instead of going to my 13.5 gallon picnic cooler, although I (and you) could also mash in a pot on the stove at this level. You could even play with step mashing at that point, or just be able to raise the temp a degree or two when you need to. If you're going BIAB, you'd be all set with just one 3 gallon stock pot, or use the turkey fryer pot. I'm just thinking out loud. If you want to use the 10 gallon tun you have, you will lose some heat to the head space, but after a batch or two you'll have either figured out how to minimize it (foil or something) or how to correct by raising your strike water an extra degree or two.

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Old 08-08-2012, 03:56 PM   #5
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Thanks a lot! I'm going to try it with the MT I have now. I'll raise my temp slightly and add extra insulator (great idea with the foil!). I'll see how that works out with a couple of batches and maybe I'll try BIAB if it doesn't work out like I want.

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Old 08-08-2012, 07:58 PM   #6
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I was in the same exact situation as you. I tried my 10 gallon MLT, but it lost too much heat. I ended up mashing in my stock pot and either direct fired it occasionally (while stirring), or put it in the preheated oven. When it came time to sparge, I used the cooler as a lauter tun. Just dumped the mash in and sparged like normal. Worked pretty well. Since the volumes are so small, lifting pots around wasn't such a big deal.

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Old 08-09-2012, 02:16 PM   #7
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Can't wait to try out these tips! I just thought of something else though. How about fermentation? I have a 5 gallon carboy that I use as a secondary for m larger batches, can I just use that as a primary fermentor for a 2.5 gallon batch? I guess I'm just worried about the headspace, especially if I leave it in that carboy for 3-4 weeks

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Old 08-09-2012, 02:21 PM   #8
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That bucket or carboy will be fine. The yeast will create CO2 that will push the O2 out. If you keg, you could also use corny kegs. Good luck!

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Old 08-09-2012, 02:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rs3902 View Post
Can't wait to try out these tips! I just thought of something else though. How about fermentation? I have a 5 gallon carboy that I use as a secondary for m larger batches, can I just use that as a primary fermentor for a 2.5 gallon batch? I guess I'm just worried about the headspace, especially if I leave it in that carboy for 3-4 weeks
I don't see why not. I often put a 2.5 gallon batch in a 6.5 gallon plastic bucket and leave it there for 3 to 4 weeks. The fermentation gives off CO2 which pushes the air out so you don't have oxidation.
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Old 08-10-2012, 03:27 AM   #10
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What's so difficult about using 2 brewpots on the stove to do 5 gal batches? That's how I do all mine. I've done many 3-gal batches too, and 5-gal batches certainly don't take any more effort (but you get a lot more beer at the end!!).

If you do decide to stick with 2.5 gal batches, I see little reason to make a new mash tun. The main problem is that it might lose more heat, so you may need to make a couple adjustments (add boiling water or do a small decoction).

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