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Old 01-16-2010, 06:23 PM   #1
Istvan
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Default Half Batches

Hello from Central Oregon.

New to home brewing and getting ready to do my first batch. Is it possible (wise) to divide the recipe in half (brew 2.5 gallons rather than 5.0 gallons)? I'd like to brew one batch a month (try many recipes) but don't have enough friends to consume 48 bottles (humor) quickly.

Thanks for the help.

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Old 01-16-2010, 06:24 PM   #2
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Yes, that will work. You can divide everything in a kit in half (or divide the recipe in half) except for the yeast. You can use all of the yeast in a vial or package.

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Old 01-16-2010, 06:31 PM   #3
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I did this my first time and I think it turned out fine. A little inexact in my divisions but I'm okay with mild flavor variation.
If you do have a kit and are dividing it in half, you can use all the yeast then try out Yeast Washing (or just pitch onto the same yeas) and not have to buy new yeast. That way you can brew fresh wort and reuse the yeast. Sanitation is extremely important in yeast washing though! (and in making your divisions of ingredients, but most importantly after the boil)

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Old 01-16-2010, 09:19 PM   #4
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I made a half-batch my first time too. I used a German Hefeweizen kit from Morebeer, and the dried malt extract was packaged in two equal bags. I didn't have to mess with splitting it.

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Old 01-16-2010, 10:48 PM   #5
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Thanks for the help. A follow-up (procedural) question.

With a 5-gallon brew, I'd boil 2 gallons of water and pour it into the fermenter. Then boil 3 gallons for the wort. Now ... with a half (2.5 gallon) batch, do I just do one boil (2.5 gallon wort)? And will that affect the IBUs (flavors)?

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Old 01-17-2010, 01:52 AM   #6
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Default 1/2 in a big bucket?

Yooper and crew, do you think that a half 2.5 gallon batch would turn out fine in a typical Ale Pail? I assume that the airlock would keep oxygen out.

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Old 01-17-2010, 02:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Istvan View Post
Thanks for the help. A follow-up (procedural) question.

With a 5-gallon brew, I'd boil 2 gallons of water and pour it into the fermenter. Then boil 3 gallons for the wort. Now ... with a half (2.5 gallon) batch, do I just do one boil (2.5 gallon wort)? And will that affect the IBUs (flavors)?
Yes, a full boil will change the hops utilization. That's no problem, as you can either run your recipe through some brewing software, or post it here, and we can help you adjust the recipe. It should be just a matter of changing your bittering hops a bit.

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Yooper and crew, do you think that a half 2.5 gallon batch would turn out fine in a typical Ale Pail? I assume that the airlock would keep oxygen out.
Yes, it''l be fine. I happen to have several three gallon carboys, but it's not necessary. You'll be bottling in less than 4 weeks anyway, so oxidation isn't a concern.
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Old 01-17-2010, 04:02 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone. Studying How to Brew (by John Palmer) and assembling the proper equipment. Need to build a fermenter cabinet in the garage, but it is on to the "brew" very shortly.

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Old 01-23-2010, 06:37 PM   #9
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Help please. I'd like to brew a "half" batch for this recipe. Please tell me how to decide upon weights for a bitterness between 25-30.

Type: Pale Ale
Volume (final): 2.5 gal
Volume (boil): 3.0 gal
OG: unknown
IBUs: unknown
Yeast: Safale S-05 (re-hydrated)
Malts:
Briess, LME, Pilsner Light, 3.3#
LHBS, DME, Amber, 2.5#
Hops:
Northern, 0.50 oz, 60 min, 8.0% AA
Cascade, 0.50 oz, 30 min, 6.9% AA
Cascade, 0.50 oz, 15 min, 6.9% AA

It makes sense to just divide the hops in half, but do I also do this with the malt extracts. Also, I'll not be adding more water after the brew (in the fermenter), because of the smaller volume.

I've found several IBU calculators on-line, but can't locate a "simple" OG calculator.

Thanks for the help.

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Old 06-14-2010, 07:07 PM   #10
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i stumbled upon this thread. im interested in brewing half batches as well because i wont need 48 of the same beer and would like to try multiple different kinds.

im assuming that brewing with half the ingredients for a 5 gal batch would work. makes perfect sense to me. as far as hops go yeah, you could probably just steep half of what a 5 gal batch calls for. cheers!

im almost positive this holds true. if not somebody pleaaasseeeee correct me.

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