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trboyden

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I recently downsized from 5 gal also. I pieced together a 2.5 gal system over the winter using a 6 gal Bayou Classic steamer kettle, Unibrau 120V controller(or Inkbird IPB-16s), 1650 Watt element and various weldless TC fittings from Bobby @ brewhardware.com. So far I am very happy with it. If I ever wanted to scale down any further I would just buy a smaller kettle and transfer everything over. But right now I feel like 2.5 -3 gal is just right for me. I do love brewing with electric vs. propane though.



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Nice! No matter how many Bobby videos I watch on silver soldering, I just can't pull it off. It's not my thing apparently. I use TC fittings pretty much everywhere else. I did buy the female threaded TC fitting for the valves on the Anvils. Being brewing specific equipment, I wish Anvil would have provided TC fittings out-of-the-box. It would have been worth the extra cost. Of course I just bought my Anvil a couple weeks ago, with the pump kit, and NOW they come out with the stainless steel head for the pump. Argh! It's like buying Apple products.
 

RJjtown

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The beer in my prior post (a Rahr 2-Row SMaSH) turned out okay. The Rahr is a very clean/plain base malt. I might have added too much Warrior as it is a touch bitter. I do get some herbal character from the Warrior hops. I have a few more malts that I want to use for SMaSH beers.

But...two of my DIY 1.5 gal fermenters cracked so I only have one in working condition. I really like doing multiple small batches and split experiments. Recently Midwest Supply had a free-shipping special so I picked up a pair of the Little Big Mouth Bubblers (and a few other items to get to the free shipping amount). I debated about the glass vs the plastic ones and I went with the glass. The drilled hole for the spigot is pretty rough, so hopefully glass was the right choice. There is a lot of headspace in these for a full 1 gallons of wort!

Within an hour of UPS dropping off the box, I was brewing batches to fill them. These are "Hazy Hop Samplers". Each batch is 3/4 lb Pilsen DME and 3/4 lb Wheat DME. 1 oz of hops added at 180F (Idaho 7 in one and Vic Secret in the other). I split a pack of Lallemand East Coast NEIPA dry yeast between the two. I plan to dry hop each with another 1 oz of hops. I still need to figure out my exact plan to bottle these while limiting oxidation. I might just purge the headspace of the bottles with CO2, or I might add some crushed Campden tablet, or both.

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Hi, recently joined the forum and I do 1 gallon brews. Just curious about the cap on these fermenters. Are they a type of air lock?
 

CascadesBrewer

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Hi, recently joined the forum and I do 1 gallon brews. Just curious about the cap on these fermenters. Are they a type of air lock?
The Little Big Mouth Bubblers come with 3 different "caps". One is just a screw on cap. Another is a bung for an airlock (as shown in the pic by @BrewnWKopperKat). The other is the one shown in my picture which I think is some type of air lock replacement cap. The fermenters do not come with any instructions, but the idea might be that you could add liquid to the cup in the lid with that cap and it would work much like an airlock.

For me, I often just cover my fermenters with foil for the first day or two. This is mostly to avoid suck back as the temperature stabilizes before fermentation starts. Those caps seemed like they would work for this purpose. I then swapped over to the bung and airlock after a day or two.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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Just curious about the cap on these fermenters. Are they a type of air lock?
Also, some online home brew stores sell these fermenters for Kombucha. I don't know a much about brewing Kombucha, but a quick scan suggests that the fermenter is "enclosed" differently than it is for fermenting beer.
 

tkdgeek

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They are great since they are a bit over 1 gallon with a wide mouth if you're doing things with bigger pieces and want to use a BIAB to hold it all in at the start and then take out but maybe, like myself, prefer a full one gallon on secondary in a traditional 'jug'. (for cider or wine or something which I like 1 gal experiments) Mine are also the ones with no spigot. Nothing extra to clean or wear out or leak. Long term use. Spigot on my 30L Spiedel makes sense but on a 4L?
 

