1/2 batch questions

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Hey everyone. I'm about to start brewing my first batch. I was thinking about doing only 1/2 batch the first time for a few reasons, and I have a few related questions.

1. Is it safe to assume that I should just use 1/2 quantity of everything? (hops, extract, yeast, water0

2. Should I alter the process at all? (boiling time, etc.)

3. Will fermentation take 1/2 as long?

I'm also open to other comments and suggestions. Thanks guys!
 

BrianP

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Some answers:
1 - yes, 1/2 of everything (however, you're better off using software like BeerSmith or others to convert it to scale)
2 - no - same process (boiling time is required to extract the hop bitterness for flavor - shortening that would affect the bitterness)
3 - no - same time to ferment

But, in my opinon, for all the work involved, I'd go with a full batch. The only reason I could see with going with a half batch is to experiment with a recipe, but even then, chances are you're gonna like the result, so why not have twice as much to enjoy?

Good luck with your brewing. Let us know how it turns out.
 

Mikeus

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Hey mate, go with a full batch for your first brew session. Like BrianP said, half-batches are only good for trying out recipes that you're not sure that you'd like 5 gallons of it around. If you're starting with a kit, go for the full experience and do a 5 gallon batch. You won't regret it!
 

FlyGuy

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1. Yes, keep all the ingredients proportional (i.e. 50% of recipe)

2. No -- make your process identical

3. No, unless you pitch 100% of the yeast that you would have used for a full batch. If you pitch 50% of the yeast, the fermentation will take just as long.

Personally, I don't think there is anything wrong with making a half batch (I started all grain that way), especially if you will have trouble doing a full wort boil because you lack a big enough pot or a sufficient heat source. But it won't save you any time (in the long run, it will almost double it if you think of your brewing time on a per-beer basis). Another advantage is that if you are just learning and are worried that you might mess up the process, then you have only ruined a half batch, not a whole one.

On the other hand, it is more likely that you will do a good job and love that first batch, wishing you had more!

Best of luck! :mug:
 
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thanks, i really appreciate the help.

flyguy, i was planning to do 1/2 batch because, as flyguy said, i don't currently own a pot large enough for the full batch.

if i used 100% of the yeast and 50% of everything else, would anything else be affected besides the fermentation time?

somewhat related, i happen to have a few empty 6oz and 22oz bottles. does bottle size directly affect the post-bottling carbonation time?

last, out of curiosity, what happens if i try to bottle before fermentation is complete?
 

RichBrewer

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newhomebrewer1 said:
thanks, i really appreciate the help.

flyguy, i was planning to do 1/2 batch because, as flyguy said, i don't currently own a pot large enough for the full batch.

if i used 100% of the yeast and 50% of everything else, would anything else be affected besides the fermentation time?

somewhat related, i happen to have a few empty 6oz and 22oz bottles. does bottle size directly affect the post-bottling carbonation time?

last, out of curiosity, what happens if i try to bottle before fermentation is complete?
How big is your brew pot? You can do partial boils and use top off water to bring the wort to 5 gallons. Most brewers do this to start out. My first brew kettle was a 16 quart stainless steel pot. It worked fine until I switched to all grain.


If you use a full container of yeast on a half batch your fermentation will probably start quicker, be more vigorous, and might finish quicker.

I would plan on the same amount of carbonation time now matter what bottles are used. Remember to prime the entire 5 gallons (or use 1/2 the priming sugar in a half batch) in the bottling bucket before bottling.

If you try to bottle before fermentation is finished you risk having bottle bombs in your house. I wouldn't recommend this procedure.
 

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