Many of us DO recommend smaller batches...you just must not have seen any of the bazillion threads on them. Both 1 gallon and 2.5 gallon batches are pretty common, despite what the above naysayers might have you think. In fact there's so many that some of them have been clamoring for a small glass section of the forum.
You didn't happen to notice THIS current thread going on right now?
I do quite a few small batch brews, usually 2.5 gallon stovetop ag batches, and 1 gallon ciders, meads and wines.
In fact last week I brewed 2, 2.5 gallon batches-using nothing but a 2 gallon cooler, a pot that holds 4 gallons a mr beer fermenter , and ONLY the grains, hops and yeast I have on hand (I keep all my brewing supplies at my GF, since she has a yard and I live in a condo,) but I still can do batches here with limited supplies.
I posted my results in one of the many small batch brewing threads on here.
I've also put together several primers on small batch brewing here
. I show a couple options for minimash tuns, including an unmodified 2 gallon cooler, and one of those 5 liter minikegs.
And there's links into the info I put into the MR Beer thread as well.
I think the whole "same amount of work" naysayer notion is Bull****. When is homebrewing ever "WORK?"
It's a HOBBY, for christsakes, the act of brewing gives me pleasure. So whether I'm doing a 1 gallon batch, a 2.5 gallon test batch of a recipe/or experimental brew, a 5 gallon batch or a 25 gallon batch with a buddy for his wedding, I'm having fun.
If it were work, I wouldn't be ****ing doing it at all. So why the hell the size of the batch matter if the time spent doing it is pleasurable?
There's a ton of small batch brewers on here. So much so that every now and then they demand a subsection of the forum just for themselves. Don't let the naysayers discourage you.
It's funny, no one bats an eye when someone says they're making a gallon of JAOM or any Mead, or using their mr beer fermenter for apfwelwien, or making a gallon of wine, but if any brewer decides he wants to do small batch brewing, bunch of folks come out of the woodwork talking about how small batch brewing is too much work for the payoff.
But there are a lot of folks doing it. The basic brewing radio folks I think went a long way into given 1 gallon batches cache.
In fact the Brooklyn Brew kits, which are 1 gallon AG batches are becoming more and more popular.