Yeast Farmer

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I've always done 5 gallons, but I've thought about experimenting with some 1-gallon batches of extract and kveik "speed beer" this summer. It would be a quick and painless brew day because of the smaller equipment, and it doesn't even have to be an hour long boil if you are making a rough approximation of a farmhouse style. And you could be drinking it in 3 days.
 

HardyFool

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I think I know the guy... @HardyFool!! There is a video of his system somewhere in this thread.
Haha indeed, glad I've made a splash!

I dig everyone's rigs from the last page and a half, but re: tricking out, I've probably taken it as far as maybe anyone ever will - the reward is 98% the journey, since I hate most beers I make (granted, I'm extremely picky). Electric kettle, HERMS, pump, thermowell, all of it. After having brewed a number of (honestly, not that solid) beers on it, here are my thoughts about tricking out on the small scale:
  • It's a ton of cleaning! A HERMS coil kind of takes a ton of water to flush out post-PBW in and of itself, and scrubbing a (tri-clamp) heating element each time with a scouring pad each time rides the line between zen and time wasting
    • This system was built to solve two problems: step mashes and temp stability, and for the former, it's not powerful enough, and for the latter, recirculating does help with heat distribution, but I think a pump with well-insulated tubing, and regular (and calculated) additions of boiling water may be way simpler and easier, and maybe better - less chance of dirty, impossible-to-hand-clean stainless messing up your beer
  • The electric kettle is great, but the curvature of small kettles makes installation of large holes (like a tri-clamp that can accommodate a heating element) really hard, unless you can weld stainless (scoff!)
    • I think the move is to install a sight gauge and small ball valve and just go with induction. To heck with a full element, and if your induction range has a % power option, then you don't even need a control box
  • The chilling coil is nice for rapid, more or less sanitary chilling, though - and the pump rocks. Maybe the best part of the system, but again, you have the cleaning question. I think the move may actually be a plate chiller (I think I was going to grab this one before my HERMS plan), and if you ditch the HERMS, this makes a ton of sense, though cleaning and sanitation come back into play - flush this think with off-boil wort for a few minutes, et voila re: sanitation
  • And all of the temperature control during fermentation is 100% a must for a small batch - BUT I haven't had a batch bubble through an airlock in years, in part, I think, due to both fermenter choice, and the use of multiple grommets; the grommet-thermowell connection is fairly loose, and this device hasn't entirely solved the problem
So yeah, in summary, fermentation control is a great idea, but I'm not convinced that the most extreme hard core tech path is the best; I did it to see if it were possible, but I may just retreat somewhat, if my upcoming trials (brewing the same beer with varying levels of kit, running water through my system to suss out the source of odd flavors) push me at all in that direction
 

CascadesBrewer

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Spigot on my 30L Spiedel makes sense but on a 4L?
Since I am bottling all my small batches and 95% of the time I am alone on bottling day (and 5G signals have not caused me to grow a 3rd arm yet) the spigots at least make bottling possible. Oxidation scares me enough these days, so bottling directly out of the spigot without having to use something like an auto-siphon at least gives me some confidence that I can bottle quality beers.

I actually just purchased a 1-gallon Fermonster with a spigot as well. I think it maxes out at around 1.2 gallons of space. So now I have 4 small fermenters with spigots, and a few other options for small fermenters without spigots. I might pick up one of the plastic Little Big Mouth Bubblers to add to my collection (for a while they were not selling the plastic version).
 

bwible

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Since I am bottling all my small batches and 95% of the time I am alone on bottling day (and 5G signals have not caused me to grow a 3rd arm yet) the spigots at least make bottling possible. Oxidation scares me enough these days, so bottling directly out of the spigot without having to use something like an auto-siphon at least gives me some confidence that I can bottle quality beers.

