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Old 10-07-2011, 03:58 AM   #1
schulzzw
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Default Is 5 gallons the magic number?

I have been thinking about starting to brew at home. The problem is I live in a little one bedroom apartment. The smallest batch I ever see people talking about is 5 gallons. Would it be possible to do smaller batch or is 5 gallons the magic number?

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Old 10-07-2011, 04:05 AM   #2
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5 is the magic number primarily because it is the size mist common for your standard home fermenter. One could produce 3 gallon batches or smaller, but the increased space in the fermenter could lead to oxygenation. Not common, but it is possible.
Also the brewing process is time consuming and laborious. To spend an afternoon brewing and make anything less than 5 gallons (roughly 60 beers) would be tantamount to wasting. If you're content to spend your time and energy on a smaller batch, be my guest. But you'll still use the same amount of yeast, which can be a costly part of brew. Personally I make 10 to 15 gallon, but that's mostly because my friends can't leave my beer alone. I've had kegs (also 5gal) finished within hours before. It would be too much work to spend a days time for 3 hours worth of beer.
So, best of luck in your endeavors. Make whatever size batches you wish, but eventually when you make a phenomenal beer, I bet you'll wish you had made more.

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Old 10-07-2011, 04:12 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StokedBrew View Post
5 is the magic number primarily because it is the size mist common for your standard home fermenter. One could produce 3 gallon batches or smaller, but the increased space in the fermenter could lead to oxygenation. Not common, but it is possible.
Also the brewing process is time consuming and laborious. To spend an afternoon brewing and make anything less than 5 gallons (roughly 60 beers) would be tantamount to wasting. If you're content to spend your time and energy on a smaller batch, be my guest. But you'll still use the same amount of yeast, which can be a costly part of brew. Personally I make 10 to 15 gallon, but that's mostly because my friends can't leave my beer alone. I've had kegs (also 5gal) finished within hours before. It would be too much work to spend a days time for 3 hours worth of beer.
So, best of luck in your endeavors. Make whatever size batches you wish, but eventually when you make a phenomenal beer, I bet you'll wish you had made more.
I vote for this as the best 7th post by a member ever.
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:21 AM   #4
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I started with one gallon batches, all grain, because of my tiny apartment. Downside: you have to brew all the time to keep beer in the fridge. Upside: tons of variety.

I fermented in the one gallon apple cider jugs. If you start with small batches, I would reccomend doing extract. Spending 3-4 hours to get 8 pints of brew is a little rough.

You won't have oxygenation issues and you don't need to use the same amount of yeast as in a five gallon batch. That first reply was a bit misleading. I use to just pitch a half a packet of dry yeast.

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Old 10-07-2011, 04:24 AM   #5
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If you use a Mr. Beer keg and scale the recipe accordingly, you can make 2.25-ish gallons at a clip. There's also this http://www.brewsuppliesdirect.com/in...iter-kits.html but I don't know about taste...
There's also these folks in NYC, http://brooklynbrewshop.com/ you could probably do research and get some reviews to help you decide. I'd have to agree with StokedBrew, when your beer turns out good, you'll wish you'd made more. Pete

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Old 10-07-2011, 04:27 AM   #6
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BrooklynBrewShop is where I got started. Only did one kit ans then made my own recipes from there. It's funny, I didn't even know about extract til after I was a few brews in.

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Old 10-07-2011, 04:34 AM   #7
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I started with Mr. Beer, persevered and went to partial mash. Looking back, I'd wish I'd started with the BBS's (or something similar), I think it would've given me a bit more of a positive outlook on home brewing.

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Old 10-07-2011, 04:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StokedBrew View Post
5 is the magic number primarily because it is the size mist common for your standard home fermenter. One could produce 3 gallon batches or smaller, but the increased space in the fermenter could lead to oxygenation. Not common, but it is possible.
Also the brewing process is time consuming and laborious. To spend an afternoon brewing and make anything less than 5 gallons (roughly 60 beers) would be tantamount to wasting. If you're content to spend your time and energy on a smaller batch, be my guest. But you'll still use the same amount of yeast, which can be a costly part of brew. Personally I make 10 to 15 gallon, but that's mostly because my friends can't leave my beer alone. I've had kegs (also 5gal) finished within hours before. It would be too much work to spend a days time for 3 hours worth of beer.
So, best of luck in your endeavors. Make whatever size batches you wish, but eventually when you make a phenomenal beer, I bet you'll wish you had made more.
This is exactly why 10 gallon batches are in my near future. I pretty well have figured out so far what my "house brews" are going to be, so it will be no more work to brew 10 as it would 5.

Small batches are typically reserved for sample/test beers or specialty beers. I brewed 3 gallons of a rauchbier for primarily food use. Although all that has been done so far is drinking it!
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:45 AM   #9
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Trust me your apartment isnt smaller than mine. I wouldn't brew less than 5, like others have stated its probably the same amount of work for less beer.

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Old 10-07-2011, 05:03 AM   #10
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I forgot about Mr. Beer... those were the best 2 gallon batches ever.I will never make another one though. Times have changed.

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