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Old 07-26-2012, 02:19 AM   #1
blugrazz
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Default Experimentation Size

What is a good experimentation size?

I have about a dozen partial boils under my belt starting with extract with steeping grains and moving onto partial mashes. Spent much of that time getting familiar with the equipment, mashing, kegging, water chemistry, styles, etc. Before I go all grain and upgrade equipment for full mashes and boils, I thought I would try an experimentation phase where I create my own recipes, learing more about yeast, grains and adjuncts. Creating and turning over batches much more frequently.

With this in mind does anyone have any recommendations on a good batch size to work with? Is there common ground where smaller equipment drives the batch size? What can I logistical still use (have 5 gal cornies, 5 gal carboy, 6.5 carboy)? What should I get for an experimentation batch size? I will probably just bottle if its real small (less than 2 gallons).

I am sure its all scalable but just want to hear other experiences. Your feedback is appreciated.

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Old 07-26-2012, 02:36 AM   #2
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I like brewing 1 gallon experimental batches. The small volume helps with a faster boil and cool down. I can use a small 3 or 4 gallon pot on my stove, and I ferment those in the 4 litter jugs of the cheap Carlo Rossi wine. They hold a bit more than a gallon so it's possible to ferment the beer with an air lock instead of a blow hose. Depending on trub losses and sedimentation during the fermentation, I usually end up with 7 to 9 bottles of beer from one of these batches.

There are 2 things that suck about it. 1) sometimes you make a really great beer and you wish you had brewed the entire 5 or 6 gallon batch and 2) it takes pretty much the same time to set up, brew and clean as a whole 5+ gallon batch. But is is a lot easier to have 5 or 10 of the 1 gallon jugs fermenting around the house than finding room for 5+ of the 5 or 6 gallon carboys/buckets. The other plus is that you can easily lager 1 or 2 of the gallon jugs in your fridge.

Check out "6 pack brewing" on youtube.

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Old 07-26-2012, 03:04 AM   #3
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Thanks Mensdem,

Another thing popped up in my head. What do you do for yeast? Ration dry and liquid packages and tubes, harvest yeast and make appropiately sized starters, etc?

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Old 07-26-2012, 03:26 AM   #4
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For the 1 gallon batches I just use 1 pack of dry yeast per batch or a table spoon of the yeast cake harvested from a previous batch. Once I dumped an entire new batch into a jug I had just bottled and used the yeast that was in it already.

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