Looking for feedback from 3 gallon brewers - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Looking for feedback from 3 gallon brewers

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-28-2011, 12:12 AM   #1
nelsonbaggins
Recipes 
 
Sep 2010
Kalamazoo, MI
Posts: 9
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts



I've been struggling to settle upon what type of brewer I wanted to be, mainly because I'll be living in an apartment soon and don't really have the itch to go hog wild with fancy equipment or bulk brewing. I feel like brewing 3 gallon batches will be perfect for me. As I see it the benefits of 3 gallon batches will allow me to:

1. Brew more often for less expense per batch, giving me more experience quickly and allowing me to experiment more.
2. Keep the size and cost of equipment down.
3. Avoid the problems inherent in the partial boil method by doing full 3 gallon boils.
4. Keep fermentation temps precise with a mini fridge (instead of a full size or freezer) and temp controller, and also allow me to lager that way.
5. Allow me to make the move to all grain with an easier to manage size.
6. Allow me to boil wort on the electric range easier and cool wort faster.
7. Not waste too much beer if I mess up a batch.

I'd just like to know how many of you brew in 3 gallon batches, and what your success has been with that (extract or all grain).

beauvafr Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2011, 12:47 AM   #2
duckmanco
Recipes 
 
Sep 2010
VA
Posts: 703
Liked 22 Times on 22 Posts


I'll weigh in here as an extract brewer and as someone who just recently started brewing 2 gallon, 3 gallon and 3.5 gallon batches just to try out new recipes. It's worked out awesome and I highly recommend going for it. I just bottled a batch of a massively hopped west coast IPA that was a 2 gallon batch. Its flat out awesome but I want to tweak stuff so now I don't have 5 gallons to drink... I can finish this off and rebrew all 5 gallons if i want to. It also lets you fool around with new or different yeasts without starters, it's cheaper on ingredients etc.

Best advice I can give though is to use some kind of software to scale things back appropriately. Beer calculus is free and works well, I use brewpal from the app store (apple) and couldn't be happier.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2011, 02:53 PM   #3
TonyR
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Recipes 
 
Jul 2010
Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 221
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts


I've been doing all-grain 2.5 gallon batches since I can't do a full 6.5gallon boil on my apartment stove. Lets me brew more often to try different styles. Equipment is pretty minimal for me. I have a 8gallon kettle w/ ball valve that i use for the HLT and for boil, 10gal rubbermaid MT, and a spare 5gallon kettle that i use to collect the liquid from the MT. I can fit all this in a closet stacked up, and have room for a couple fermenters.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2011, 10:24 PM   #4
CrazyP
Recipes 
 
Apr 2010
Connecticut
Posts: 68
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


I just got a couple 3 gallon better bottles for this purpose. Can anyone recommend a minifridge that will hold two 3-gallon carboys comfortably? Right now I don't have the space for a large fridge and I can only brew in the winter and spring before my basement heats up too much to do good temp control.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2011, 07:49 PM   #5
ShaLaH
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Recipes 
 
Oct 2011
Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 98
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyP View Post
I just got a couple 3 gallon better bottles for this purpose. Can anyone recommend a minifridge that will hold two 3-gallon carboys comfortably? Right now I don't have the space for a large fridge and I can only brew in the winter and spring before my basement heats up too much to do good temp control.
CrazyP,
did you ever find a mini-fridge that fits 2 3 Gallon carboys?
__________________
Kegged:
Mosaic IPA (Single Hop Series)
Citra/Mosaic DIPA
Belgian Dubbel

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2011, 08:00 PM   #6
rexbanner
 
rexbanner's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Nov 2008
DC
Posts: 1,382
Liked 98 Times on 70 Posts


You are right for all of those reasons. I've been stove-top brewing in an apartment for years. I rarely brew 5 gallon batches any more. I always have a 2 gallon batch of IPA fermenting at any given time. 3 ounces of hops in 1.75 gallons of beer = 9 ounces in a full size batch, which I would probably never spring for, but I can totally buy 3 ounces.

