Scaling recipes up or down........ - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Scaling recipes up or down........

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 05-24-2008, 07:46 PM   #1
Jim Karr
 
Jim Karr's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2005
SW Michigan..Bangor/Covert area
Posts: 1,259
Liked 6 Times on 5 Posts



According to some of the discussion on Probrewer.com, making a bigger or smaller batch is not as simple as taking a recipe for a five gallon batch and multiplying or dividing.

They didn't elaborate, or give any clues as to what factors would be involved. Would the heat of fermentation in a larger batch tend to change the characteristics of the final beer?

Why couldn't/can't you just take a recipe and scale it up or down?
__________________
As for me and my household, we shall serve the Lord. Joshua




"God is great, beer is good, people are crazy." Some country artist

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2008, 08:15 PM   #2
Professor Frink
 
Professor Frink's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2006
San Diego, CA
Posts: 3,085
Liked 19 Times on 16 Posts


There are some factors to consider, such as hop utilization with water volume, but in general I think you can just scale a recipe up or down. I've scaled down 10 gallon recipes to 5 gallons that way and it's worked fine.
__________________
Primary: Cherrywood Smoked Porter
60 Minute IPA
Secondary:
On tap:Amber Ale
Milk Stout

Lagering:


http://www.lazydogbrewery.com

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2008, 02:02 PM   #3
david_42
 
david_42's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Oct 2005
Willamina & Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,593
Liked 151 Times on 142 Posts


The biggest problem in scaling down is excess boil-off shifting the bittering utilization. That's an easy one to deal with.

Scaling up, you have to start actively controlling fermenter temperatures.
__________________
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

"I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2008, 02:47 PM   #4
Jim Karr
 
Jim Karr's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2005
SW Michigan..Bangor/Covert area
Posts: 1,259
Liked 6 Times on 5 Posts


So taking a five gallon recipe, and intending to end up with 30 gallons is not just as simple a multiplying by six?

Is the fermenter temp the only crucial factor?
__________________
As for me and my household, we shall serve the Lord. Joshua




"God is great, beer is good, people are crazy." Some country artist

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2008, 03:26 PM   #5
Yuri_Rage
Gritty.
HBT_MODERATOR.png
 
Yuri_Rage's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2006
Southwest
Posts: 14,285
Liked 804 Times on 510 Posts


Scaling 5 gallons to 10 or even 15 can be done pretty successfully with direct proportioning. However, when scaling all the way to 30 gallons, I'd be a little concerned with hop utilization, as d42 mentions.
__________________
Homebrewed Blog..........YouTube Channel .......... Shirts, posters, etc

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2008, 04:34 PM   #6
Jim Karr
 
Jim Karr's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2005
SW Michigan..Bangor/Covert area
Posts: 1,259
Liked 6 Times on 5 Posts


So, the magic question is, "How would you need to compensate?" More hops, less hops, higher IBU's, longer or shorter boil?
__________________
As for me and my household, we shall serve the Lord. Joshua




"God is great, beer is good, people are crazy." Some country artist

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2008, 04:42 PM   #7
Yuri_Rage
Gritty.
HBT_MODERATOR.png
 
Yuri_Rage's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2006
Southwest
Posts: 14,285
Liked 804 Times on 510 Posts


Your goal is identical IBUs with the same boil time. IIRC, it will require (proportionally) slightly less hops. I'll see if I can find a more definitive answer.
__________________
Homebrewed Blog..........YouTube Channel .......... Shirts, posters, etc

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2008, 04:48 PM   #8
Yuri_Rage
Gritty.
HBT_MODERATOR.png
 
Yuri_Rage's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2006
Southwest
Posts: 14,285
Liked 804 Times on 510 Posts


This article hints at some of the reasons why hop utilization may differ, but it doesn't give a very definitive answer to your question.
__________________
Homebrewed Blog..........YouTube Channel .......... Shirts, posters, etc

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2008, 04:51 PM   #9
Yuri_Rage
Gritty.
HBT_MODERATOR.png
 
Yuri_Rage's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2006
Southwest
Posts: 14,285
Liked 804 Times on 510 Posts


This snippet, however, suggests that we may be arguing a moot point. The difference in utilization when proportionally scaling hops will likely result in a difference of less than 10 IBUs, which lies below the human taste threshold for detecting differences in bitterness. I know we're not talking about changing boil times, but the end result is probably going to be the same...a rather trivial difference in bitterness.
__________________
Homebrewed Blog..........YouTube Channel .......... Shirts, posters, etc

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2008, 08:12 PM   #10
BeerSmith
Recipes 
 
Jul 2006
Posts: 305
Liked 16 Times on 12 Posts


Hi,
In general you can scale the recipe amounts up or down and it will work just fine.

The challenge comes when you change equipment or brewing techniques, as altering boil size or other parameters can change your IBU, mash, color and other settings. That's why a lot of people use brewing software to do this kind of thing.

There is a separate consideration that enters when you brew really big batches (over 20 gallons), in that hop utilization increases in some cases dramatically for large microbrew size batches. This number is equipment dependent, and something that microbreweries need to take into consideration when scaling up test batches. However, for the average homebrewer this is a negligible effect for batches below 20 gallons.

Cheers,
Brad

 
Reply With Quote


Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Scaling Down Recipes Graeme All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 3 10-12-2009 04:54 PM
Scaling recipes due to efficiency hike Ketchepillar Recipes/Ingredients 1 04-06-2009 06:33 PM
Scaling sake recipes RadicalEd Winemaking Forum 9 02-16-2009 07:01 PM
Scaling down recipes--advise creole_hops Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 8 01-28-2009 10:35 PM
Scaling Down Recipes BlackHat General Techniques 10 04-21-2008 11:44 PM


Forum Jump