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Old 10-09-2012, 09:04 AM   #11
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I think you'll find that the cost of a 5 gallon batch is going to be very close to the cost of a 1 gallon batch. They take the same time to brew, and you can ferment in a $10 6.5gallon bucket with little risk of blowoff.
It takes almost the same amount of time to brew one gallon of beer as it does to brew 1000 gallons of beer. Bottling 52 bottles versus 10 definitely takes longer, but that's what your second and third beers are for.
What determines the cost, ingredients? How much of a difference is it? You can throw out specifics for the sake of example if you want. I'd be buying ingredients from a local homebrew shop, wouldn't the grains be priced per pound? Are hops sold the same way? I'm assuming yeast is sold by quantity for 5 gallon batches at the smallest. Wouldn't I only use a portion of that for a 1 gallon batch, and have leftovers for some more 1 gal batches? I'm not sure how the cost would be so similar.

As for the time, I do understand that. But, it would take me twice as long for me to do a 2 gallon batch because the pots I would be using wouldn't be able to hold 2 gallons. They're fine for a 1 gal batch, so I'd have to do one batch in the carboy, then with the same pots, do another 1 gal batch to fill the growlers.

The reason I wouldn't want to go to a 5 gal system at this moment is I'd have to purchase something to boil 5 gallons in (I can cheaply find something that size for fermenting), and I'd have to store it. I don't have the space for that, I'm really crammed up right now until I can move out of the place I'm at right now. I'm very patient, and I'm taking it slow. I'd like a 5 gal system, but not right now.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:17 AM   #12
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Typically hops are sold in 2oz packets. Many times you'd only use one ounce. Over a short period, you acquire a library of hops. I only purchase yeast about three times a year, and I brew roughly 20 gallons a month. Right now I average around $0.23 a beer across the board.
I got my first pot, a 16qt from the nearly new for $4, and kept buckets fermenting in a corner in the dining room. You can do concentrated mashes, and mini mashes and top up with water. You don't have to do a full volume boil.
For me it isn't a matter of patience, it boils down to the disappointment I have when I finish a 5 gallon keg to find that it's really coming into its own. IMO, brewing 1 gallon batches you really won't have time to appreciate the changes your beer goes through. Unless its a huge beer or something weird, I only brew 10 gal batches now just for that reason. I find that 90% of the time I enjoy the second 5 gallons way more than the first.
I can definitely appreciate the space concerns. Until this Friday, I've been living in an 800 sq foot 2 bed with my wife 3 kids and a large dog. It's really crammed for everyone. On Friday we move into our first home. Finally!
Just want to encourage you that 5gal+ brewing isn't too far away.

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Old 10-09-2012, 10:32 AM   #13
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I think you'll find that the cost of a 5 gallon batch is going to be very close to the cost of a 1 gallon batch. They take the same time to brew, and you can ferment in a $10 6.5gallon bucket with little risk of blowoff.
It takes almost the same amount of time to brew one gallon of beer as it does to brew 1000 gallons of beer. Bottling 52 bottles versus 10 definitely takes longer, but that's what your second and third beers are for.
I disagree with this. First off, with one gallon, you are probably using your household pots. Zero cost versus buying a MLT, kettle, immersion chiller, a few carboys, etc. What about a burner? Propane? The cost of 5 gallon is hundreds of dollars more than 1 gallon, easily. Ingredients wise, its easy to figure out how much more expensive it is...its 5 times more expensive!

At best, he will need a strainer that fits his pots to sparge with, he could even get a bag...he doesn't need a false bottom or a copper manifold or any of that.

OP, check out the one gallon unite thread on here...plenty of tips and friendly brewers that won't talk about 5 gallons unless you ask.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:37 AM   #14
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First off, your girlfriend is awesome.

Second, don't worry about the book, that's for advanced brewers and general knowledge. Go online and get their instructions for the one gallon batch. I started out with this kit and still do to this day. I use multiple one gallon mixes.

