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Old 08-18-2006, 03:05 AM   #1
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Default Decided on smaller batches

Ok... after alot of time thinking about and reading posts on the site, I have decided instead of using 5 gallon carboys I am going to use 3 gallon carboys. I figure with the small apartment I have and the damn Phoenix heat, it would be easier to work with. I figure I can buy one of those small "college" refridgerator, which would make it alot easier to keep the fermentors at the best temp. I still have a few questions...

1. Is there enough head space for fermentation with 2 1/2 gallons of wort in a 3 gallon bottle?

2. If I don't use all the malt extract, can the extra be stored and reused at a later date, for how long could it be store?

3. Is 5 gallon pot large enough for a 2.5 gallon full boil?

Thanks for all the great advice!!!



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Old 08-18-2006, 03:20 AM   #2
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I would recomend rethinking that idea IMHO seems like alot of extra work to downsize everything to that size. and whats the real gain??
Good luck
JJ



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Old 08-18-2006, 04:21 AM   #3
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Check this out. It might be a solution. http://www.brewboard.com/index.php?showtopic=42533&hl=igloo

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Old 08-18-2006, 04:44 AM   #4
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IMHO, you might do just fine with your new plan. I've brewed many 2.5 gallon batches using my old Mr. Beer keg for primary and a 2.2 gallon glass jug for secondary. Upside: fits in your college fridge, VERY easy to accomodate a full boil in a 5 gallon kettle, and bottling times are halved. Downside: 20 pints vs. 40 pints. If you buy DME, you can easily store it and only use part of each bag. I use "Beertools.com" to make sure I scale the recipes correctly. You input the quantities for your ingredients and volume of boil and it gives you the IBUs, srm, og/fg, etc. If you haven't used it before, you can register free and use it all you want (just no saving). Have fun, dude!

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Old 08-18-2006, 05:23 AM   #5
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Thanks awesome... now I have to re-think my plan.

cool site Monk.. thanks

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Old 08-18-2006, 12:33 PM   #6
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Saving LME is tricky. Unless you have a vacuum food bag system or some way to purge the O2 in the container, I don't think you're going to get great results. As someone said, DME is the way to go if you want to be able to store and re-use.

Also, keep in mind that you probably won't be able to keep your college-size fridge at a good temp for fermenting ales--I would suspect it'll be too cold (and possibly not very steady) even at its highest temp setting. To do it right you'd need a temperature controller like Johnson controls or Ranco.

And I would also want to think long and hard about smaller batches, although I understand the space concerns. One thing that's almost inevitable is that, when you get into brewing, you drink more beer than you used to. Also, many folks here (myself included) have talked about how nice it is to be able to be generous about giving sixers (or whatever) of your beer to friends who enjoy them. A case (which would be approx. the yield of a 2.5 gal batch) can disappear pretty quickly!

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Old 08-18-2006, 01:27 PM   #7
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I'd rethink downsizing as well. Seems like twice the work for the same amount of beer. There is a reason people do 5 gallon batches. The 6.5-7.9 gallon buckets are cheap, the 20qt stock pot required is cheap, and most of the beer kits are designed for 5 gallon batches.

Then again, I dont know if you have AC or not... I cant see how you dont on AZ! HA! I keep the door to my bathroom shut with the beer in the shower with a wet towel around it. The AC builds up in there and makes it an icebox The rest of my place stays around 78° but it gets down to 72ish in my bathroom.

Invest in a wet towl and a small table fan to keep the wort at 10°F below ambient temperature.

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Old 08-18-2006, 02:14 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. I should just quit worrying about it and just jump in. I have always had the problem of researching stuff too much and ends up taking me forever to get started in my projects.

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Old 08-18-2006, 02:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cregar
Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. I should just quit worrying about it and just jump in. I have always had the problem of researching stuff too much and ends up taking me forever to get started in my projects.
I'm the same way. I'd advise taking your time and thinking everything through. There are plenty of things that you didn't consider that will pop up and it can really make a mess of things if you're not prepared.

That being said, do what you can to stay in the 5 gal range if you can. Each batch is quite a bit of work and getting half the reward would really blow IMHO.
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Old 08-18-2006, 05:55 PM   #10
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Several of the guys have made the good point that brewing smaller batches means your brews are depleted sooner, and that you do the same amount of work for half the ale. But on the plus side, I'd imagine you *like* to brew beer. Most of us do, right? So brewing twice as often might not be too bad . I'm usually happy to do it.

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