So, if I am asking a stupid question please say so, do any of these online tools offer suggestions on ingredients to start with based on your type of brew? I really want to start making my own stuff, but am still not sure what ingredients bring what to the table. Or is it truly just a try and note what you did type of thing? I am thinking of doing smaller batches, maybe two or three gallons, and noting my ingredients and then converting the ones I like to 5 gallon batches, but maybe I am off base here. Any info, be it here or in another message would be most helpful. RR
there is something for 5 gallon batches, where you will be able to consume the beer over a longer period of time and learn a fair bit about how homebrewed beer ages for good and for bad. i used to brew 3 or 3.5 gallon sizes and there was often a pressure to move stong along the pipeline because i was running out of one beer.
brewing a 5-6gallon batch over a 2 or 3 gallon batch gets better bang for buck as well since you still just use need one yeast pack and usually i find the standard size equipment to be cheaper or the same price as smaller but less common sized stuff (2, 3 gallon carboys).
Full disclosure: I keg 2.5 gallons at a time and can’t ever see moving to 5 or more.
I get what you’re saying about brewing 5 gallon batches and you make some good points. But there are a ton of equally persuasive arguments that can be made for small batch brewing. I won’t list them all because I’m too lazy, but any google of “small batch home brew” will likely lead to a myriad of answers.
All I’m saying is, don’t knock small batch brewing, whether it’s 1 gallon or 2.5 gallon or whatever. Not that you were really knocking it, I suppose.
Brewer’s choice. There are many ways to brew and each brewer needs to find what works best for them.
Chiming in late to agree with this perspective. If 5 gallon batches are what you enjoy brewing, then go for it. But what we call small batch brewing (which is pretty funny when you consider we are discussing 2.5 gallons as "small") has its fans, and especially as a newer brewer, being able to brew more often is a great way to learn. You get that muscle memory from the process steps (particularly timing and sanitation) and you do not have to pretend you are enjoying 5 gallons of something that didn't turn out well. It is also just mentally easier to dump a smaller batch than a large batch. And for me as a 3-gallon brewer, other than the pulley I recently installed to lift the malt pipe from my Mash & Brew (whew, big help!), I can move the grain and liquid throughout the process without assistance. As for the cost of equipment, I don't care if a 3-gallon keg is close to the cost of a 5-gallon keg because I don't need a 5-gallon keg. I have small feet but I don't get a discount for my shoe size, and buying larger shoes isn't a better deal for me.
My own entirely unproven and unresearched hypothesis is that one way to grow the homebrewing community and make it more more diverse might be to clearly message that there is no "standard" brew size.
But meanwhile... I've used a variety of tools for building recipes and my big tip is whatever you do, take good notes.