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Curious...part 2

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brew-witch:
OK, so I'm seeing anywhere from 5 - 20+ different brews going at the same time... and many of you seem to do larger batches (that is, larger than the typical 5 gal)... so my questions are:

1. Where do you find the time to do all this?  :o

2. Where do you keep everything (fermenters, kegs, bottles, massive amounts of equipment)?  :-\

I am starting very small for a number of reasons, but space is the biggest reason.  And time!  I'd rather spend more time (what little of it I have to spare) making a lot of different small batches (3 gal or less even) for more variety (my tastebuds get bored easily) than having 5, 10, or more gallons of the same beer that would take me forever to drink, or even trade with others.  So that leads me to question #3:

3. I want to hear all the pros and cons of making smaller batches (preferably more pros than cons  ;) )

Thanks!

a10t2:
2: Until a year ago, I lived in an apartment, and all of my beer equipment had to fit in a closet, plus the kegerator. Bucket fermenters stack, boil kettles nest and sit on top of the propane burner with the chiller inside, miscellaneous equipment inside the mash tun. It was actually the coat closet, and the beer equipment only took up the space from the floor to the bottom of the actual coats.

3: There are only two cons to small batches, IMHO: the extra time commitment per beer, and the fact that not having a keg filled just seems like a waste of space to me. Other than that, you get more experience, more variety, etc.

hopfenundmalz:
I have a lot of beers going at one time.

Answers:

1.  I am now retired.  My hobby is a good use of my time.

2. Garage and a room(s) in the basement.

3. Small batches:
Pros - You can experiment with many recipies.   Less mass, can move it easy.  Can't think of much else
Cans - About the same amount of time and effort to make a 10 gallon batch, so the yeild is low.

rabid_dingo:
Parenthood slowed my production. I went from having 60 gallons of beer stocked for the summer and fall to, well, 10...

1.I shoot for weekends. Even if it is 1-2 weekends a month. Plus, I was furloughed from full time to part time 1.5 years
ago. I pick up the hours I need around my work week and avoid at least one day off, for family or what not. But I manage.
Lately I have enjoyed the early hours. I can get up 3-5 hour earlier that what I am used to and there is sunlight. (some will laugh but getting up at 4:45-6:30am is not normal for me and I see the advantage of having my daily morning routine done with at 9:00am.

2. I have 22-23 ball lock kegs. Once kegged they sit right outside the keggerator to the right. I have to
admit I cannot park a car in my two-car garage...  :-[ I am horrible of keeping a timely schedule with primary and
after. Some beers cross the 4-6 week line in primary. I have never worried and they are all fine. They go right to keg.

3. I figure that I don't bottle much anymore and I have yet to get the 2.5 or 3 gallon kegs so might as well
go for the 5 or 10 gallon batch. My last one was the imperial porter 10 gallon batch and It took an extra
3 hours but only because of the additional time it took to heat strike water and heat to boiling once
the wort was collected (I was at the very limit of my max volume for mash tun and boil kettle) Normal 10
gallon batches are only an hour difference for me.

Pros- conducive to small breweries' needs.
Cons- limited supply, even if there is a lot of variety. You still run out faster of each batch.

dean:
I have to agree with a10t2, you can adapt quicker with small batches so you gain experience faster.   Three gallon batches would be good, if you like beer anything smaller might tick you off if you make  a really good batch when its gone, but you can have another batch conditioning behind it.  

I guess it really doesn't matter what volume you brew, the problem seems to be storing what you have brewed.  If you make a good batch and don't have a replacement ready then you're still going to have to wait for the next batch to finish which means you're going to wait for nature to fulfill its destiny and that will be at its own pace.  Too many people want to rush the process, I've done it and sometimes I still do it.  If I didn't procrastinate so much I'd have plenty of beer on hand at all times and there is always someplace to tuck a keg away or case(s) of bottled beer.

Brew with what you have available, brew as often as you can and feel like it.  Yeh, it takes time but you do have time if you plan it and stick to your plan, understand that it won't brew itself and that it takes just as much time to brew 3 gallons as it takes to brew 5 gallons, even 10+ gallons takes nearly the same amount of time.  LME is quicker to start with but it also costs more per batch "initially".  Cost can be prohibitive as much as time or space.  But with LME you don't have as much equipment involved and each batch is more likely to be a success until you become more experienced doing AG.  We say AG gives you more control and that is true, but it is easier to mess up a batch... being the control freaks we are and so we have to own up to those bad batches.   :D

Just Do It... one or the other... damn the torpedos, full speed ahead!   :D

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