questions -- brewing a 1/2 batch (2.5gal)

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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!
 

david_42

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1. right
2. no
3. no. If you pitch all of the yeast in the first 1/2 batch, it will reduce the fermentation time about 2 hours. (typical doubling time for yeast growth).

If you are using a dry yeast, I do recommend using all of the packet & buying a second packet for the next run, as dry yeast is difficult to store once the packet is open.
 

grommitsgrog

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Hello,

I actually had the same question. I received a homebrew kit for Christmas, with instructions from Palmer's "How to Brew." I didn't have the 16-20 qt. pot, so I did a 2 1/2 gal. batch. I used one packet of dry yeast. The batch has been fermenting since Saturday, 12/29, and I have some bubbles in the airlock, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of activity, as Palmer suggested. I guess my first blowoff will have to wait until the next batch! Is this because I have a small batch in a large fermentor (5 gal. bucket)? I read the previous post about the small batch, and it sounds like I'm on the right track, but as this is my first run, I wanted to make sure that I didn't miss the fermentation or have dead yeast or something.

Thanks!
 

Joker

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Are you doing a half batch because of equipment?

If you are able I would recommend just doing a full batch, twice the beer for the same amount of work.
 

grommitsgrog

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It is an equipment issue right now, but hopefully not for long. I just want to make sure that what I have is actually going to ferment and it's not just sitting there doing nothing. Next time around, I will definitely make the full 5-gallon batch.
 

gp125racer

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I have an electric stove, so I cant do a full boil yet either, but it doesnt stop me from doing a full 5 gallon batch.

Take your primary fermentation vessel and fill it with 5 gallons of water, and mark it permanently. This way you have a visual cue for future reference (you'll see why in a minute).

I then boil 3 gallons of water and use that for the brew process. At the end of the wort cooling process, when I fill the primary, I top up with water to the 5 gallon mark. You could pre-boil your top-up water, use distilled water etc depending upon your level of concern with sanitization.

Hope that helps!
gp125racer
 

cevamal

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Another question on the same topic:

Is there any problem fermenting a half batch in a 6 gallon fermenter? Does the extra air space muck up the works at all?

My husband got me a Coopers Kit for Christmas and I just (finally!) got the initial batch brewing.

I'd like to try a couple of half batches because we don't go through -that- much beer (all together now: "that'll change!") and I can't move the fermenter myself--I have to get my husband to do it. (Although I suppose with enough of this that'll change, too. ;))
 
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malkore

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in primary the extra headspace doesn't matter.

for secondary, you'd want a 3 gallon carboy, max. they make 2.5gal carboys too.
 

Yooper

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cevamal said:
Another question on the same topic:

Is there any problem fermenting a half batch in a 6 gallon fermenter? Does the extra air space muck up the works at all?

My husband got me a Coopers Kit for Christmas and I just (finally!) got the initial batch brewing.

I'd like to try a couple of half batches because we don't go through -that- much beer (all together now: "that'll change!") and I can't move the fermenter myself--I have to get my husband to do it. (Although I suppose with enough of this that'll change, too. ;))
Well, the headspace is not critical, so don't worry about that. But they do make 3 gallon carboys and those are great for small batches of beer and wine.

I won't pick on you about not being able to lift the fermenter! However, :D if I can do it, you can! I have 6 gallons of wine in a big glass carboy ready to rack, and I'll take it and carry it to the kitchen and put it up on the island and do it. Trust me- you CAN do it. Sometimes, though, I think the full carboy weighs as much as I do!
 
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