For two gallon batches you actually don't need a chiller or ice, you can just use your sink. Put the stopper in the drain but leave a little gap, put the pot in the sink, and turn the faucet on. Come back in 3 hours and you are good to go.

For three gallon batches you can use a 6.5 gallon bucket. I have a couple 2 gallon buckets I use for smaller batches. You can do a 3.5 gallon and a 1.75 gallon at the same time with a partigyle mash, it's worth looking up and pretty easy to do. Here's a chart for doing it: BT - Parti-Gyle Brewing [table]

Don't forget, you can use all four burners on your stove. I frequently brew 3 batches at once. Never done 4, but I could if I want to. Also, if you have limited room in your chamber, WLP530 (Belgian Abbey yeast) can ferment fine at room temperature.
__________________
Peep my nanobrewery: http://crookedrunbrewing.com

Crooked Run Brewing: Seek Truth, Cherish Nature

Makers of Red Kolsch, Storm, and Shadow of Truth

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2011, 08:06 PM   #7
rexbanner
 
rexbanner's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Nov 2008
DC
Posts: 1,382
Liked 98 Times on 70 Posts


Oh just a couple more things. Check out Revvy's thread on bottling. I have four kegs but I rarely keg now, especially brewing high gravity beers. Save all your bottles from commercial beer, rinse them out within a day of drinking them, and when you have enough give them an overnight soak in oxyclean to remove the labels.

A couple cheap things worth buying. Vinator bottle rinser, sink jet washer, dip tube for your bottling bucket. Use the jet washer to clean bottles, the vinator to sanitize, and the dip tube lets you get every last drop of beer when bottling.

I know that's a lot, but I feel compelled to offer advice because I wish someone had told me these things. One other great reason to brew small batches is to keep viable yeast on hand. Check out yeast washing if you haven't already. If you brew frequently you can always have free yeast on hand.
__________________
Peep my nanobrewery: http://crookedrunbrewing.com

Crooked Run Brewing: Seek Truth, Cherish Nature

Makers of Red Kolsch, Storm, and Shadow of Truth

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2013, 01:31 AM   #8
beauvafr
Recipes 
 
Sep 2012
Quebec, Quebec
Posts: 505
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts


I second!

3 or 3.5 gallons is best size I've found so far. Bottling 5 gallon of beer is a p**in in the a**. 65 beers of the same is not for me. 3 gallons gives you about 30 normal beers or 22 x 500 ml bottles (which I use). More that enough to test the beer from a new recipe, keep some for the friends, etc.

At this volume, it's also not too much of a must to brew in the garage, in the cave or outside. You can do it in the kitchen and keep the disaster zone under control!

My 2 cents!

I'ts really a shame that the store won't sell that much ingredient kits between 5 and 1 gallons.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2013, 01:02 PM   #9
JohnSand
Recipes 
 
May 2013
, Long Island, NY
Posts: 2,318
Liked 519 Times on 385 Posts


This is a 1.5 year old thread, but I agree. I'm only on my sixth batch. 1-3 had mixed results. 15 gallons would have been a lot of experimental beer, 6 gallons is better. (I do two gallon batches) You might try doing 2.5 gal batches by splitting 5 gallon recipes.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2013, 11:21 PM   #10
beauvafr
Recipes 
 
Sep 2012
Quebec, Quebec
Posts: 505
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts


2.5 sounds fine too. I think I am gonna buy myself this conical from Brewdemon for doing 2.5 gal. Not cheap for it's size, but it would look pretty neat in my kitchen.

I wish it had a valve on the bottom to harvest yeast!

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
using a half 5 gallon extract to make a 2 gallon batch ritchie Extract Brewing 2 01-18-2011 12:13 AM
recipe feedback shuf Extract Brewing 5 04-26-2010 05:02 PM
1st IPA Recipe-Feedback Please mtbgait Extract Brewing 8 03-10-2010 06:24 PM
recipe feedback. Reddheadedstepchild Extract Brewing 12 02-20-2010 05:28 AM
Recipe feedback fatsack Extract Brewing 0 10-06-2009 02:13 AM


Forum Jump