Freezing Liquid Malt Extract

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dn151864

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Hi Everyone,

I decided to get into 1 gallon brewing. I want to start all-grain brewing and don't have the equipment for a 5 gallon setup. Also, i just want to do a bunch of experimenting and not end of with 50 bottles of crappy beer if it doesn't turn out.

However, i'm noticing some scaling issues when it comes to turning 5 gallons into 1 gallon. I have decided to experiment with a few extract recipes and kits before I jump right into all-grain. The problem i'm seeing is that most recipes call for 6 or 7 lbs of extract. Well, obviously I can't use all of that in a 1 gallon batch of beer so I'd have to cut that in 5ths, right? Can I freeze the rest of the extract? how long can it be stored, unfrozen, after it's been opened?

Thanks!
 

Onkel_Udo

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Hi Everyone,

I decided to get into 1 gallon brewing. I want to start all-grain brewing and don't have the equipment for a 5 gallon setup. Also, i just want to do a bunch of experimenting and not end of with 50 bottles of crappy beer if it doesn't turn out.

However, i'm noticing some scaling issues when it comes to turning 5 gallons into 1 gallon. I have decided to experiment with a few extract recipes and kits before I jump right into all-grain. The problem i'm seeing is that most recipes call for 6 or 7 lbs of extract. Well, obviously I can't use all of that in a 1 gallon batch of beer so I'd have to cut that in 5ths, right? Can I freeze the rest of the extract? how long can it be stored, unfrozen, after it's been opened?

Thanks!
You said you want to do lots...right? So how long would it take you to do 4 (not sure where your 5 came from) 1-gallon batches? If the answer is a few weeks, just refrigerate it or get DME.
 
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dn151864

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You said you want to do lots...right? So how long would it take you to do 4 (not sure where your 5 came from) 1-gallon batches? If the answer is a few weeks, just refrigerate it or get DME.
Most recipes I use yield 5 gallons of beer. So, if I'm making 1 gallon batches then I should have enough malt extract for 5 batches of beer.

As for how long, i currently only have one 1 gallon jug so if fermentation takes 2 weeks then I can do 2 batches per month.
 

IslandLizard

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If you do 1 gallon batches, why not do all-grain? A 2 gallon pot and a large colander/strainer and you're in business. Mash in the oven to keep the temps. Yes, you need some holding vessel (a 2-3 gallon bucket or so) to strain your wort into after the mash, or do BIAB.

If you want to stick to extract:
5 gallon kits will give you ingredients for 5 gallons. But do you really want to "experiment" with 5 of the same? Just buy your ingredients loose. Like 6-9 pounds of light LME or DME, whatever specialty grains, hops and yeast you may want, and bingo you can make 5 entirely different beers.
 
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dn151864

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Yeah, the more I think about this the more I'm realizing that I should just skip extract all together at this point and go straight to all grain. I've brewed extract for 5-6 years. I got the 1 gallon kit to do all grain. Screw it!

IslandLizard you've talked me into it!

At least I now know that LME is freezible.

Do you prefer BIAB over using a strainer/colander?
 

IslandLizard

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Yeah, the more I think about this the more I'm realizing that I should just skip extract all together at this point and go straight to all grain. I've brewed extract for 5-6 years. I got the 1 gallon kit to do all grain. Screw it!

IslandLizard you've talked me into it!

At least I now know that LME is freezible.

Do you prefer BIAB over using a strainer/colander?
BIAB is the easiest. The quantities are small and very easy to manage. Just squeeze the bag out at the end of the mash. You can dunk it for a bit in 1/2 gallon of hot water in another pot or vessel to get some more wort out. Squeeze again. Combine the 2 pots. A second sparge is usually not needed or even wanted, since there's not much left after the 2nd squeeze and you'd risk high pH tannin extraction.

A few things with small batches.
  • Your boil off is much higher, relatively, than with larger batches. I easily boil off 1/2 to 3/4 gallon in an hour with a gallon batch. That's >30-50%!
  • Your brewhouse losses (trub, racking, etc.) don't scale proportionally either. They tend to be quite a bit higher, relatively. I'd say 30-50% more than calculated after scaling down. Each 8 oz sample (half pint) is 1/16th of your gallon batch!

I've done 5 small SMaSH batches (each using different malts) in one (long) afternoon. It was fun!
 
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dn151864

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Thanks IslandLizard for the tips. I'm definitely going to keep this in mind. I did a 1 gallon extract and I noticed a huge amount of boil off that I wasn't prepared for. I had filled my brew pot with 1.25 gallons but I think I'm going to up it to 1.35 next time and see what happens. The amount of sediment at the bottom of the fermenter is also a lot more than I expected.

Any suggestions as to great resources to learn more about 1 gallon brewing and BIAB brewing? I hear that turning a 5 gallon recipe into a 1 gallon recipe or 1 gallon into 5 gallons isn't as easy as just cutting it proportionately so I'd also like to get a handle on that as well.
 

IslandLizard

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Thanks IslandLizard for the tips. I'm definitely going to keep this in mind. I did a 1 gallon extract and I noticed a huge amount of boil off that I wasn't prepared for. I had filled my brew pot with 1.25 gallons but I think I'm going to up it to 1.35 next time and see what happens. The amount of sediment at the bottom of the fermenter is also a lot more than I expected.

Any suggestions as to great resources to learn more about 1 gallon brewing and BIAB brewing? I hear that turning a 5 gallon recipe into a 1 gallon recipe or 1 gallon into 5 gallons isn't as easy as just cutting it proportionately so I'd also like to get a handle on that as well.
Ha! Use some online calculators for your recipe conversions or get a copy of Beersmith. Ingredient amounts should be close when scaling down to 1 gallon batches, but measurement errors will make bigger differences. For example, with some recipes you might be weighing 2-6 grams of hops. That means you need a scale that can resolve that. A 1 gram error could be a 50% error (on 2 grams). If you need to add brewing salts or acid, you'd be dealing with 100 milligram (0.1 gram) units and drops instead of grams and 1/4 teaspoons. Sometimes it's easier to weigh a reasonable amount and split into 5s or 10s with the eyeballing method or count out drops.

You'll also find you need only 1 or 2 oz of some specialty malt. Don't trust the scale at your brew store for those amounts. Or after they've mixed them all together for your "convenience," you may encounter some wild surprises. Get yourself at least a $25 (Corona knock-off) mill and a decent scale.

Pretty much everything else applies the same as to larger batches, e.g., sanitation, fermentation temp control, cold crashing.

Just realize, the amount of work and time spent for a 1 gallon batch is almost the same as for a 5 gallon one, so it "pays" to do 2 or more back to back. Staggered, mash one while the other is boiling. If you like beer or have friends who want more than a 4oz sample, you'll be upscaling soon.

I've seen threads where homebrewers do (very) small batches, yet the sweeter spot of those lies around 2-2.5 gallon. I do those too when I don't want 5 gallons of Rosemary Cucumber Saison, although it was way more interesting when I tapped the last half pint, a year later. To find entries here, do Google searches like this (beats the internal search function):

site:homebrewtalk.com your_query

Good luck, enjoy the process, and please keep us posted!
 
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