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Old 11-17-2011, 04:11 PM   #1
Sordfish28
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Default Cutting 5 gal batch in half?

Hi all,

I am going out this weekend to purchase my first homebrew kit. As my space is limited and I am interested in trying to brew several different styles, I would prefer not to brew 5 gallon batches.
To make a 2.5 gallon batch, is it as easy as cutting a recipe in half (I would be using 3 gal carboys for primary and secondary)?

Thanks!

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Old 11-17-2011, 04:45 PM   #2
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It works that way. I've done several all grain batches that way too due to limited space. the only real drawback over doing a 5 gallon batch is you run out way too soon but you can always brew more half size batches.

I've done a few 5 gallon batches that I wish I had done as half that size too because they turned out worse than I had hoped for and now I have 50 bottles of it to drink.

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Old 11-17-2011, 04:47 PM   #3
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That's definitely possible. Just cut all your numbers in half, and you'll get close. The hops will not work out exactly right, as their effectiveness is based on the volume of water you boil them in. If it is your first brew, there's no way you'll know the difference, as the effects are not very pronounced. In the future, if you want to get it closer, you can adjust the amounts of hops in a brewing software (BrewTarget, BeerCalculus, etc.) for your specific boil volume to get the kind of bitterness you're looking for. Good luck, and enjoy the obsession.

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Old 11-17-2011, 04:48 PM   #4
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To make your turnover quicker, you can use both carboys as primary fermenters and skip the secondary unless you are adding fruit or something. You might need a blowoff tube instead of an airlock because sometimes the ferment gets really vigorous and blows krausen out the airlock. If it plugs, the airlock will eventually be ejected and krausen will go all over.

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Old 11-17-2011, 06:19 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses! If I am starting out with extract batches, obviously I can't order 1/2 sized kits. If I use half the amount of liquid malt extract, how well will the rest of it keep, or would I be better off using dry extract and putting the remainder in the freezer?

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Old 11-17-2011, 06:24 PM   #6
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The LME most likely will come in a resealable container and you can just refrigerate it. I won't quote/comment on how long you can/should refrigerate it though.

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Old 01-12-2013, 09:14 PM   #7
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sorry to bump an old thread. me and my dad are taking the plunge and ordering our first homebrew setup for xmas, very exciting! i also am thinking about doing 1/2 batches as we want to do maybe three different beers for our first party. i also do not care about small flavor fluctuations. just to clarify, other then halving the ingredients do you also halve the water (would imagine it would be, but don't want to screw anything up my first time out)? and should you adjust your cooking and fermenting times any or just stick to the original recommendations? thanx a bunch in advance!

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Old 01-12-2013, 09:29 PM   #8
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The cooking time and fermenting times remain the same but you may not want to cut the water in half as it usually boils off the same amount in the hour long boil regardless of the amount in the pot. If you do boil off too much you can add some water back to get the correct amount into the fermenter.

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Old 01-12-2013, 09:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoisePorter View Post
The LME most likely will come in a resealable container and you can just refrigerate it. I won't quote/comment on how long you can/should refrigerate it though.


If you get your LME at a LHBS that sells it in bulk, you can ask them to split it up into smaller amounts for your batch size. 3 pounds will about fill a small (pint) container.

You can always make up small shortages using DME. I think it's a good idea to have a few pounds of DME around anyway (it keeps fine in a sealed container) in case you need it.

One thing I have heard but haven't tried yet is to gently pour some vodka over the remainder of the LME to form a thin layer. That will keep any microscopic creepy crawlies that may have landed on your open container from messing up your LME while stored.


Quote:
Originally Posted by itsratso View Post
i also am thinking about doing 1/2 batches as we want to do maybe three different beers for our first party.
I hope that you're scheduling your party for about 8 weeks after your brew day.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:44 PM   #10
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Nobody has commented on splitting the yeast. I'd lean toward using a dry packet (without rehydrating) or a smack pack (without a starter) for each half size batch. Any other opinions?

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