Never brewed before

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

dhardy3

Active Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2013
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
Hey guys this is my first post on here, I have only brewed a few cheap wines and ciders. I was just curious I am looking into getting into beer because that's what I prefer, however I'm not really looking to spend too much money but I looked and can get a one gallon kit for around fifty online. The big thing for me is the pot to boil in. So I guess my question is can you brew a five gallon batch with a smaller pot or do you need a five gallon lobster pot as well.
 

flars

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 21, 2011
Messages
8,625
Reaction score
2,050
Location
Medford, Wisconsin
Go to Northern Brewer. Look up an extract kit you might like to try. Under the additional tab you will find the instructions for brewing the kit. This will answer your questions.
 
OP
D

dhardy3

Active Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2013
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
Also on top of that is there anyone who feels one gallon batches are or aren't a good idea. I also feel it has the ability to try alot more brews instead of having to make 48 beers to see what I like.
 
OP
D

dhardy3

Active Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2013
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
Thank you that's actually who I was looking at for the one gallon kit. It looked good especially because I live with four other people who might not want huge five gallon carboys in the way.
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
17,158
Reaction score
7,277
Location
Pasadena, MD
Also on top of that is there anyone who feels one gallon batches are or aren't a good idea. I also feel it has the ability to try alot more brews instead of having to make 48 beers to see what I like.
Welcome to the beer club. :mug:

1 gallon batches will yield you only ten (10!) 12oz bottles at best. That's a lot of work for 10 bottles. And practically you'll end up with only 8.

Most of us here make 5 gallon batches which will yield 2 cases on average. If that's too much, scale it in half, to 2.5 gallons. That's down to only 1 case now. I wouldn't go through all the trouble for anything less.

Why not pick a beer you like or may like and brew a 2.5 gallon batch? That's easy to do on the stove top. Heck you can do a partial mash or even an "all grain" at that size if you want. All you need is a 4 gallon "canning" pot. One of those enameled speckled pots.

That said, I do 1 gallon experiments at times, but they are taken from larger 5 gallon brews, split up.

To answer your second question, yes, you can do "partial boils" in smaller pots, and add top-up water at the end.
Wherever you live and whomever you share space with, there is always a way to make it work. I had a full color darkroom in a student housing unit. Be inventive. And carboys are cute (that's what my wife says). Put a jacket, towel, or t-shirt around them.
 

flars

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 21, 2011
Messages
8,625
Reaction score
2,050
Location
Medford, Wisconsin
Thank you that's actually who I was looking at for the one gallon kit. It looked good especially because I live with four other people who might not want huge five gallon carboys in the way.
A one gallon jug will not use that much less space than a five gallon carboy. Brewing one gallon will take almost as much time as brewing five gallons. One gallon jugs are usually to small for a one gallon brew. Look up posts on two gallon buckets. If roommates drink beer and a one gallon brew tastes really good you may only get one mug of the brew from all your work.
Fermentation in the low 60° range will get you the best end product.
 
OP
D

dhardy3

Active Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2013
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
What would you guys think is essential to start brewing my first beer and roughly how much would it cost. Also what do you guys think of food grade buckets.
 
OP
D

dhardy3

Active Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2013
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
One last question I heard that twist offs don't work to cap but has anyone used old budweiser bottles to cap?
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
17,158
Reaction score
7,277
Location
Pasadena, MD
What would you guys think is essential to start brewing my first beer and roughly how much would it cost. Also what do you guys think of food grade buckets.
  • Food-grade buckets, like they use for icing, are great and free or cheap.
  • You need a large pot, 4 gallons minimal. Many can be found at yard sales or thrift stores.
  • Hydrometer $5.00-8.00
  • Racking cane. Get a Stainless Steel one, they don't crack or break $7.00
  • Thermometer, or alternatively, this one $14.00-18.00. You can use it for cooking/baking/roasting too.
  • Auto Bottling Wand (spring loaded) $4.00
  • Some PVC tubing of the right diameter
  • bottle capper + caps
  • bottle brush
  • free bottles, check the recycle bins
  • StarSan sanitizer
 
Last edited by a moderator:

woozy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2013
Messages
1,297
Reaction score
131
There's not advantages to starting to "learn" on a small size and "moving up" to a large size. I *refuse* to tell anyone what size batch is "right" or better than another. 1 gallon batches are great but they are 1 gallon (6 pack plus) batches. The one gallon equipment can be upsized simply by replacing the 1-gallon fermentor jug with larger vessel. Food grade buckets are great. But you need to attach a seal and airlock to it.

Five gallon batches is difficult for the average kitchen set-up and pots. You can work around this with extracts and partial mashes. You boil up the batch at twice the concentrate and half the size and top off with water. Harder to do with all-grain but there are compromises. Also, for those determined there are solutions.

I don't know how budwieser bottles compare to other bottles, but if they aren't twist-offs I imagine they are standard pry-off and those are fine. Re-cycle and re-use bottles. It's nuts and really expensive not to.
 
OP
D

dhardy3

Active Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2013
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
Is there any size in between the two maybe that yields maybe a case?
 
OP
D

dhardy3

Active Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2013
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
Alright, thank you everyone for helping me out I can see how useful it will be for my education to talk to you guys.
 

StoneArcher

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2013
Messages
205
Reaction score
12
Location
Green Bay / U.P.
Though I agree in not dictating size for someone else, 2.5/3 gallon BIAB is IMHO the perfect place to start. BIAB being the key.

Wallyworld has a 4 gallon pot for 12 bucks. That was the deciding factor for me when I started.

I also think that starter kits are not great. But that's just me.
 
OP
D

dhardy3

Active Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2013
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
What would you do for 2.5 batches just cut down everything in the recipe by 1/2?
 

mysteryshrimp

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2012
Messages
230
Reaction score
35
Location
Acworth
Cut everything in half except for boil times. If it calls for 1 oz of hops for 60 minutes, make it 1/2 oz for 60 minutes. Also remember to scale down priming sugar when you bottle.

I make a lot of 3 gallon batches. If you go to brewersfriend.com and plug in the 5 gallon recipe, you can scale it up or down with the tab labeled "recipe tools".

http://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/calculator
 
OP
D

dhardy3

Active Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2013
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
Alright, thanks guys you've all been super helpful. Can't wait to start brewing some tasty brews.
 

woozy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2013
Messages
1,297
Reaction score
131
What would you do for 2.5 batches just cut down everything in the recipe by 1/2?
Yup. Most things scale.

*one* exception. *if* you are doing all-grain and *if* you are doing full size boils and *if* you are calculating your boil-off (that is, for example, if you start with 6.5 gallons because you expect to boil off 1.5 gallons to end up with 5 gallons) then you cut the final volume in half but you still add the full boil-off (this is, for example, to end up with 2.5 you start with 4 gallons because you still expect to boil off 1.5 gallons.)
 
Top