Author Topic: Getting Back  (Read 1873 times)

Offline flbrewer

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Getting Back
« on: October 07, 2014, 10:21:47 PM »
With the "cool" weather coming back to North Florida, I've been inspired to start brewing again. Based on my lackluster results in the past, I want to start doing 1 gallons again. In part because I don't want to pour out 4.5 gallons of beer because it's not kick-ass and because of the general energy I expend doing the larger batches (cleaning, storage, etc.)...I'm lazy.

-Is anyone here doing solid one gallon batches?
-I'm considering using something other than 2 row, perhaps MO.
-Also considering doing the same damn recipe with small tweaks over and over until I'm happy
-Any thoughts on doing a partial mash similar to the way Brooklyn Brewshop instructs on their one gallon kits?
(Below is a link to one of their recipes, I think it's considered partial mash)
http://brooklynbrewshop.com/directions/Brooklyn%20Brew%20Shop%20-%20Everyday%20IPA%20Instructions.pdf

Offline 69franx

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Re: Getting Back
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2014, 10:28:55 PM »
I like the idea of repetition til you get what you like, just take good detailed notes


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Offline duncan

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Re: Getting Back
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2014, 10:42:57 PM »
-Is anyone here doing solid one gallon batches?

I did a lot of 1 and 3 gallon batches over the past two years since I was tight on time/space. It was actually pretty awesome because I could brew a few batches at the same time with minimal mess.

Here's an article on HomebrewersAssociation.org covering some tips and such for small batch brewing: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/how-to-brew/a-big-idea-on-small-batch-brewing/
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Getting Back
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2014, 11:01:50 PM »
I've been trying to brew small batches. Only thing getting in my way is my total disdain for bottling. Guess I need some tiny kegs.

Offline BrewArk

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Re: Getting Back
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2014, 11:06:00 PM »
I do 1 gallon batches when I have my homegrown-home malted grain.  But that's mostly been experimentation, since I don't have the space to grow too much grain.  I basically BIAB on the stovetop.

Hopefully I can get this year's crop malted soon & start again.
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Offline brewday

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Re: Getting Back
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2014, 12:48:57 AM »
No one gallon batches for me, but I've done a couple of two gallons lately for blending with disappointing five gallon batches!

The Brooklyn recipes are actually all-grain, and very easy to do if you've got a decent sized strainer.  I'd definitely go that route if you're trying to change things up.

Subbing MO for American 2-row can make a difference, but it's not necessarily the answer to lackluster beers.  What is it you're trying to change?  What don't you like about your last few batches?  Maybe there's an opportunity to make a procedural change instead.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Getting Back
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2014, 01:29:58 AM »
One gallon would be a cool way to go when trying to perfect a recipe or process issue. I think I would go with a batch size that is well suited to a smack pack of yeast unstarted. That could be one gallon, or two or five I suppose.  For bottling I think I would go with bombers just to limit the cleaning sanitizing work.

Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Getting Back
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2014, 01:59:41 PM »
I can tell you dry hopping a 1 gallon batch sucks!!  You lose so much beer to the trub and there's so little to start.  I did a 5 gallon batch and split it into 5 1 gallon jugs and dry hopped each separately.   

The worst part was bottling...I had to empty all the equipment I had stored in my bottling bucket that I haven't used in about 5 years.

I have a bunch of test recipes I want to do...beer, mead and cider.  I do like the idea of checking out the recipe before moving up to 5 gallons.

If you have a big enough pot, consider doing a brew in a bag (BIAB) mash.  Don't need a ton of room for 1 gallon.
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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Getting Back
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2014, 02:18:23 PM »
So perhaps I'm looking at doing all-grain or BIAB one gallon batches (based on the ease of the recipe I linked to above). Aside from 2-3 stockpots for all grain,can anyone recommend a strainer that would be appropriate for this size of brew?
TL:DR, BIAB or All grain for one gallon lazy batches?
« Last Edit: October 08, 2014, 02:22:22 PM by FLbrewer »

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Getting Back
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2014, 02:29:32 PM »
Probably 90% of my brewing is one gallon batches these days. Next year I plan on doing more 2-3 gallon batches so I can peel off an extra gallon for souring or aging so I have a supply of beers to blend down the road. Don't feel limited by the size of the batch. You can brew pretty much anything at a smaller size. I have done all kinds of fruit additions, dry hopping, wood aging, souring, etc. on small batches.

