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Old 03-26-2008, 12:10 PM   #1
zacster
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Default Half Batches, Does anybody do that?

Maybe it isn't worth the trouble, but does anybody do a half batch, 2.5g instead of the usual 5?

If I'm going to make unusual beers I know that I don't need 2 cases. I just can't imagine drinking more than a few honey or cherry or whatever beers before I get tired of the taste. Usually a 6 pack is all I really need.

I don't think it would matter if I just halve the ingredients, or maybe split the flavorings into 2 batches. There isn't anything magical about 5 gallons. It's all an art anyway. The only thing is the prep time remains the same, except for the bottling, so I don't save anything there.

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Old 03-26-2008, 12:17 PM   #2
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I know at least one HBT'er (benny blanco) makes 1 gallon batches as mad scientist experiments. If you're willing to put in the same amount of work for a gallon as for 5 gallons, well, then it's your beer, doo it!

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Old 03-26-2008, 03:01 PM   #3
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I don't make half batches, but I do split batches. I've done different yeasts, different fermentation temperatures, dry hopping and adding steepings or other flavorings.

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Old 03-26-2008, 03:14 PM   #4
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The guys at basic brewing radio/video are big proponents of small batch brewing...

There are several audio & video podcasts on that subject on basicbrewing.com

I'm working on an article about doing small batch allgrain in mr beer fermentors...I'm reformulating some of my 5 gallon PM recipes into 2.5 gallon AG batches.....and blowing the dust off my little brown keg.

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Old 03-26-2008, 03:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zacster
If I'm going to make unusual beers I know that I don't need 2 cases. I just can't imagine drinking more than a few honey or cherry or whatever beers before I get tired of the taste.
This is what I did for my mint chocolate stout and spiced winter ale; I made 3 gallons of each, kinda as a limited release since i wasn't sure how much I'd want or how well it'd be received. But now looking back, I wish I had made the full 5 gallons of the stout, its really good. The spiced winter is still harsh and mellowing, so I guess it'll be for winter 2008 by the time it comes into its own, so hard to tell if I'm going to regret only 3 gallons...
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:47 PM   #6
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I sometimes do 3gallon batches, all grain, in the cold winter months using my kitchen stove.

that still nets you a full case and about a 6pack.

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Old 03-26-2008, 10:51 PM   #7
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Right now all I can do are partial mashes. I was thinking about doing a 2.5 gallon batch that would just be the wort from the partial mash. It would give me a taste of all grain brewing.

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Old 03-26-2008, 11:34 PM   #8
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I plan on doing 2.5 gallon batches as I got all my equipment from an old lab in the basement of my research building, i got a bunch of 4L Erlenmeyer flasks to brew in with buildt in blow off attachments in the necks, not ideal but it was free and will function very nicely. I also got a bunch of stir plates and a vortexer as well as a bunch of other cool glass bottles and some really nice volumetric flasks in a bunch of different sizes, also got a CO2 regulator out of the place as well, it was a pretty fun day ....anyhow yes I do half batches.

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Old 03-27-2008, 02:06 PM   #9
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Maybe once I get an inventory built up I'll do some smaller batches of specialty beers then. At this point I have my 2 batches going, and I'm going to do a third as soon as the fermenter is free. I'm thinking one heavy beer and one flavored and maybe a spiced beer. Since no one in my house really drinks any of these even on an occasional basis they'd only be for guests/parties/tastings.

With a half size batch I can do an almost full boil too.

One other question, does it matter if I just use my 5 gallon bucket and carboy? That's all I have and I'm not buying any more, my wife will kill me.

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Old 03-27-2008, 03:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zacster
One other question, does it matter if I just use my 5 gallon bucket and carboy? That's all I have and I'm not buying any more, my wife will kill me.
Nah, that'll be fine. That's what I do for my experimental split batches, with no ill-effects.
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