I actually just purchased a 1-gallon Fermonster with a spigot as well. I think it maxes out at around 1.2 gallons of space. So now I have 4 small fermenters with spigots, and a few other options for small fermenters without spigots. I might pick up one of the plastic Little Big Mouth Bubblers to add to my collection (for a while they were not selling the plastic version).
How do you plan to stir priming sugar into the beer in the fermenter you plan to bottle out of without 1) opening the fermenter and exposing to oxygen, thus defeating the purpose and 2) mixing up all your settled yeast, waste, and trub from the bottom of the fermenter back into your beer?

I guess you could individually bottle prime, but that’s more difficult and tends to be less accurate. I guess LODO is not compatible with bottling unless you keg and then counter pressure fill.
 
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CascadesBrewer

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I guess you could individually bottle prime, but that’s more difficult and tends to be less accurate.
Yes, I bottle prime. I either use the Domino Dots sugar cubes for 12 oz bottles, or I will individually measure out cane sugar for other size bottles or if I want a higher carbonation level. I have had excellent results with this method. It is a tad more work, but for a gallon or two it goes fast. I am not sure why you would think it would be less accurate. I have a scale that measures out to 0.1 grams.
 
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Immocles

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How do you plan to stir priming sugar into the beer in the fermenter you plan to bottle out of without 1) opening the fermenter and exposing to oxygen, thus defeating the purpose and 2) mixing up all your settled yeast, waste, and trub from the bottom of the fermenter back into your beer?

I guess you could individually bottle prime, but that’s more difficult and tends to be less accurate. I guess LODO is not compatible with bottling unless you keg and then counter pressure fill.


works beautifully and solved a lot of my early priming problems. Gallon batches take a few dozen seconds, my usual 3G batch is a few minutes to add the sugar.

But yeah bottling and lodo probably don’t get along very well.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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and with regard to bottling, people have posted on how they have successfully bottled NEIPAs that they found were good (for them) for 45 - 60 days.

As always, YMMV -- as everyone tastes beer differently.

Hopefully there's plenty of room here at "1 gal brewers unite" for everyone to talk about how they actually brew enjoyable beer - one very small batch at a time.
 

bobtheUKbrewer2

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ah bottling - amount of fermentable sugars in the beer at bottling stage varies more than brewing sugar addition variation, eg a level mustard spoon of brewing sugar ( levelled with a straight edge) is as accurate as you can get - even if you had a magic hydrometer accurate to .000001 you could not improve, as hydrometers are inaccurate due to % alcohol in the fermented beer. I just brew, bottle and enjoy....
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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a level mustard spoon of brewing sugar
People report good results using measuring spoons.

People also report good results when weighting the amount of sugar using a (highly accurate) jewelry scale.

One of strengths of the jewelry scale approach is that it's practical to use different amounts of sugar based on the style. I've bottled a "split batch" (either more or less sugar in a couple of bottles) - the differences are noticeable.
 

bwible

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Priming individual bottles is just the worst way to bottle beer. First you have a sanitation concern. When we batch prime we boil all the sugar in a small amount of water and stir it into the beer in the bottling bucket. When we bottle prime we put raw sugar in every bottle using the same spoon or measure. Second, when we batch prime we make one meaurement. When we bottle prime we make multiple tedious measurements. And hope we’ve done the math right.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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There are a a couple (maybe more) well known processes for sanitizing bottles that work.

There are a couple (maybe more) well known processes for dosing individual bottles that work.

Did I mention that there appear to be a couple (maybe more) processes for bottling that allow NEIPAs to stay fresh for 45 - 60 days?

No reason to "hope" that these processes work.

Starting out with these processes, one may want to follow the process instructions to a "t" (;)) for best results.
 

