Small batch (1 Gallon) ingredients

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Dead Ringer

Dec 6, 2023
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Hi all. n00b brewer here. Several ciders and one Brooklyn Brew shop all-grain kit done. All with (in my opinion) delicious results so far!

Continuing with more all-grain 1-gallon brewing, I'm curious about ingredients for small batches. My LHBS here in Toronto seems to have excellent inventory, and I'm grateful for that. Just that grains need to be purchased in increments of 1lb. How do other small-batch brewers deal with a storing a multitude of pre-milled grains? I can picture myself having many "leftover" quantities of grains between brews, especially if I'm experimenting with different recipes. Hops with minimum 1oz package sizes have a similar issue.

I suppose that even having "wasted" leftover grains and hops could end up being cheaper than buying more kits...

Experimental brews with random leftovers could be fun too.

I would likely continue to stick with dry yeast as well. Seems easier to manage partial packages. Or is there a good way to set aside opened liquid yeast packages until a future brew day?

Just curious to hear how other small batch brewers deal with this too.

How do other small-batch brewers deal with a storing a multitude of pre-milled grains? [...]Hops with minimum 1oz package sizes have a similar issue.
Temperature, time, and oxygen are the primary concerns.

Cool, dry, and in a tightly closed (or vacuum sealed) container will make a difference. Store yeast in the fridge and hops in the freezer.

pre-milled grains: if you have a vacuum sealer, consider sealing half when the order arrives. Store the rest cool, dry, and in a tightly closed bag. Shelf life (when stored cool, dry, and in a tighly closed container): probably 4-6 months. Taste the grains when they arrive and before brew day.

yeast: many of us close the package tightly, secure it with tape or a rubber band, and throw it in the fridge. Shelf life: likely more than 6 months.

hops: for aroma/flavor hops, start with an unopened (or perhaps a recently opened) package. For bittering hops, I'm not 'afraid' to use a package that was opened within the last 9 to 12 months. Some aroma hops also work as bittering hops. Vacuum sealing is a popular technique for storing hops.
If you’re making your own recipes (or modifying others’), it’s not at all a bad idea to try to simplify your grist to use fewer types of grains. Many recipes really don’t need a lot of different malts, and even the ones that benefit from complexity can be pared down without losing much. In addition to avoiding buying pounds of grain and only using a few ounces, there’s the significant benefit that using fewer malts will help you learn much faster what any given malt brings to the table.

For that matter, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to just commit to doing SMaSHes for ten or twenty batches … that’s another advantages of working with a gallon at a time!

Dry yeasts are great. Once you decide on a style of beer, you won’t have more than one or two choices unless you go liquid, but in almost all cases there’ll be a dry yeast that gets the job done, and well.

Also, Toronto and … pounds? I thought you folks up north were enlightened as far as units went.
I work with 2.5 gallon batches for 2 reasons, the time commitment is the same, and secondly the use of material seems to divide itself evenly for back to back efforts because I often require a do over to get my recipes right. I typically use hops in .25, .5 additions so rarely do I have a leftover pack, same with yeast. At 2.5 gallon there's not too much beer in closet that I can't consume promptly to work on the next iteration. Welcome to the forum, good luck, have fun, brew often.
Thank you all for the welcoming messages and useful tips!

I will definitely stick to simpler recipes / SMaSH to start with, and with proper storage I guess I should be able to incorporate a wider variety of ingredients for more complex recipes once I've built up stock that needs to be used up.

@AlexKay - Yeah, we're supposedly "metric" up here, but it's surprising how much actually isn't yet. This is a funny and amusingly accurate chart of how we do things here:

@Rish - Thanks, I've peeked through that 1 Gallon thread too!

My first beers were from Brooklyn BrewShop too. Eventually I realized I could just buy one of the 5 gallon all grain kits from the other vendors and just divide that up and purchase additional packets of dry yeast if needed.

But before pulling the trigger on that, I realized I could just order bulk amounts of the malts and hops for a little bit more savings. Or at least giving me the idea I could brew different beers by changing up the hop used for flavor and aroma even if I didn't save that much.

Ten pounds of base malt is the most I've ever ordered at one time. The lesser malts for color and flavor you can get in smaller amounts. They all store well in just plastic containers with a good fitting lid to keep pests at bay. Storage temp isn't as important. Keeping moisture out is. And it'll store for longer than a year. Maybe way longer if conditions are ideal.

Pellet hops store reasonably well for me if I just push the air out of the package then tape the cut edge completely with shipping tape. Freezer is said to be best. But I use the fridge since the amounts I get are going to be used in less than a year. I've had one pack that seemed to get yellowish and nasty smelling out of a dozen or more other types of hops I have opened and stored.

I've only used dry yeast. It comes in so many different choices now, unlike BITD when homebrewing took off in the '70's and 80's and there wasn't a big selection of dry. I've never felt like I'm missing anything. If the keeping and saving of yeast plus the things you do to build a starter appeals to you then sure, go for it. But if you are just buying a pack of liquid yeast to dump in your FV, I'd not do that as you can almost always find a acceptable dry substitution, IMO. At least for the beers I've made so far.

Don't know what the dry yeast was that Brooklyn Brewshop provided. However you might find that regular beer yeasts like US-05 and S-04 behave entirely different. So don't let that throw you.