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Author Topic: Recommendations for a 2.5 kit  (Read 2821 times)

Offline meckeard

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Recommendations for a 2.5 kit
« on: January 28, 2021, 11:29:39 am »
Hi all!  I see a lot of 1 gallon (too small) and 5 gallon (I have) kits but want a 2.5 gallon kit.  The reason is that I feel it's big enough to make a lot of beer but small enough to use without breaking the bank on equipment since I am new to home brewing.  Additionally, I can buy 5 gallon material and split it in half to make it easy.

Ideally I would prefer if it came with an IPA kit (ingredients) but I have no problems buying the materials separately.  Also, I do NOT want a kit that uses extract as I want to experience making it myself.  Most may not enforce that but I wanted to mention it just in case.  Basically something with everything I need except the basic stuff like cleaner, bottles, etc.

Does anyone have any recommendations? 

Offline BrewBama

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Recommendations for a 2.5 kit
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2021, 12:38:38 pm »
If you can’t find 2.5 gal kits I recommend finding a recipe you like and buying ingredients to to brew it. If the recipe you are interested in is based on a different volume, simply scale it up/down using percentages. Brewing software makes this task easy but it can be done easily enough by hand.

For example: (notice no weights or volumes are listed. This could be for 1 gal or 50 bbl. Likewise, techniques such as mash schedule, mash method, sparge method, etc or mash and brewhaus efficiency are all brewery independent to reach your goal)

1.056 OG

93% Pale Ale malt
7% C60

20 IBU Cascade @ 60
10 IBU Cascade @ 10
10 IBU Cascade @ 5

American Ale Yeast

Cascade dry hop for 3 days (optional)


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« Last Edit: January 28, 2021, 12:49:32 pm by BrewBama »

Offline meckeard

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Re: Recommendations for a 2.5 kit
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2021, 12:51:57 pm »
Hi Brew,

Thanks.  I see a few companies produce the recipe to their beer and I may use that as me "recipe" and reduce the ingredients to match how much beer I am making.

Just to be clear, I was referring to the brewing kit, not the kit with ingredients.  That is my primary concern. 

Mark

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Recommendations for a 2.5 kit
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2021, 02:58:48 pm »
I would consider simply using your current, sufficiently large enough pot to make 5 gallon or 2.5 gallon batches and go with brew in a bag, if it is equipment that you are talking about as the "kit".  The boil off with an oversized pot may be larger than with a smaller pot, but you can use the larger pot for both batch sizes...just my thoughts.
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Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Recommendations for a 2.5 kit
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2021, 04:18:16 pm »
Ideally I would prefer if it came with an IPA kit (ingredients) but I have no problems buying the materials separately.  Also, I do NOT want a kit that uses extract as I want to experience making it myself.  Most may not enforce that but I wanted to mention it just in case.  Basically something with everything I need except the basic stuff like cleaner, bottles, etc.

You need to remember that a style such as IPA is not very forgiving when we are talking about beginning all-grain brewer.   Most beginning all-grain brewers hit far below the needed extraction rate and end up with an intensely bitter beer.

Offline tommymorris

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Recommendations for a 2.5 kit
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2021, 05:54:15 pm »
In the US we usually say equipment rather than kit when speaking about gear used to brew a batch of beer. We say kit for a set of ingredients sold as a unit by a homebrew store. Hence, some of the confusion above. I brew 2.5 gallon batches also.

I have a 5 gallon Anvil kettle with brew bag and induction burner. I use it for batch sparging. I drain wort into a bucket then pour it all back into the same rinsed Anvil kettle when it’s time to boil. I like this kit. Inexpensive. No pump. Very simple and easy to clean. The kettle has a thermometer. I watch that and if the mash temp drops I turn on the induction burner for a few minutes to raise it back up.

Consider the Brewers Edge Mash and Boil. This kit makes 5 gallon batches but people report it works well with 2.5 gallon batches also. I like the idea of this kit because I could make 2.5 or 5 gallon batches. They sell a version with and without pump.