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Old 10-09-2012, 11:39 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Calichusetts

I disagree with this. First off, with one gallon, you are probably using your household pots. Zero cost versus buying a MLT, kettle, immersion chiller, a few carboys, etc. What about a burner? Propane? The cost of 5 gallon is hundreds of dollars more than 1 gallon, easily. Ingredients wise, its easy to figure out how much more expensive it is...its 5 times more expensive!

At best, he will need a strainer that fits his pots to sparge with, he could even get a bag...he doesn't need a false bottom or a copper manifold or any of that.

OP, check out the one gallon unite thread on here...plenty of tips and friendly brewers that won't talk about 5 gallons unless you ask.
A. He talked about eventually going to 5 gal brews in his first posts
B. I didn't think I came across as unfriendly at all. If I did, I apologize. It was not my intention.
C. My intention was to perhaps convey that fact that 5 gallon brews aren't these super expensive mystical things. With a cheap secondhand pot, a plastic bucket, and BIAB, 5 gallon brews are within reach without spending hundreds right away.
D. Only the grain and hops are 5 times more expensive. He asked and was given advise on washing and harvesting yeast to save money. There's $5-7 a batch right there.

If I came across as knocking 1 gallon brewers I apologize. It was not my intent.


Oh, and I second above, your girlfriend is awesome. My wife says the couple that brews together stays together.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:47 PM   #16
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A. He talked about eventually going to 5 gal brews in his first posts
B. I didn't think I came across as unfriendly at all. If I did, I apologize. It was not my intention.
C. My intention was to perhaps convey that fact that 5 gallon brews aren't these super expensive mystical things. With a cheap secondhand pot, a plastic bucket, and BIAB, 5 gallon brews are within reach without spending hundreds right away.
D. Only the grain and hops are 5 times more expensive. He asked and was given advise on washing and harvesting yeast to save money. There's $5-7 a batch right there.

If I came across as knocking 1 gallon brewers I apologize. It was not my intent.


Oh, and I second above, your girlfriend is awesome. My wife says the couple that brews together stays together.
Sorry if I came across as rude or anything. Just saying, to make great beer at the 5 gallon level will cost some cash. Better to get your bearings and get a handle on things and take it from there. No worries. Its up to him now
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:32 PM   #17
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Agreed, like I said, I started with these kits and fine tuned my skills, and still have much more room for improvement (who doesn't?) I still use them from time to time, on a larger scale of course. The last one I made of theirs was their chocolate maple porter, all my friends loved it, I personally didn't. I'm personally over critical of my brews.

I agree in no time you'll be wanting to get into the 5 gallon club. I do suggest progressive steps though. I feel as if you might be over thinking what should be a fun and relaxing hobby. Not to say that you had dumb questions, they were far from it. You're thinking graduate level. Most of what you will learn will be trial and error. If any homebrewer tells you he/she has never had a bad batch, they are lying.

Try finding a local homebrew club or buddy. These will be invaluable resources, I assure you.

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Old 10-11-2012, 08:50 AM   #18
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... Over a short period, you acquire a library of hops. I only purchase yeast about three times a year, and I brew roughly 20 gallons a month. Right now I average around $0.23 a beer across the board.

...

I can definitely appreciate the space concerns. Until this Friday, I've been living in an 800 sq foot 2 bed with my wife 3 kids and a large dog. It's really crammed for everyone. On Friday we move into our first home. Finally!
Just want to encourage you that 5gal+ brewing isn't too far away.
That hop library (as you put it) sounds like a great side effect of brewing different batches. That would be nice to just brew with what you mostly have just on a whim. I'll look forward to that day. And $.23/beer is pretty sweet! It's nice to know down the line if you do things right, your hobby isn't very costly.

And right on man, glad to hear you're settling into your own. Can't wait to be there myself. At 800 sqft you all must have been pretty damn cozy. Congrats!

