Author Topic: Brewing less than 5 gallons  (Read 787 times)

Offline redrocker652002

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Brewing less than 5 gallons
« on: December 22, 2021, 09:29:50 pm »
I found a pretty interesting recipe for a Wheat beer that I might give a try.  The recipe final yield is about 2.5 gallons.  My questions are, can it still be fermented in my 5 gallon bucket?  Can it be transferred into my 5 gallon keg?  Although, I might bottle it and have it as a second beer when I feel like something a bit different.  I am thinking it will be ok, but wanted to throw it out there.  Any replies are most appreciated. 

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Brewing less than 5 gallons
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2021, 06:59:44 am »
2.5 gal in a keg will be fine.  The main thing would be to make sure the keg has been purged of O2 before transferring the beer into it.  You still need to minimize oxygen at packaging.

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Offline Kevin

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Re: Brewing less than 5 gallons
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2021, 08:09:56 am »
Are you making this 2.5 gallon recipe because that is the way its written or because that's the way you want to make it? You can scale it up if you want.
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Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: Brewing less than 5 gallons
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2021, 12:09:38 pm »
I've been brewing 2 and 3 gallon batches in a 5 gallon bucket with no problems for over 3 years.
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Offline redrocker652002

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Re: Brewing less than 5 gallons
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2021, 06:01:09 pm »
Are you making this 2.5 gallon recipe because that is the way its written or because that's the way you want to make it? You can scale it up if you want.

A little of both.  I found a recipe for a wheat beer that included apricots and since I enjoy apricots and beer I wanted to give it a try.  If it is only 2.5 Gallons I can bottle it instead of keg it, as my keg is currently being used and I only have room for one in my kegerator. 

Which brings up another question I was going to post later.  This recipe says to slice up dried apricots and put it in the keg when you transfer the fermented beer into it.  Can I just move the fermented beer into a secondary fermenter put the apricots in a mesh bag and leave it in secondary and bottle say after 7 days?  If I like it, it is going to be another on my rather slim rotation, but I don't have enough bottles to do a 5 gallon batch. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nazI_eAAeSM

Here is the video I saw, it looks pretty easy and I thought, what the heck.  Thanks guys
« Last Edit: December 23, 2021, 06:03:51 pm by redrocker652002 »

Offline Andy Farke

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Re: Brewing less than 5 gallons
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2021, 08:31:59 am »
Which brings up another question I was going to post later.  This recipe says to slice up dried apricots and put it in the keg when you transfer the fermented beer into it.  Can I just move the fermented beer into a secondary fermenter put the apricots in a mesh bag and leave it in secondary and bottle say after 7 days?  If I like it, it is going to be another on my rather slim rotation, but I don't have enough bottles to do a 5 gallon batch. 

That would work, yes. If you want to save a step, you might consider just adding the apricots to the primary, and avoid the transfer. I normally add fruit to primary, because it reduces work, oxidation, and infection potential.
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Offline redrocker652002

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Re: Brewing less than 5 gallons
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2021, 10:01:15 am »
Which brings up another question I was going to post later.  This recipe says to slice up dried apricots and put it in the keg when you transfer the fermented beer into it.  Can I just move the fermented beer into a secondary fermenter put the apricots in a mesh bag and leave it in secondary and bottle say after 7 days?  If I like it, it is going to be another on my rather slim rotation, but I don't have enough bottles to do a 5 gallon batch. 

That would work, yes. If you want to save a step, you might consider just adding the apricots to the primary, and avoid the transfer. I normally add fruit to primary, because it reduces work, oxidation, and infection potential.

Awesome, I will do that instead.  I like not having to clean too much stuff.  LOL.  Then bottle in a week or so, right?  That is what the instructions said anyway. 

Offline Andy Farke

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Re: Brewing less than 5 gallons
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2021, 04:57:39 pm »
Which brings up another question I was going to post later.  This recipe says to slice up dried apricots and put it in the keg when you transfer the fermented beer into it.  Can I just move the fermented beer into a secondary fermenter put the apricots in a mesh bag and leave it in secondary and bottle say after 7 days?  If I like it, it is going to be another on my rather slim rotation, but I don't have enough bottles to do a 5 gallon batch. 

