Brewing a half batch

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

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Brewing a half batch

Postby pirate357 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:26 am

Hey everyone. I haven't brewed in a while but decided I would like to brew a half batch, or about 3 gallons. I used the recipe generator to find make a decent looking full extract recipe. My main question is if there is anything i need to do differently with a half batch. Is the increased distance between the beer and the lid of my fermentor going to be a problem? Help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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half batch

Postby slothrob » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:57 am

I make mostly 3 gallon batches these days. There aren't a lot of additional considerations.

As you might have learned, you probably have to plan for a higher percent boil-off, depending on the kettle and burner you use. It does allow you to brew all-grain on the stove easily, though.

I ferment them in a 5 gallon carboy and I don't believe that there are any issues. You might even get a little positive gain from having a little extra oxygen around when it's needed. I haven't noticed any oxidation problems with these beers.

I wouldn't secondary in a 5 gallon carboy though. That would probably risk oxidation damage. I either skip the secondary or use a 3 gallon carboy.

You can also lose a higher percent of the wort is in a bottling bucket than you would with a 5 gallon batch.
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half batch

Postby pirate357 » Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:03 am

About how long should a half batch take to ferment before bottling? Thanks.
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small batch

Postby slothrob » Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:42 pm

It takes just as long to ferment a half batch as it does a full batch.

I'd advise, as a rule of thumb, 3 weeks before bottling for most Ales. You might get away with 2 weeks for some beers, particularly a low gravity beer made with a very flocculant yeast, like an Ordinary Bitter, but it's always a little risky if you are bottling and the beer is apt to have tasted better and been clearer if you left it a little longer.
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