Author Topic: Brew less than 5gallons?  (Read 474 times)

Offline vermont802

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Brew less than 5gallons?
« on: November 28, 2010, 01:53:42 PM »
I've brewed a few batches now and am wondering if its possible to brew less than 5 gallons say maybe 2.5? and if so would if just be alter the recipe accordingly by half?

The reason I ask is some people I have talked to have said you cant brew beer under 5 gallons because of the processes it goes through needing that much, however with all the reading I have done I have never come across anything about not being able to brew less than 5 gallons. I want to be able to brew more to experiment and having around 4 dozen bottles to go through before I can brew again takes some time.

Offline beerocd

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Re: Brew less than 5gallons?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2010, 02:00:10 PM »
Mr.Beer

You can use those kegs, or the Gallo wine jugs. It's just the effort is not that much different for 2 or 5 or 10 gallons. Which is why (IMO) people tend to go up in batch size to get the most out of their time investment. You can stow away the bottles if they get monotonous and revisit them next year.

Check craigslist for bottles. Always someone giving em away.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Brew less than 5gallons?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2010, 05:56:13 PM »
Welcome to the forum! You might find this thread interesting.

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=4701.0
Keith Y.
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Offline beerocd

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Re: Brew less than 5gallons?
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2010, 06:28:30 PM »
FYI: 5 gallons IS a small batch. Wink

Good call I forgot about that thread. I also failed to notice post count. Welcome!
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Offline vermont802

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Re: Brew less than 5gallons?
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2010, 09:10:01 PM »
Thanks for the feedback and especially the link to a past forum post!

I prefer to make 5 gallons but sometimes the beer doesn't turn out great and its hard to have to waste so much, so hopefully with a smaller batch I can make more batches at once and experiment more!

Thanks

Offline richardt

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Re: Brew less than 5gallons?
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2010, 07:52:50 AM »
If the beers are not turning out so great, then look at your sanitation processes.
You may need to replace some of the vinyl plastic tubing if they're contaminated--they're like contact lenses and sponges--they get dirty, are hard to clean/sanitize well, and don't last forever.  Most of us replace them yearly.

Also, consider fermentation temps and your yeast (dry versus liquid).

Offline jeffy

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Re: Brew less than 5gallons?
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2010, 08:29:32 AM »
If the beers are not turning out so great, then look at your sanitation processes.
You may need to replace some of the vinyl plastic tubing if they're contaminated--they're like contact lenses and sponges--they get dirty, are hard to clean/sanitize well, and don't last forever.  Most of us replace them yearly.

Also, consider fermentation temps and your yeast (dry versus liquid).

On the other hand, adamwhite may just be experimenting with different ingredients and processes as a newer brewer and hasn't made all the connections yet.  Too much crsytal malt or malto dextrine or the wrong hops for the style or too much mugwort something.
There is a guy in our club who makes one-gallon batches of beer and cider all the time and is constantly experimenting with archaic or historic styles.  He seems to do well and has a lot of fun with it, although he doesn't have enough to share very often.
I see no problem with making small batches and splitting sachets of dry yeast.  Small jugs have the added advantage of fitting into a regular refrigerator for fermentation temperature control. 
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline richardt

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Re: Brew less than 5gallons?
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2010, 09:01:02 AM »
No worries.  Just brainstorming possibilities for adamwhite to consider--we're all here to help.

Offline vermont802

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Re: Brew less than 5gallons?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2010, 09:14:06 AM »
I haven't experimented yet. All my batches have been by the recipe I got from the local homebrew supply store and got the correct ingrediants there as well. My pale ale turned out good but my american ipa had a strong bitter taste to it almost a vinager hint of taste to it.

Offline jeffy

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Re: Brew less than 5gallons?
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2010, 09:24:47 AM »
I haven't experimented yet. All my batches have been by the recipe I got from the local homebrew supply store and got the correct ingrediants there as well. My pale ale turned out good but my american ipa had a strong bitter taste to it almost a vinager hint of taste to it.

Vinegar taste is a pretty sure sign of an acetic infection.  In that case, richardt's advice about sanitation is spot on. 
IPA's a supposed to have a strong bitter taste, so no problem there. ;)
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995