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Old 10-26-2010, 10:55 PM   #1
cinderbike
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Default Anything wrong with 1-gal batches? +advice on first brew

5 gallons seems to be pretty standard, but is there any reason why I should'nt do 1 or 3 gallon batches?

PS: Looking to do a pale ale for my first beer. Does anyone know of a great extract recipe for me to use? I have access to almost every type of malt/hop/DME/LME at the LHBS so don't worry about that.

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Old 10-26-2010, 10:59 PM   #2
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Three reasons I can think of off the top of my head...

1) The basic brewing process is the same regardless of volume. Therefore, you're going to spend just about as much time doing 1 gallon as 5.

2) You're going to have to leave headspace in whatever container you choose. So if you do a 1 gallon batch, you're either not going to have 1 gallon of wort, or you're going to have to find a 1.25 or 1.5 gal container.

3) larger volumes of liquid maintain consistent temperatures better. Maybe not a concern if you have a temp controlled fermentation area, but something to think about otherwise.

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Old 10-26-2010, 11:20 PM   #3
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+1 to pain in the lower back being same regardless of batch size, time consumed as well.

other than that, should be nothing wrong. I think, if for some reason cook-ware/heating/kettles/etc does not allow to make a full 5-6gal batch, I would go for smaller, just for a kicks of it. Fun should be the same!!!

Only thing that comes to my mind to make a mini-batches, is to experiment with some beer style or before I make full batch of something I'm not familiar with.

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Old 10-26-2010, 11:21 PM   #4
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If you search for small batch brewing you will find a ton of great threads on it. There's at least one thread a week discussing it.

You can brew any sized batch you want. I do a lot of 2.5 gallon recipe test batches. You can even do 1 gallon AG brews. The basic brewing guys call that the six pack brew.

A recipe is scalable, so a 1 gallon recipe is 1/5th of a 5 gallon one....a 2.5 gallon one is half the ingredients.

2.5 gallons is one case of beer.

I use my normal 5 gallon mash tun for most of them, but I do a lot of Experiments, test recipes, or beers that I know I won't need/want more than a case of.

I sometimes use an unmodified 2 gallon cooler for a lot of my small btaches it holds up to 4 pounds of grain.

I just us a folding steamer in the bottom along with a grain bag. Just break off or unscrew the center post.



One of these, it helps to lift the grain bag above the spigot to keep the drainig from getting stuck.







I posted a lot of info in the mr beer thread that you may find helpful.

I posted some all grain small batchrecipes here, http://www.homebrewtalk.com/785533-post702.html

ANd a bit of a primer on AG with pics here http://www.homebrewtalk.com/738927-post659.html

But I mostly use my regular 5 gallon cooler mash tun which holds 14 pounds of grains...and 14 pounds of grain for a 2.5 gallon batch can be a mighty big beer.....


One of our memebers chubbykid had plans for a minikeg mashtun http://sites.google.com/site/chubbyk...keg-lauter-tun



THe basic brewing radio guys are big fans of tiny batch brewing...3/4 gallon (1 6pack) in a 1 gallon winejug fermenter.

They demo the 6-pack IPA here

http://en.sevenload.com/shows/Basic-Brewing/episodes/PERGFAJ-01-12-06-Basic-Brewing-Video-A-Six-Pack-of-IPA
and they also have done barleywines as well.

I ferment my 2.5 gallon batches in all manner of things, I have a 3 gallon better bottle, I also use 3 gallon water jugs, AND my old Mr Beer keg (it's perfect because you can even lager in your own fridge with it when you are starting out.)

You can even ferment a 2.5 gallon batch in a 5 gallon carboy if you want, though I would say a 6.5 gallon carboy is a little too much headspace for my confort.

Hope this helps....any more questions feel free to ask...

Oh, and you don't have to do anything with hops in terms of hop utilization, except scale it in the same proportion, as you do your grain. Nothing else.

Here's some of the threads on the subject.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/smal...2/#post2354761

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/smaller-batches-153631/

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/smaller-batches-87170/

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/smal...ghlight=primer

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/i-ne...ghlight=primer

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/what...ghlight=primer

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/half...ghlight=primer

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/2-5-...ghlight=primer

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/smal...ghlight=primer

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/what...ghlight=primer

Oh and there's also a Three Gallon ALL GRAIN AUTOMATED SETUP that debuted here and ended up in BYO, I'll try to find the link.

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Old 10-26-2010, 11:33 PM   #5
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Revvy, now I just HAVE to make something tiny
cause I'm shy of turkey burner and the BIG brew pot... but I guess I can manage to make a mini AG batch to fill a 6pack...

Stop making people brew more beer!

and, thanks for the very informative know-how!

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Old 10-26-2010, 11:39 PM   #6
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Good info Revvy.
As for the pale ale recipe, check out the Recipe Database for some good recipes.
This is a great beer, extract version half-way down the first post: EdWort's Haus Pale

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Old 10-26-2010, 11:58 PM   #7
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Here's the mondo 3 gallon system that one of our members ended up in BYO magazine for.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/coun...s-20-a-131411/

It is the ultimate.

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Old 10-27-2010, 02:44 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the info, Revvy. Time to get brewing!

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Old 10-27-2010, 11:54 AM   #9
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Good stuff from Revvy. I do one gallon and 2.5 gallon batches all the time. I find that I can't (shouldn't) drink as much as I like to brew so I do smaller batches and love to experiment with smaller batches.

One thing I will ad is that when doing one gallon batches, especially all grain, is that any error is amplified. For example if you miss your boil off by a quarter gallon in a five gallon batch it doesn't affect the final product that much. If you have the same error in a one gallon batch it reduces your volume by 25% which is big and throws everything off. Same goes for hop additions, its easy to miss them by a bunch if you are measuring in ounces or even grams.. I use a small gram scale that reads to .01 grams. So, keep things like that in mind. Its just harder to hit you planned number is all.

I use a 2 gallon cooler to mash in. And I use a 1 gallon wine jug to ferment.
I'f I'm really careful I can usually get a six pack and a 22 oz bomber to put back to save.

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Old 10-27-2010, 12:58 PM   #10
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Just about all of my batches are 2.5-3 gallons. 5 gallons of one type are just too much for me. I get tired of drinking 5 gallons of 1-2 styles. With smaller batches I can make more of a variety without taking up half the house. Plus, I really enjoy the brewing process and the smaller batch sizes allow me to brew more often. If 1 or 2 gallon batches suit you, do it. That's one of the best things about making your own, well anything. Doing what works for you.

Once again Revvy, great information.

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