5 gal isn't too far off for me I know, I'm just focusing on what I got going on right now. Thinking next Wednesday will be the date for my brew, so the fun will start then .

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...

OP, check out the one gallon unite thread on here...plenty of tips and friendly brewers that won't talk about 5 gallons unless you ask.
Yeah, I was definitely figuring there would be a noticeable cost to upgrade. And there's always little things here or there you gotta buy, and it all adds up. Time will come when I can fork it out and upgrade.

I'll definitely check out that thread, thanks for the tip man!

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Originally Posted by joepezHB View Post
First off, your girlfriend is awesome.

Second, don't worry about the book, that's for advanced brewers and general knowledge. Go online and get their instructions for the one gallon batch. I started out with this kit and still do to this day. I use multiple one gallon mixes.
Haha! Thanks man! I told her someone on the forum said she was awesome and she goes, "Oh that was nice! "

Yeah the book has the instructions in it, not sure if you're thinking of the same one. But anyways, I got the basics from the book, and the directions. I'll follow them and see how it turns out. Glad to hear you use the kit! I'm looking forward to it, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by snaps10 View Post
...

If I came across as knocking 1 gallon brewers I apologize. It was not my intent.

Oh, and I second above, your girlfriend is awesome. My wife says the couple that brews together stays together.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calichusetts View Post
Sorry if I came across as rude or anything. Just saying, to make great beer at the 5 gallon level will cost some cash. Better to get your bearings and get a handle on things and take it from there. No worries. Its up to him now
You know, we're all just typing words. It is hard to tell from words if someone's being just being blunt vs harsh/rude, or sarcastic vs honest, etc. Glad you guys worked it out. I've seen a lot of people just start fights on forums over simple misunderstandings. Cheers to you both!

Oh and snaps10, thanks on the gf comment too. Check out what I said to joepezHB. She doesn't like beer, but she'd definitely keep me company while I brew. She's a keeper . Oh and although I did get her to try a guinness and turns out she likes it. She also likes magners cider, so down the line, we'll have to brew something together she'd like.

Calichusetts, that's what I'm hoping to get out of this kit. I'm hoping by the time I have the space and money to upgrade, that I'll have a good enough understanding of brewing, and have enough firsthand experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joepezHB View Post
Agreed, like I said, I started with these kits and fine tuned my skills, and still have much more room for improvement (who doesn't?) I still use them from time to time, on a larger scale of course. The last one I made of theirs was their chocolate maple porter, all my friends loved it, I personally didn't. I'm personally over critical of my brews.

I agree in no time you'll be wanting to get into the 5 gallon club. I do suggest progressive steps though. I feel as if you might be over thinking what should be a fun and relaxing hobby. Not to say that you had dumb questions, they were far from it. You're thinking graduate level. Most of what you will learn will be trial and error. If any homebrewer tells you he/she has never had a bad batch, they are lying.

Try finding a local homebrew club or buddy. These will be invaluable resources, I assure you.
Glad to hear this kits a great way to get started brewing. Like I said above, I'm hoping this will get me comfortable enough with the brewing process and give me enough experience to get me ready for a 5 gal system. Lol, even just talking about it right now I wish I were there, but I know you crawl before you walk. A lot of those questions were to really clear up anything I didn't really understand, and to get a feel from others on how important something is. I'd rather jump in having a certain level of clarity. Experience will be the best teacher I know, but I'm naturally the type of person that likes to prepare very well before starting something.

Believe me, I am relaxed and I will be when I go to brew . I really love cooking, and it feels to me like this is very similar to that (and very different too of course). And my local homebrew shop says they offer some free classes on a regular basis. I have to check the days/times and see if I can make it, but I'll keep and eye out for things like that. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:59 AM   #19
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Thanks again for all the help. Did the brew about 2 weeks ago, just wrote up the thread for it. Check it out if you like. First Brew!

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