A week should probably be fine. I would slice the apricots up pretty finely (maybe even use a food processor if you have one)...that way you'll get better flavor and sugar extraction.
That would work, yes. If you want to save a step, you might consider just adding the apricots to the primary, and avoid the transfer. I normally add fruit to primary, because it reduces work, oxidation, and infection potential.

Awesome, I will do that instead.  I like not having to clean too much stuff.  LOL.  Then bottle in a week or so, right?  That is what the instructions said anyway.
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Offline denny

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Re: Brewing less than 5 gallons
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2021, 08:06:47 am »
Which brings up another question I was going to post later.  This recipe says to slice up dried apricots and put it in the keg when you transfer the fermented beer into it.  Can I just move the fermented beer into a secondary fermenter put the apricots in a mesh bag and leave it in secondary and bottle say after 7 days?  If I like it, it is going to be another on my rather slim rotation, but I don't have enough bottles to do a 5 gallon batch. 

That would work, yes. If you want to save a step, you might consider just adding the apricots to the primary, and avoid the transfer. I normally add fruit to primary, because it reduces work, oxidation, and infection potential.

Awesome, I will do that instead.  I like not having to clean too much stuff.  LOL.  Then bottle in a week or so, right?  That is what the instructions said anyway.

Maybe a week, maybe not.  You'll need to do a gravity check before bottling to be certain it's finished.
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Offline redrocker652002

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Re: Brewing less than 5 gallons
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2021, 11:29:00 am »
Which brings up another question I was going to post later.  This recipe says to slice up dried apricots and put it in the keg when you transfer the fermented beer into it.  Can I just move the fermented beer into a secondary fermenter put the apricots in a mesh bag and leave it in secondary and bottle say after 7 days?  If I like it, it is going to be another on my rather slim rotation, but I don't have enough bottles to do a 5 gallon batch. 

That would work, yes. If you want to save a step, you might consider just adding the apricots to the primary, and avoid the transfer. I normally add fruit to primary, because it reduces work, oxidation, and infection potential.

Awesome, I will do that instead.  I like not having to clean too much stuff.  LOL.  Then bottle in a week or so, right?  That is what the instructions said anyway.

Maybe a week, maybe not.  You'll need to do a gravity check before bottling to be certain it's finished.

Got it, I was thinking that was going to be the case.  Thanks. 

Offline kgs

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Re: Brewing less than 5 gallons
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2021, 12:06:44 pm »
And if you decide that for whatever reason you like producing smaller batches (testing out new recipes, less lifting, etc.), keep in mind you can buy 3-gallon kegs. I never brew more than 3 gallons.
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Offline redrocker652002

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Re: Brewing less than 5 gallons
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2021, 12:08:15 pm »
And if you decide that for whatever reason you like producing smaller batches (testing out new recipes, less lifting, etc.), keep in mind you can buy 3-gallon kegs. I never brew more than 3 gallons.

I was thinking about that.  Was going to check dimensions and see if I can fit my 5 and 3 gallon in my kegerator.  LOL. 

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Brewing less than 5 gallons
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2021, 07:15:55 pm »
And if you decide that for whatever reason you like producing smaller batches (testing out new recipes, less lifting, etc.), keep in mind you can buy 3-gallon kegs. I never brew more than 3 gallons.

Kegs seem to be getting a little more expensive these days but for a while you could find great deals on three gallon corny kegs. I generally keg beer in three gallon kegs. I have a couple five gallon kegs but one is used for carbonated water (which I go through every few days) and one I've put to use as a fermentation vessel. I have no problem kegging into larger vessels but the three gallon kegs are way easier to move around and stack.

Also, no issue fermenting less than five gallons in a five gallon or larger bucket. I've fermented plenty of two gallon batches in a 7.9 gallon bucket and done as little as one gallon in that bucket.
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