Small Batch

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Small Batch

Postby billd220 » Mon Jun 25, 2007 8:06 pm

I read in this months BYO magazine about brewing small batches for experimenting. I've always wanted to try that so i can brew more often. I love beer but 5 gallons takes me a while to drink. I want to try different things. I mistakenly thought that 5 gallons was about the smallest you can go.

My question is how much air space do you need to allow? I use a 6 1/2 gallon carboy now for a 5 gallon brew. Looking on line i see you can buy 1 gallon glass jugs or 3 gallon carboys. A one gallon jug filled about 3/4 full gives you about 8 bottles....that seems tooooooo small. If i wanted to double that can i use a 3 gallon carboy (for 1 1/2 gallon brew)?

That would seem perfect for me. It would make about Sixteen 12oz bottles and then i could have a few of them going and not end up a basement over-full of beer.
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RE: Small Batches

Postby wottaguy » Mon Jun 25, 2007 9:10 pm

Hello billd220,

And whats wrong with a basement over-filled with beer?? LOL!! Just kidding.

Small batch brewing does have it's merits. I usually brew from 10 to 20 gallons at a time, but I have recently started doing smaller batches (3 gallons) and also doing partigyle batches as well. That way I can brew 2 beers with 1 normal sized mash and then run off into 2 separate kettles 2 different beers! A higher gravity one and a lower gravity one. I have 2 partigyle sessions planned for the very near future and in one session I plan to brew an Oud Ale and a Northern English Brown. In the other one I'll be brewing an English IPA and with the second runnings I'll make an English Bitter out if it. I'll do the fermenting in my 5 gallon carboys and when finished, I'll bottle 2 six-packs of each, then keg the rest in 3 gallon kegs. (these are 4.25 gallon sized batches each) It works out great and allows me to make quite a few different brews in less time. It's also a handy way to get your beers to any competitions you may want to enter, and its a great way to prove out your recipies too!
This Sat i'll be brewing up a 3 gallon batch of a Belgium Tripel of which some will be primed and bottled in Belgium bottles and corked and the rest will be kegged.

Hope this helps! Keep Brewin'!

Ron (_)3
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Postby akueck » Mon Jun 25, 2007 9:49 pm

I've done 2 gallon batches in my 6.5 gal carboy. Too much headspace in your primary is no big deal. I've done 1 gallon batches, mostly mead and cider, in 1 gal jugs, but be prepared for some minor explosions even with a blow-off tube.

I suggest just using the 6.5 gal carboys you have, unless they're full. Active fermentation will expel the air. 3 gal carboys are good for 2 gal batches too.
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small batches

Postby slothrob » Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:03 am

I've been using a 5 gallon carboy for primary of 3 gallon batches, so 2 gallon headspace. I'd think 3 gallons would be fine for a 1.5 gallon primary, since that would be 1.5 gallons headspace. I think it's true that extra headspace isn't a big deal in primary, though.
I'd certainly do 2 gallon batches in my 5 gallon carboy without worry.

3 gallons of experimental batches works out well for me. This comes out to 1 case, with transfer losses. 1 case is little enough to keep me from getting swamped with beer I might not be crazy about, but enough to maintain a decent variety in the celler and enough to be reasonably happy if the batch comes out fantastic.

1.5 gallons might leave you with only about 1 gallon after transfer losses.
That would be about 10 12oz. bottles, maybe 6 22 oz'ers, or 2 growlers. You might want to bump up to about 2 to 2.5 gallons if you want around 3 six packs.
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