I really don't have to do the 15 minute boil, but it makes my one gallon brew day a bit shorter.
Absolutely. If you're going through the time, might as well do a bigger batch, so that's understood. I think 15 minute boil/1 gallon batches are good for hop experimenting. I think erockrph does this often. Not saying that you should use 1 pound of hops in a 1 gallon batch like he does , but he should certainly be able to give you some input.
Personally, I think the lack of dry hops is responsible for the majority of what you're missing. My 1-gallon APA recipes I use to taste-test hops use 1/2 oz of dry hops. I also add my first hop addition as a pseudo-FWH, which I think gives a bit more flavor. Basically, once you pull your steeping grains add your first hop addition. I treat it as a 20 minute addition for the sake of calculating IBU's and I think it gets me pretty close.
Here's my basic recipe:
Title: Single Hop Pale Ale (Apollo)
Brew Method: Extract
Style Name: American Pale Ale
Boil Time: 15 min
Batch Size: 0.8 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 1 gallons
Original Gravity: 1.055
Final Gravity: 1.015
ABV (standard): 5.21%
IBU (tinseth): 40.96
SRM (morey): 4.8
0.8 lb - Dry Malt Extract - Extra Light (72.7%)
0.3 lb - Liquid Malt Extract - Munich (27.3%)
0.15 oz - Apollo, Type: Pellet, AA: 18, Use: First Wort, IBU: 40.96
0.25 oz - Apollo, Type: Pellet, AA: 18, Use: Boil for 0 min
0.5 oz - Apollo, Type: Pellet, AA: 18, Use: Dry Hop for 7 days
0.8 g - Gypsum
Fermentis / Safale - American Ale Yeast US-05
Pitch 2-2.5gm of dry yeast.
Begin bringing water to boil. At ~120F add extract and gypsum. Add "FWH" as temp hits 140F.