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Old 10-17-2009, 05:42 PM   #1
dinertime
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Default AG in small batches

I'm looking to start all grain brewing in my apartment, and my only equipment for mashing/boiling are a 5 gallon pot and my gas range. I have successfully done a number of partial mash recipes using the large grain-bag method and have gotten good efficiencies (>70%). I plan on adapting it to AG.

My plan right now is to halve a 5 gal AG recipe (with the help of BeerSmith) and brew a 2.5 gal batch as my first AG. I figure this will allow me to get it done with my equipment and also learn the ropes without spending so much money on grains.

What I am worried about is fermenters and oxygen. I have a 5 gal and a 6.5 gal glass carboy. I assume in the primary all of the oxygen will get used up by the yeast and replaced with CO2, but if I want to rack it into a secondary, I would have a LOT of headspace (2.5 gal or so). Would this be a problem for oxidation? Should I just leave it in the primary and deal with the cloudy beer? Does it seem possible to use my CO2 tank to displace all the air in a secondary with carbon dioxide? And I guess if anyone has any tips or suggestions regarding AG on the stovetop (besides the common threads), they would be appreciated!

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Old 10-17-2009, 05:44 PM   #2
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Leave it in the fermenter until it clears. Solves all of your problems.

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Old 10-18-2009, 01:52 AM   #3
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I would definitely try it. That's how I got started in AG, I figured if I halved the recipe, I could still use my 5 gallon pot and brew inside, although I did make a Igloo cooler mash tun. It turned into the best two beers I have made so far, even though I only got about 50% efficiency. I've been brewing AG since, and trying it in small batches inspired me to get the equipment needed since they turned out so good. Like the previous post, I wouldn't worry about a secondary yet. I was told early on that it was very beneficial to use a secondary, so I did for every batch, and I think the result I got was maybe a tad bit clearer beer, but was oxidized when it didn't have to be. One nice thing about 2.5 gallon batches is you can experiment a lot and brew a lot more, without as much of a backlog of beer that you need to drink.

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