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Old 09-20-2010, 06:10 AM   #1
NWMOBrewer
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Default 1 Gallon Batches

Since I live in a small apartment and don't have the money to commit to buying the equipment for a 5 gallon kit, I hope to start brewing 1 gallon of beer at a time. I found a website benshomebrew.com that has 1 gallon ingredient kits for $15. I decided not to get their kit because I already have much of the stuff I would need. My question is that is it a good idea to use their kits the first couple of times, or take a 5 gallon recipe and divide it by 5 and buy a scale. Money is a big factor in my decision to start with the 1 gallon setup. Also, does anyone know where else I can go to get 1 gallon kits. I live 2 hours away from my nearest home brew store so this thread is my biggest help. Thanks!!!

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Old 09-20-2010, 07:36 AM   #2
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Mr. Beer

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Old 09-20-2010, 09:40 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by MetallHed View Post
Mr. Beer
Lots of guys knock the Mr. Beer kits, but the primary that comes with the kit is a great little vessel. I have a couple that I get used when I can and love the ease of use.

I have never brewed with the kits, but just tried a beer made from one a couple days ago (came with a kit I bought off CL). It was actually a decent beer. Biggest problem I hear about the kits are both the length of time they give in the directions and the amount of sugar (they call it booster) that is used.

Give it more time and use all malt and you should get a nice beer. For a Mr. Beer you would normally use 3 to 3.5 pounds of LME (that is two cans from one of their kits) and skip the booster.

I buy extracts in bulk from my LHBS and then just weigh out what I need for my batches. I usually do 2.5 gallons at a time as I am the only one in the family who drinks beer and smaller batches give me more variety to try. Gallon jugs I use for wine and freaky experiments.
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Old 09-20-2010, 09:46 AM   #4
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Ya Mr. Beer would be fine. I believe, though, you could use the vessel for 2.5 gallon batches of all-grain brews done on the stove. I think Revvy uses the Mr. Beer fermenter for this.

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Old 09-20-2010, 12:37 PM   #5
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Here is a link to a recipe quantity converter.

I am going to use it to make 2.5 gallon AG brew in the bag recipes before jumping up to bigger recipes. It will work for extract brewing also.

http://www.basicbrewing.com/index.php?page=radio

You can buy your ingredients from some of the home brew website that have good reviews.

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Old 09-20-2010, 01:42 PM   #6
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Yea, I would say bump up to at least 2.5 gallon batches. 1gal is just as much work for about a 12pk and you'll be kickin yourself in the arse when you make a great beer and only have a few of em. Honestly though, I live in a 1 bedroom apartment with SWMBO and I just use the coat closet to ferment in, it fits 2 5gal buckets and a case or two of bottles. And on the price of those kits, 15$ for 1 gallon is pretty bad considering you can pay 30$ for a 5 gallon kit and AG is even cheaper. Chances are you'll end up spending more money over time doing this rather than working with 5 gallons. But, for all intents and purposes, a Mr. Beer fermenter would be a good choice if you just want to get your feet wet before you make the plunge, and that is understandable.

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Old 09-20-2010, 02:08 PM   #7
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Here is a cheap FDA approved 3 1/2 gallon plastic bucket (fermenter). Don't forget to order the lids. If you have a big enough cooler they will fit in it for your swamp cooler to be able to control your fermenting temps. Bucket and lid are $7. Can't beat that for a cheap fermenter.

http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/ite...3469&catid=752

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Old 09-20-2010, 02:24 PM   #8
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The only problem with a 1 gallon brew is that it requires the same amount of time and effort of a big batch, yet you only have a six pack to show for your labor. A 5 gallon extract kit with steeping grains doesn't require a lot of space....you can brew that on your stove by doing a partial boil in just a 36qt pot.

If money is the real issue, there's ways to get your total cost down. You could buy kits that are on sale. I used to do that when I first started...every now and then AHS would put kits on sale for $25ish.

Another thing you could do is find a buddy to split the 5g batch with you. This way it would be cheap to brew, you would have 2.5 gallons, and you would only have to store 25 bottles.

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Old 09-20-2010, 03:12 PM   #9
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A 5 gallon paint bucket and lid is about $8. You can drill a hole in the lid and stick a tube in there to let out the CO2.

Morebeer.com even has some 5 gallon kits for $18--and these are kits that include steeping grains.

You'll have to get bottles, but you can save a bunch of plastic pop bottles if you have to. They'll work until you upgrade to regular beer bottles.

Mr. Beer will do the trick, but theyr kits are kind of pricey. They're nealry as much as a 5 gallon kit anyway.

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Old 09-20-2010, 03:14 PM   #10
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Go to your grocery store - walk to the bakery - with a BIG smile ask the lady if they have any frosting containers that they can spare (they do) - say thank you - viola you have a FREE 5 gallon food grade bucket. Now you just need an airlock which is $1. This is a lot cheaper than a Mr. Beer (and a lot more versatile).

You can convert any recipe by multiplying the recipe amount by your vessel size divided by the recipe size.

So if you have a 1 gallon batch and the recipe is for 5 gallons. 3 pounds becomes 3/5 = .6 pounds

2 gallon batch 6/5 = 1.2 pounds

I have done several 1 gallon batches of wine and to be honest it is not worth the time for the little amount that you get.

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