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Old 07-31-2011, 10:26 PM   #1
thisgoestoeleven
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I want to start brewing smaller batches so I can do a wider variety of styles, and save some space and money. I have a few questions about downsizing the whole process. Is it ok to ferment in gowlers, provided I have an airlock and stopper that is the proper size for the opening? Do you need to lessen the amount of yeast used, or will a vial of White Labs do the same thing to 1 gallon that it does to 5? Do homebrew shops sell hops in smaller quantities than 1 oz packages?

 
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:30 PM   #2
BrewStooge
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About the smallest I'd try is 1 gallon, a growler would be a bit small for a ferm I'd think. As for the yeast, the vials and packs are targeted at 5 gallons usually so a smaller amount should be used. Thing is that if you use too much it can go haywire and get too active/hot plus just a lot of yeast flavor on top of it all. As for the hops, I've never seen less than 1 oz, but if you keep it in the fridge and in a sealed, dry container it'll be good for a while.

All together if your looking at money and varity two things to consider, 1 economics of scale larger amounts usually = lower cost per batch to some extent, and 2 the time to make a batch is going to be relativly constant regardless of the batch size aside from the time to heat and cool in some small amount. So makeing several small batches is going to take up a lot more time in cooking/cleaning and the fuel costs in doing it too. Best of luck whichever way you go.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:53 PM   #3
shelly_belly
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Drink a jug of Carlo Rossi wine. They're 4 litres in size and make good 1 gallon fermenters. I like doing 1 gallon wines and I can primary in 4 litre jugs then secondary in 1 gallon jugs and not need to top off.

 
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:54 PM   #4
jonmohno
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More variety,same amout of time almost but less beer.You can still buy some bulk, if your consistant about brewing weekly,which is what i generally do.Currently im doing every 2 wks. because of lagers and strong ales.Small batches make stove top easy and you dont need much equipment. I third or half dry yeast packs by vaccue sealing back to the fridge being cautious of cleanliness same with hops. I probalby wouldnt pitch more than half a vial and you have no choice what to do with the rest but harvest it for your next batch or something.You could do two consecutive different batches then pitch half in each.I would recommend doing 2-2.5 gallon batches. I have a 2 gallon vessell which i get almost exactly 1/3 of a 5 gallon batch. If you had a 3 gallon carboy you could get half batches.I probably would just pitch the whole vile of yeast in a 2.5 higer gravity batch.
No reason to worry about buying hops in oz, just seal back up tightly what you dont use. YOu may not want bulk since you like varity, there are alot of base grains to use.You only need a few pounds of grain to do all-grain also.

 
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:58 PM   #5
dstegelman
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Jun 2011
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Do not ferment in a growler. They explode. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/expl...rowlers-89246/
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:02 AM   #6
Mongrel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstegelman View Post
Do not ferment in a growler. They explode. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/expl...rowlers-89246/
They only explode if you try to carb in them. I wouldn't ferment in them because they're too damn small.

 
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:07 AM   #7
jonmohno
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You could just get a 2 gallon bucket.You want some headspace not alot but thats why i upped my batch size starting out with a 2 gallon bucket.16-17 beers seems more ideal than 8 unless your blindly experimenting.I still use my 2 gallon bucket to rack and bottle after i found some 2 galllon glass jars that i got super cheap, that i actually seen peanuts sold in them at a Farm and Fleet store.

 
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:27 AM   #8
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I did a 2.5G batch yesterday, and it was strange how little time everything seemed to take...I am fermenting in a 3G Better bottle..I was thinking I could use my 8G boil pot to do a brew in a bag, but I didn't have the stupid bag !
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:56 AM   #9
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I ferment my 1 gallon batches in growlers, be advised that you WILL want a blow off tube - not a lot of head room. I would recommend getting a decent kitchen scale in order to use accurately weigh hops and dry yeast. For yeast, I either use half a pack of dry if I am straight pitching into the wort, or 1/4 pack if I am rehydrating. For liquid yeast, I use 1/4 cup of Wyeast. Dunno the amount for White labs, haven't measured/used for 1 gallon batches.

 
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:03 AM   #10
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I got a bunch of 1 gallon glass jugs and some stoppers from my LBHS for 4 bucks a pop. I fill the jug up to right before it starts to curve up to the top. I had plenty of head space that way. When all is said and done I get about 7 bottles per carboy.

This is my preferred method for small batch experimentation to figure out what I like better (I've done a bunch of single hop pale ales and a bunch of different yeast on the same wort). Works out great IMO.

 
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