There are a ton of advantages to brewing smaller batches. I only brew 1/3 size batches (1.67 gallons) these days. This gets me about 13-14 bottles, i.e., a little more than a couple 6-packs. A 1-gallon batch is way too small to be worth the effort IMHO, because you'll only get about one 6-pack for all your efforts. But 14 bottles... that I can do.Would you kindly share your equipment profile? In particular the brew kettle size(s) and fermenters. Thanks!
You really need to just BIAB.
Oh... but are you sure you really wanted to ask me that? Well, here goes...
I'm super ultra mega ghetto... even "worse" than Denny. It is a bragging point for me how simple my equipment and process is. I've used the same 5-gallon stainless kettle for 15 years, and still do. I usually BIAB in the kettle. For sparge water, I have a 2 gallon pot on the side, and I have a big colander and drain and quasi-"fly sparge" all the runnings into an old 6-gallon bucket, then pour it back into the kettle again. I do not own a turkey fryer burner or equivalent, and I do all my boils in the house on the stovetop. Always have, always will. Works great. I also do not own a chiller. Don't need to. I chill in a bucket or the kettle in a tub sink with cold water. After 15 minutes, drain the cool water bath and fill it up again with fresh cold water. A few minutes later, you're ready to pitch. I do not own an aeration stone or O2 or CO2 tanks. To aerate, I stir or shake the living crap out of the wort for 5 minutes. Works fine. I ferment in 3-gallon glass carboys. I used plastic buckets for many many years but they experienced contamination too often so now I have just a couple buckets for collecting runoff as explained previously but otherwise use solely glass for all fermentations. Exception is for small 1-gallon batches of cider where I ferment directly in the plastic milk jugs that the juice came in, or in cases where I juice my own apples, I sanitize milk jugs and for the most part keep them fermenting and stored in my refrigerator in the 40s Fahrenheit. Other than that I do not own a fermentation refrigerator, and I conduct all fermentations in one of several locations in my house, either at 68 F (upstairs closet), 74 F (on top of the computer desk), 62-64 F (basement in summer), or 52-55 F (basement in winter), garage (variable but very cold in fall thru spring). I also advocate the use of a wet t-shirt and fan to reduce fermentation temperature by approximately 5 degrees in any of the above locations. In doing so, I am able to perform good fermentations most any time of the year.
I do have a round orange cooler for bigger batches but I only use it once a year for my annual 4.5 to 6 gallon batch for the local brewfest. In these cases, I either borrow a turkey fryer burner and chiller, or I boil the wort on stovetop in 3 big pots and continue to chill in the tub sink. Usually I do the latter. It works fine. I do own one 5-gallon glass carboy, so rarely I will use that, but I can also just split the annual big batch into two 3-gallon carboys, in which case I have also experimented with different yeasts, different fermentation temperatures, etc.
I don't mean to brag but merely to state a fact: I do make pretty great beer with these methods and equipment. Homebrewing is just so gosh darn cheap 'n' easy, cavemen can do it. We don't NEED to turn it into the crazy science and engineering projects, we really truly don't need to. Anyone with any very basic equipment can win Ninkasi. I'm positive of this. It's not something I'm going for personally right now, although it might be the subject of the occasional daydream that makes me smile to think about.