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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: roll0164 on February 20, 2013, 01:27:20 AM

Title: Yeast for gallon sized fermentation
Post by: roll0164 on February 20, 2013, 01:27:20 AM
So my roommate received a small brewing kit for christmas that he finally got around to using. The kit came with a gallon glass carboy that I have claimed as mine now that he's finished with it. I figured I could use if for small test batches of recipes I would like to try. The brew shop that I get my supplies at (Brew & Grow) only stocks the Wyeast pouches. Obviously an amount of yeast tailored for 5 gallons is overkill for fermenting a gallon of beer. So what should I do? Would it be easier to make a starter and then pitch a portion of it and fridge the rest till I use it for a larger recipe, or can I just pitch the entire pouch and then harvest the yeast when fermentation is finished and then store it for a larger recipe. I'm going for ease and sanitation here. Opinions?
Title: Re: Yeast for gallon sized fermentation
Post by: BrewQwest on February 20, 2013, 03:39:25 AM
IMHO (in my humble opinion) a one gallon fermentor is only good for fermenting three-quarters of a gallon at most...my initial thought is for you to give it back and go buy something bigger...3/4 of a gallon, after fermentation and trub removal may give you a 6-pack of beer if you are lucky... jmho...(just my humble opinion)...Now if you were content on brewing a mead I would say differently, but that would involve honey, not barley....cheers!!
Title: Re: Yeast for gallon sized fermentation
Post by: roll0164 on February 20, 2013, 05:21:52 AM
Yeah that's about right amount wise. He came over to help bottle my last batch and was a little upset that I get about 48 bottles out of each 5 gallon batch and he only got a 6 pack out of his christmas present. Regardless though I'd like to keep the fermenter because it can allow me to test out batches without brewing up a whole 5 gallons. Also I live in an apt in downtown MKE. My roommates don't really appreciate it when I swallow the kitchen to do my brews so I'm forced to trek an hour home to do it there. With one gallon test batches I could easily do it at my apt during the week.
Title: Re: Yeast for gallon sized fermentation
Post by: Joe Sr. on February 20, 2013, 03:14:26 PM
I would think a smack pack would be way over pitching for a gallon, unless it's a pretty old smack pack.  So you might get different flavors (esters, etc.) in your test batch than you will in a full batch.

Brew & Grow here in Chicago always carries a variety of dry yeasts.  It would be easier to pitch only a portion of a packet of dry yeast and store the remainder.

Or get a second glass gallon jug (I believe you can get apple juice in gallon glass jugs) and do a two gallon test batch, splitting the yeast.
Title: Re: Yeast for gallon sized fermentation
Post by: a10t2 on February 20, 2013, 04:07:31 PM
I would just try to eyeball a third to a half of the pack, depending on the 1 gal batch's OG, then use the rest to make a starter and keep the finished starter in the fridge for future use.
Title: Re: Yeast for gallon sized fermentation
Post by: woodlandbrew on February 21, 2013, 10:23:10 AM
+1 to eyeballing a fraction of the package.  That should give you a better idea of how your test batch's might scale up to full batches.
Title: Re: Yeast for gallon sized fermentation
Post by: ynotbrusum on February 21, 2013, 11:16:22 PM
Overpitching can lead to major esters (the yeast don't reproduce as much, so they toss off esters metabolizing the sugars), so don't use the whole pack on such a small batch.  Sean has the right idea - plus you will have the next batch of yeast ready to brew a full 5 gallon batch, if you time things well enough.
Title: Re: Yeast for gallon sized fermentation
Post by: reverseapachemaster on February 22, 2013, 06:04:18 AM
Is it really a gallon or is it 5 liters? The larger wine jugs are five liters and you can ferment out a full gallon (and even a little more) if you keep fermentation cool and/or use a very tame strain. Not sure which size would have come in the kit.

Even at a gallon it's a good size to brew small test batches and you can use it to split off a gallon from your other fermentors to experiment with post-fermentation additions. Nice way to play with fruit, spices, dry hopping and brett. You can always use it for making a small sour beer.

It's also a fine size to make small batches as big starters for your larger batches. Instead of dumping out the starter liquid as you would in a flask you can make a session beer for a starter, pull off a six pack and then pour the trub into your larger fermentor.

If you are starting off with yeast in that small of a batch you're really overpitching using a full wyeast pouch. You can eyeball it as others have said. It would be a lot easier to wash yeast out of your large fermentor and rely on the washed yeast as a more reasonable volume to ferment out that smaller batch.