Let me preface this
I will just post a response that article got and then my response to that. If anyone wants to respond there is a comment section below and I will happily talk about why I like one gallon brewing.
- The only problem is.. you end up with 8 pints.. for nearly the same amount of work.
- Might work for some people, but at the end of the day, why brew if you don't have enough to share with family and friends? Also, there is less room for error in smaller batches, e.g. more fluctuation of mash temps, more exacting measuring is required, caramelization may make more as there is much more surface area per gallon of wort, etc....
There are some things that you have to take into consideration when brewing one gallon batches. More precise measurements is one of them. Measure carefully, but you don't have to pull out the microscope to do it. For water I use a 1 quart measuring cup. I use a simple analog scale for my grain that I use at work for every other customer buying grain. I have a jeweler's scale (or a dealer's scale if you ask Amazon's "User's also bought:" list) for my hops. My oven's warm setting is at 160F and if I am mashing even as low as 148F, I don't see a significant rise in temps over 90 minutes (less than 0.5F). If you are using your 5-10 gallon kettle to boil your one gallon batch, then yes your boil off will be insane and you will caramelize the wort much quicker. As with anything though, the right tool for the job is required. I use a 3 gallon stainless kettle I bought from Walmart for under $10. The height to width ratio is comparable to my 7.5 gallon kettle (yes I still do 5 gallon batches from time to time, but most do 1 gallon).
- This article is insane. What type of crazy person spends that long brewing beer in such a small yield... AND THEN CAN'T GET RID OF IT?!
- I brew at least once a week and still cannot keep up with home much beer I drink. This is ridiculous.
- I can only laugh after reading this. I'm in the process of going towards 10 gallon batches instead of 5.
- When you make a great beer you only have 1 gallon of it! Possibly less if tested gravity. You spend nearly the same amount of time making 1 gallon as you would making 5 gallons.
Yes it is nearly the same amount of time, what difference does that make? It takes nearly the same amount of time to brew 30bbl of beer also. Still doing a mash and boil. I really don't understand this argument at all. I brew because I like to brew. If I get to do it twice a week I could spend $30 a batch to make 5 gallons at a time, or $5 to brew one gallon. I'm not going to drink 10 gallons in a week, but I want to brew more than once. So I drop my batch size. The time spent doing it isn't wasted, its spent doing a hobby that I love and am passionate about. If people want to clock themselves into their homebrewery and work while brewing and make a big deal about how much they are getting for the time, go ahead. I, on the other had, will just brew to brew and I don't need stacks of cases lining my house to still enjoy the hobby.
- So, how exactly does one all-grain at that scale? BIAB? Just mash in the boil kettle and remove the bag before boiling? A side note, for those worried about yeast costs: starters! You could do a bunch of small batches from one packet of yeast.
That is enough of a rant for this post. So the moral of the story is: brew to brew, whether it be 1 gallon or 1 bbl. I do highly suggest that people try out 1 gallon brewing if only for your craziest ideas. I could never have afforded my IIPA braggot recipes at a 5 gallon scale do to the massive amount of hops and honey. However, at 1 gallon I could do them and rebrew them when the time came and I wanted more. It also gives you a chance to play around with new ingredients. Any time when get something new to the store that I want to play with, I can without worrying about making 5 gallons of weird beer. My smoked porter, honestly tastes like I'm licking a fire pit and I have dumped both bottles I have opened. I will probably end up dumping most of the batch. Had that been 5 gallons it would have sucked. So go brew a 1 gallon test batch. Do some single hop IPA's with new hops to see what they taste like. Do a sahti, do a mead, do whatever sounds good. Want to put a bunch of juniper berries in an Irish Red, go for it.
We are in this hobby because we have fun doing it. So go have fun.