trboyden

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Priming individual bottles is just the worst way to bottle beer. First you have a sanitation concern. When we batch prime we boil all the sugar in a small amount of water and stir it into the beer in the bottling bucket. When we bottle prime we put raw sugar in every bottle using the same spoon or measure. Second, when we batch prime we make one meaurement. When we bottle prime we make multiple tedious measurements. And hope we’ve done the math right.
YMMV, but people have been making beer for ages without all the sanitary and closed system practices that are recently popular. Plenty of breweries still open ferment and then transfer to clearing/bottling line tanks. Many beer making books still demonstrate going from a fermenter to a bottling bucket where priming sugar is added, the solution is stirred and then transferred to bottles. No CO2 purging required. The little bit of oxygen you would get in the process is needed by the yeast remaining in the wort to convert the priming sugar to CO2 in the bottles. Is there a huge quality difference in the beer made with this process vs forced carbonation? Subjectively maybe, but technically or realistically, no. Could it have an impact on the "freshness" of the beer in a month or so? Maybe, but who wants to drink month old beer anyways? It's always best right out of the bright tank. Best example of that is Harpoon Winter Warmer. Totally different taste getting it fresh at the brewery vs the bottled beer by the time it hits the packie. That is one of the reasons I switched to smaller batches myself. I prefer fresh beer, not something that has been sitting a year in bottles or a keg.
 

hotbeer

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I think people are overly concerned about air and oxygen during the bottling process. It's not that big a deal. Or at least I have not found it to be a big deal to worry about to ad infinitum.

I siphon to an open pot with my priming solution and stir the beer into the solution till I don't see the wavy pattern of the higher density priming solution in the beer any more.

There have been times I had air bubbling in my siphon hose and I was somewhat concerned that maybe this would be the time that I had a bad tasting batch that people fear aeration is going to do during the bottling process. --- so far every batch has been good to great.

Though it does look like my most current batch of Afternoon Wheat Ale got over carb'd. I planned for a full gallon when doing the calc's but messed up siphoning and stirred up the trub. So I only put 87 fl oz or so in the solution that was planned for almost 128 fl oz.

Probably should add the priming solution after I see how much I siphon out. Also wondering what more time conditioning will do for the over carbonation. Maybe it'll behave better in another week or two.
 

Jamesfromdogriver

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Priming individual bottles is just the worst way to bottle beer. First you have a sanitation concern. When we batch prime we boil all the sugar in a small amount of water and stir it into the beer in the bottling bucket. When we bottle prime we put raw sugar in every bottle using the same spoon or measure. Second, when we batch prime we make one meaurement. When we bottle prime we make multiple tedious measurements. And hope we’ve done the math right.
I add sugar to the bottle bucket and taste the beer. If its nice I bottle it.
 

Drewch

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I just have a generic polar wave 5 gallon SS kettle that I’ve used for years. That should be fine right?
From " What Cookware Is Compatible With Induction Cooktops? "

Testing for Compatibility
To tell if a pot or pan is compatible with your induction stove, hold a magnet to the bottom.

• If the magnet clings to the underside, the cookware will work on an induction cooktop.
• If the magnet grabs the pan softly, you may not have good success with it on your cooktop.
• If there is no pull on the magnet, it doesn't contain the right metals and will not generate heat.
 

Phoenix7801

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I like using my gallon jugs and LBMB to test out batches. Right now I’m working on a Sack Mead that started as a 1/2 gallon with Mesquite honey. Added more honey and racked it to a gallon. Let it go dry, added more honey and them into a LBMB.
 

CascadesBrewer

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I have a confession...I have a growing addiction to 1-gallon sized fermenters!!

For the past few years I have used some 1 gallon PET bottles, and I have had a few 1.5 gallon DIY fermenters (that I really liked but the hard plastic cracked on 2 of them). I have a 1 gallon jar that I have so far only used for making starters.

I recently picked up a pair of the glass 1.5 gallon Little Big Mouth Bubblers that I have used a few times. I was curious about how they compared to the PET versions (the glass ones are rather heavy and a bit awkward) so I went ahead and picked up a pair of the PET Little Big Mouth Bubblers. Also, recently I added a 1-gallon Fermonster to a recent MoreBeer order (that one tops out at around 1.2 gallons).

Right now they are all empty and I am finding that bottles are a bit of a bottleneck right now. This is due to a mix of recently bottling 3 gallons, bottling some Belgian beers, and bottling beers for a competition. I plan to brew more SMaSH batches and do some split yeast batches.

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