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khannon

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I think I either need to:

1) find more friends that drink.
2) brew smaller batches.
3) brew what I like and bottle some for aging.
4) develop a relationship with the college renter around the corner so I can provide them with sixtels 1-2 times per month.
5) more taps, more kegs(!!!).
6) find a different hobby.


I brew 10g(ish) batches. I love the process.. I do pretty well, happy with my brew, won a few medals etc.. My "pipe-line" has been pretty good since I got back into it in earnest post(?)-Covid. Pre-covid, I used to clean kegs ~once a year, I have ~30.. Just went and filled 2 kegs, and they were 2/3 of the last kegs clean, and realized I only have 8 empties to clean.

So, I ask you, noble home-brewers, what do I do? Are there options to the above I have not considered? I'm in my late fourties, kids help with some brewing, have expressed interest(one even went to homebrew-con).., but my liver may not be able to handle 10g/mo(and I love my Belgian triples..).

Or do I just hang it up and say "There are some good breweries where I live, buy the 4-packs and move along"?

I'm also looking at ways to expand our home-brew club (Western MA, SPARGE Homebrew Club or find us on facebook)(dm me, I'll send you a sticker..), maybe that will help?

Kevin
 

_HH_

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Re-dial to 5G! Distilling is worth a pop, but it won’t do your liver any favours!
 

Red over White

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I'm in your exact situation. I brew 11 gals high gravity with a 9 gal boil tun and dilute in the fermenter. I develop recipes that work for different dilution ratios and different yeasts in 2 different fermenters. I have plenty of 3.5-4.25% abv beers on tap and 1 higher abv per brew cycle. Plenty of flavor without the abv. Just a different approach than most that is worth mentioning.
 

AlexKay

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Or smaller still. I brew 0.25-2.5 gallon batches, sometimes several a week. I still have too much beer and too many kegs, but I get a lot of variety (and practice!)
 

Sammy86

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1) find more friends that drink.
2) brew smaller batches.
3) brew what I like and bottle some for aging.
4) develop a relationship with the college renter around the corner so I can provide them with sixtels 1-2 times per month.
5) more taps, more kegs(!!!).
6) find a different hobby.

My choices would be:

1, 2, 4 and 5 in that order.
 

seatazzz

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I would ramp it down gradually; try a few 5g batches, then work on getting your recipes dialled down to 2.5g. I recently bought a 2.5g corney keg (it is SO cute) for smaller batches, since I really can't stand bottling. Probably going to invest in a couple more. 5g in my house lasts about 2 weeks for beers I want to drink fresh; I have a kegerator that holds six cornies so I can have a couple aging/lagering if I want. I'm assuming, like many of us, you find the actual brewing more fun than the drinking!
 

Dland

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I'm in same boat, brewing wise. 10-11 gallon batches all dialed in. Plus I got to keep it going when doing continuous batch brewing. Fortunately or not, I do manage to enjoy most of my brew product.

A 12-15 keg "pipeline" also helps. This is especially good with lagers, so they get to full potential before the beer is "needed". Most ales benefit from not being too "green" as well, at least according to my taste.

One bit of advise, stop buying any beer and only drink what you brew, that helps, also gives one incentive to constantly improve.

I need to make a point of sharing more, but got to keep in mind not getting friends involved with a DUI or some such, after enjoying my brew.
 

Big_D

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I like the idea of slowly ramping down to 5 gal batches.. look at it as a new challenge, similar to what you dealt with when you first started out.
 

505-Brewer

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Same issue here. I mostly brew Saisons. Some get kegged to drink. Some go into my solera before bottling or keg conditioning which buys me time. Having two wine fridges for ‘cellaring’ is nice when they’re not completely full of wine. I brew more intermittently now - mostly around competitions. Saisons age really well.

I’d recommend scaling down to 5 gals or less unless you find another outlet.
 

McMullan

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Smaller batches. Running most brewing systems at half capacity or less isn't a bad idea at all. Makes life a lot easier. Brewing smaller batches provides much more scope to experiment so is more in tune with home brewing as a hobby. I'd try to rediscover that before deciding to quit. We should all express a little concern about our livers and try to respect them more, I'm sure. Brewing lower gravity beers is an interesting challenge to aim for.
 

youngdh

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Brew 2.5G batches. I switched from 5G to 2.5G years ago. I’m constantly amazed how at our monthly homebrew club the same people show up with yet a different style beer or two and they’re brewing 5 and 10G batches. Who’s drinking all that beer and when do they have time to brew that much and keep a day job LOL.
 

hottpeper13

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I went from 5 gal extract to 10 gal all grain ,but had a partner to split batches with. When that ended i found mashing 1.050 or smaller beers in a square 15 gal cooler to have too small of a filter bed. I got a bag for my BK and did 5 gal BIAB. Still having a HLT allows me to use any mashing regimen I choose. I'm not sure why but the only thing I had to compensate for was reduced hop bittering in the BIAB,otherwise it's pretty much linear.
 

Grizwold1

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Like many I started with 5 gallon batches, soon began brewing with my son and went to 10 gallon batches. His work schedule heated up, so I was back to brewing alone--still at 10 gal. That meant that unless I became an overweight alcoholic, I only brewed 3 X/year or so. Each time was like starting over, no "muscle memory". Finally decided to invest in the Anvil 6.5 and am finally getting it dialed in. Brewing more often helps me with consistency and the new system saves a little time overall.
 

HopSing

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I have the opposite problem! I'm doing 5 gallon batches every 2-3 weeks and I'm running low on "hobby time" so I was thinking about upgrading to do 10 gallon batches. My 4 tap beer fridge will only hold 6 kegs, so I'll need to add a few kegs to the 7 I own.

