Scaling recipe down - hints ?

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Suicid

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Hi guys,

I have an idea temporarily to move to half- or1/3 batch size to make several samples to understand if I like those and want get whole 5 gals of them.

It is going to be extract recipes (probably with grains), no mash. But some LME are going to be pre-hopped.

I read BYO article and they said it is mostly enough just to scale everything down, but there is some possible issues with the final IBU and overall balance of the "baby"beer.

I'm sure alot of ppl here have their own experience in this.
So here are 2 questions:
1. In general: Is it enough just to reduce amount of ingredients proportionally to have a descent small batch?
2. What to do to avoid these potential disbalance and bitterness issues?

If you have any hints on this, please share those here!

Thanks!
 

IslandLizard

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If you scale everything proportionally, I don't see how the IBU's could change, as long as you also scale the boiling volume and top-off volume the same way. Just don't scale the boil and addition times. :D

Some people boil a smaller amount than the original recipe calls for (smaller pot) and make up the volume in the fermentor. That could cause some hop utilization differences and hence, IBU shifts.

ADDED:
Why use pre-hopped LME? You can get a lot more control, fresher flavors, and aroma by using LME/DME and some loose hops. Also, add 1/3 of your extract at the beginning of the boil, and the remainder (2/3) at flame out or 5 minutes before. It keeps your beer lighter, fresher tasting, and prevents unwanted caramelization resulting in more unfermentables and thus higher ending FGs.
 

m00ps

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Yeah I think about the same. Grain bill can easily to proportionally adjusted. I just do the hops too, I've heard that there is not a linear relationship for hop utilization but I think it would only become an issue if scaling to like a commercial sized batch.

One tip - if you are using hop bags like I do, make sure to give them plenty of space becuase they will expand. My first couple brews I would put moe than 1 oz in the smaller bags and they ballooned up and the stuff in the middle never got utilized. Make sure they are able to slosh around to get the right amount of hop bitterness and flavor
 
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Suicid

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If you scale everything proportionally, I don't see how the IBU's could change, ......

Some people boil a smaller amount than the original recipe calls for (smaller pot) and make up the volume in the fermentor. That could cause some hop utilization differences and hence, IBU shifts.
Yes, I believe it was about it.
 
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Suicid

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One tip - if you are using hop bags like I do, make sure to give them plenty of space becuase they will expand. My first couple brews I would put moe than 1 oz in the smaller bags and they ballooned up and the stuff in the middle never got utilized. Make sure they are able to slosh around to get the right amount of hop bitterness and flavor
Good catch! :mug:
 
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