Also, consider the Anvil Foundry. The Foundry 6.5 is made for 2-3 gallon batches. The negative here (for me) is no 5 gallon batches.  The larger Foundry has an attachment to brew smaller batches. So that is also worth considering. They sell both versions with and without a pump.

PS. I think all the coffee urn type systems (Brewers Edge Mash and Boil, Anvil Foundry, Grainfather, etc) can be used for 2.5 gallon batches if you do not recirculate.  The attachments for 2.5 gallon compatibility are typically related to recirculation with less grain in the malt pipe.

Prost!

Offline meckeard

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Re: Recommendations for a 2.5 kit
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2021, 06:57:48 am »
Again, thanks for all the replies and advice.  I'm new at this and it's why I became a member and sought help because I need it!

Yes, equipment is what I am inquiring about. 

A little background on me: I have never home brewed but love craft beer and looking for a new (covid) hobby.  A few weeks ago I bought the Brewers Best 5 Gallon kit but quickly realized that it's not everything you need to use it.  I had no problem buying a large SS pot but realized a standard stove won't heat up 5+ gallons of water.  That means I would have to get a stand and burner in addition to the pot.  Then came the possibility of needing a chiller.  I made another post and a few people suggested making 2.5 gallon batches as that would work on the stove and I can use the kitchen sink cooling method but was told the 5 gallon bucket may have too much room for 2.5 gallons during fermentation (I think that's the part).

If I can use my 5 gallon equipment to make 2.5 gallons, that's OK but I don't want to use it just because I own it.  That's why I thought about buying equipment specifically made for 2.5 gallon batches.

Thanks!

Offline Drewch

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Re: Recommendations for a 2.5 kit
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2021, 07:28:18 am »
Hi Brew,

Thanks.  I see a few companies produce the recipe to their beer and I may use that as me "recipe" and reduce the ingredients to match how much beer I am making.

Just to be clear, I was referring to the brewing kit, not the kit with ingredients.  That is my primary concern. 

Mark

If you mean brewing kit in the commonwealth sense (as in equipment), you can get ~3 gallon conicals from a couple of different companies.  I have one of these:  https://www.morebeer.com/products/fastferment-3-gal-conical-fermenter.html  They run $40 - $50 (US).  I also have a small collection of 2- and 5-gallon food-grade buckets.  $3-$7 at the hardware store.  Drill a hole in the lid, add a grommet, sorted.

And you can probably find a 32-36 16-20 qt stock pot pretty easily.  I bought one at Walmart that I use for small-batch, single-vessel BIAB -- my big kettle just had way to much surface area to volume and the boil off was bananas.  It's small enough I can hold mash temp in my oven if I want to.

A stock pot + a brewbag + a bucket could get you going for less than ~$75.

[Edited to correct unit conversions.]
« Last Edit: February 06, 2021, 06:05:10 pm by Drewch »
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Recommendations for a 2.5 kit
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2021, 07:59:31 am »
LOL. ‘Kit’ = equipment. Sorry about the miscommunication.

In my mind ‘kit’ = set of ingredients.

Please disregard my early reply discussing ingredients.


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Offline kgs

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Re: Recommendations for a 2.5 kit
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2021, 01:24:02 pm »
Concur on the suggestion to look at all-in-ones. Too bad you already started acquiring things before you realized now you need to acquire yet MORE things, but those AICs really simplify and streamline small-batch brewing.
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Offline meckeard

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Re: Recommendations for a 2.5 kit
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2021, 08:40:32 am »
Hi Brew,

Thanks.  I see a few companies produce the recipe to their beer and I may use that as me "recipe" and reduce the ingredients to match how much beer I am making.

Just to be clear, I was referring to the brewing kit, not the kit with ingredients.  That is my primary concern. 