If you already have the equipment from doing partial boil extract batches (particularly a 2+ gallon kettle) then you are pretty close to having everything you need to brew small batches. You need an adequate fermentor and a place to mash. I use those five liter wine jugs as fermentors but there are other options out there. Many people brew smaller batches on the stove top as BIAB but I prefer using a two gallon cooler because I never had stable mash temperatures on the stove. Either way, you are $20 or less away from a full all grain set up.

Brewing a recipe over and over to perfect it is a better strategy than brewing it once or twice each year and hoping you remember what you wanted to change but don't feel like you must perfect one recipe before you move on to the next. One gallon of beer will yield 10 bottles at most (if you tweak your system well you might get that 11th bottle) and often you will only get 8-9 after accounting for trub. That isn't that much beer. You could easily work on 2-3 recipes at a time with some other stuff thrown in to keep it interesting. However, I'd say brew some good recipes to get acclimated to your set up and then start working on recipe development. Your technique will improve after a few batches and you may find that some of the early changes you made to a recipe were really about your technique.

You will definitely spend some time with your bottling equipment with one gallon batches unless you want to buy one gallon kegs (which run around $100 each) or burn a lot of CO2 filling three or five gallon kegs with one gallon of beer.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Getting Back
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2014, 02:48:35 PM »
So perhaps I'm looking at doing all-grain or BIAB one gallon batches (based on the ease of the recipe I linked to above). Aside from 2-3 stockpots for all grain,can anyone recommend a strainer that would be appropriate for this size of brew?
TL:DR, BIAB or All grain for one gallon lazy batches?
http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/brewing/brewing-equipment/stirring-straining/large-straining-bag-18-3-4-x-19.html

I used this bag quite a bit until I got a true purpose-made BIAB bag, and it works just fine. I'd either BIAB in the kettle in a preheated oven, or BIAB using a small cooler. The smaller the batch size, the less thermal mass and the easier it is to lose heat. I'm not a huge fan of heating the mash directly (I'm concerned about hot spots), but I do think you lose enough heat in smaller batches that you need a way to insulate the mash for BIAB.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Getting Back
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2014, 07:13:54 PM »
I'm about to start doing 1-2 gallon batches. I won't stop doing 5+ gallon batches but I've come to realize that I am not learning as fast as I want because I can only find the time to do a 5 gal AG batch about once/month. A small batch I can do on a weeknight, and cleanup is so much less. Also, I'll actually making more beer because I'll do it more often. I plan on doing BIAB on the kitchen stove, not sure about keeping mash temp in the oven or getting a small cooler.
How many gallons can you BIAB easily in a 5 gallon pot? I'm thinking at least 2.
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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Getting Back
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2014, 08:51:38 PM »
Likewise...doing some further research and BIAB sounds like where I'm heading. Putting hot liquids in a cooler still freaks me out for some reason. Although at the rate that I brew and drink homebrews, I shouldn't be worried about ingesting anything bad for me!  ;)
« Last Edit: October 08, 2014, 08:53:29 PM by FLbrewer »

Offline flbrewer

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Re: Getting Back
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2014, 08:54:08 PM »
Continued thanks for everyone chiming in on the thread, this forum continues to be such a great resource for solid and timely information!

Offline sven11

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Re: Getting Back
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2014, 11:40:38 AM »
I like the idea of brewing a five gallon batch and then fermenting each gallon differently, with different dry hops and varying times in the fermentor, etc, to see which tweaks to the process work best for a particular recipe. I have not been able to do so yet but it is a goal for this winter.