Any advice on kegging then not refrigerating the 2nd keg for 6+ weeks? I have a second CO2 tank & regulator, so I could put it on CO2 while it is warm for a few weeks.

~HopSing.
 

monkeymath

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I usually brew one 20 litres batch per month and split the beer with my brewing buddy. It's still too much for me. I'm always curious to try new things; not so interested in downing the same beer every day.
 

hottpeper13

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Well HopSing,we're gonna find out! My current system is full..........4 tap kegerator at 38*.side by side with 3 on CO2 at 33* and 2 with picinic taps at 50*. So now I have besides those,4 on the outside at ~ 68* but on 20 LBS of CO2. I like to put them in the 33* side for at least a week,but I have an Uber bock (2) until, Oct. so kinda full.
 

Broken Crow

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Sounds like you enjoy doing as you've been doing...If it's just a matter of surplus: I just looked up Amherst MA and noticed you have a thriving film/music/arts community.... maybe put together a portable rig and donate the odd keg or two at some of the events, ..art openings, reception parties..that sort of thing. It's a great way to catch some 'free culture' as well as helping out your local community, which if it's like most towns, will always be underfunded and mostly get by on what the people involved can put into it. ;) :mug:
 

mashpaddled

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Cut down to five gallons. The difference in brewing isn't terribly different between five and ten gallons, so if your system is dialed in you shouldn't see much change in process or output. If that's still too much, you could cut down to two and a half gallon batches but you might need to tweak your processes.
 

505-Brewer

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I have the opposite problem! I'm doing 5 gallon batches every 2-3 weeks and I'm running low on "hobby time" so I was thinking about upgrading to do 10 gallon batches. My 4 tap beer fridge will only hold 6 kegs, so I'll need to add a few kegs to the 7 I own.

Any advice on kegging then not refrigerating the 2nd keg for 6+ weeks? I have a second CO2 tank & regulator, so I could put it on CO2 while it is warm for a few weeks.

~HopSing.
You could keg condition it w sugar and yeast. Would keep well that way. Let it sit at ambient two weeks to carb up sitting 6 weeks should be fine. First pull or two will clear the yeast.
 

GoodTruble

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Too much beer is usually a good problem to have. But yeah, production needs to roughly equal consumption. Decrease the former or increase the latter.

I keep a small, flexible distribution group for large bottles and a couple of friends that keep my beer on tap at their house. I usually brew two 5-7 gallon batches per brew day (pseudo-partigyle) but only brew once a month.

It usually balances out with production slightly ahead of consumption. If I reach a point where inventory backs up too much, invite people over for a 'tasting party'. You can clear out inventory really quickly hosting even a small tasting party.
 
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jturman35

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I brew 5 gallon batches and also in my mid 40's with a 4yr old. My advice would be to dial it down a notch so you can enjoy this for years to come rather than have to be forced to stopped due to health reasons. I hope to still enjoy beer with my son when he is old enough.


Just remember it's a marathon not a sprint!
 

HopSing

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You could keg condition it w sugar and yeast. Would keep well that way. Let it sit at ambient two weeks to carb up sitting 6 weeks should be fine. First pull or two will clear the yeast.

Thanks 505. Is there a benefit of doing a "bottle carb" in the keg vs. putting it on a CO2 tank other than using more CO2? Sounds like a good opportunity to do a side-by-side test.

~HopSing.
 

Brewdog80

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Would be pretty bad to have to totally stop drinking if your liver fails. Or worse. I would say sell 25 of your 5 gallon kegs and buy 5, 2.5g kegs. 10 total beers in line max. 37.5 gallons of beer max in the process. That is 4800 ounces or 400 bottles of beer. One a day is over a year. No ONE person needs 150 gallons in process... I try to keep my intake to an average of one beer a day, and sure, I drink several on a weekend. But I skip a day or two every couple of weeks. Gout, I've had a couple of instances where I'm seeing potential symptoms and beer alcohol can exacerbate it. Slow down the intake by slowing down the brewing. I have 6 kegs and keep one or 2 on tap. And I drink 90% of it. Enjoy the hobby.
 

staffordj

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Find a brew partner to split batches with. You can use the opportunity to get your homebrew club more active. Even find some friends that don't brew, invite them over to brew and split the batch with them. Grow the community.
 

BarryBrews

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7) Use the brewday frequency lever.

10 gallon batches give twice the beer for only a little extra work over the 5 gallon route. Brew based on your current and future drinkable (properly aged) inventory. Purchase locally for shortfalls.

For me, each brew is actually two days, the actual brewing day and then the kegging and keg/fermenter cleaning day. At 8 -10 batches per year, that's up to 20 brew related workdays a year. I enjoy brewing as much as the drinking and 10 gallon batches are my happy balance. When I first started brewing, I did 5 gallon batches for the first eight months and since then it's been 10 years of 10 gallon batches! I also occasionally use different type yeast in the two 5 gallon fermenters to give some extra variety to the batch.
 
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khannon

khannon

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Thanks for all the input..

You have convinced me to keep going, so the outcome rests squarely on your shoulders.

All kidding aside, there are some helpful suggestions here. I think mostly I was tired and didn't want to clean kegs, and that isn't really something one can sub out to a neighbor kid like mowing the lawn.

I do love it, I think I just need more in-person sharing, so maybe I'll just work on finding ways to expand the homebrew club as a first start, and bottling more to share with co-workers.

Thanks again
 

GoodTruble

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Also, if you bottle, you can easily give away excess inventory as birthday/christmas/house warming gifts.

I like to use liter-sized flip tops. Easier to bottle, clean and distribute. (And people are usually good at getting them back to me).
 

lumbergh

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What is your keg cleaning process? Do you have a bucket blaster, mark's keg/carboy cleaner or homemade equivalent?
 
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