Mark

If you mean brewing kit in the commonwealth sense (as in equipment), you can get ~3 gallon conicals from a couple of different companies.  I have one of these:  https://www.morebeer.com/products/fastferment-3-gal-conical-fermenter.html  They run $40 - $50 (US).  I also have a small collection of 2- and 5-gallon food-grade buckets.  $3-$7 at the hardware store.  Drill a hole in the lid, add a grommet, sorted.

And you can probably find a 32-36 qt stock pot pretty easily.  I bought one at Walmart that I use for small-batch, single-vessel BIAB -- my big kettle just had way to much surface area to volume and the boil off was bananas.  It's small enough I can hold mash temp in my oven if I want to.

A stock pot + a brewbag + a bucket could get you going for less than ~$75.

I'll look at that fermenter and a bucket although I am not finding a 3 gallon one in the 2 stops I made. 

Offline meckeard

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Re: Recommendations for a 2.5 kit
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2021, 08:41:52 am »
Concur on the suggestion to look at all-in-ones. Too bad you already started acquiring things before you realized now you need to acquire yet MORE things, but those AICs really simplify and streamline small-batch brewing.

Agreed but some of the stuff I can still use, like the spoon, caps and bottles.  If I enjoy this and wish to go big, I'll have the 5 gallon kit ready.

Offline meckeard

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Re: Recommendations for a 2.5 kit
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2021, 08:44:06 am »
Here is one of the few all-in-one 2.5 gallon kits I found:

https://www.love2brew.com/Blends-2-5-Gallon-Beer-Making-Kit-p/bek006.htm

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Recommendations for a 2.5 kit
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2021, 09:07:35 am »
And you can probably find a 32-36 qt stock pot pretty easily.  I bought one at Walmart that I use for small-batch, single-vessel BIAB -- my big kettle just had way to much surface area to volume and the boil off was bananas.  It's small enough I can hold mash temp in my oven if I want to.

A 32 to 36 quart stock pot is not ideal for 2.5-gallon batches.  The last brew house I built was a 3-gallon brew house (i.e., that is 3-gallons kegged).  I would start of with 4.25 gallons of runoff from my mash tun and boil it down to a little over 3.5-gallons before racking 3.25 gallons to one of my primaries.  I ended up building a totally custom kettle from a Vollrath Optio 3506 27 quart stock pot, which is 12.5" wide by 12.5" tall. 

Here is the setup when I first built it (the vinyl tubing was replaced with silicone):



27qt kettle, 5-gallon mash/lauter tun, and 5-gallon hot liquor back (the perfect size 3-vessel brew house for 2.5 and 3-gallon batches, but an Anvil 6.5-gallon all-in-one is a better investment these days)

Here is the inside of the kettle, which is also totally custom:



The false bottom was used with whole hops.  Using whole hops and a false bottom is my preferred setup, but using whole hops was not a wise investment with such small batches because it took forever to work through a pound of hops.  Five gallons is the smallest brew house that is practical when purchasing whole hops in bulk because I formulate my recipes based on six gallons to account for losses to the kettle and the primary (i.e., I like to fill a keg to the top).
« Last Edit: February 06, 2021, 09:09:29 am by Saccharomyces »

Offline Drewch

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Re: Recommendations for a 2.5 kit
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2021, 05:59:23 pm »
And you can probably find a 32-36 qt stock pot pretty easily.  I bought one at Walmart that I use for small-batch, single-vessel BIAB -- my big kettle just had way to much surface area to volume and the boil off was bananas.  It's small enough I can hold mash temp in my oven if I want to.

A 32 to 36 quart stock pot is not ideal for 2.5-gallon batches.

D'oh. I duffed my conversion from gallons to quarts. Public math. Mea culpa.

My kettle holds 4 gallons comfortably. Which is about 16 qts. I think I multiplied by 8 instead of 4.

Can we just switch to metric already?
« Last Edit: February 06, 2021, 06:01:17 pm by Drewch »
The Other Drew

Home fermentations since 2019.

Member at large of the Central Alabama Brewers Society, the League of Drews, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.