Author Topic: carboy size and small batches  (Read 18991 times)

Offline rleazer

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carboy size and small batches
« on: January 04, 2013, 02:37:51 PM »
hello!

i am a new homebrewer and am thinking of doing some small 1-2 gallon batches.  2 questions:  can i use my 6.5 gal glass carboy for a 1-2 gallon batch for primary fermentation with that much headspace? Also, can I pitch a whole standard size yeast smack pack (wyeast)  (5gal size) for 1-2 gallons or do i need to measure it out and split it up?

thanks!
r

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: carboy size and small batches
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2013, 03:51:54 PM »
That much head space shouldn't be a concern in the primary, but it would in the secondary (which many on this forum skip anyway).

I've done a few small batches and I found them to be more trouble than what they were worth. You're going to spend the same amount of time and effort for a fraction of the beer, and that little bit that gets left behind in the bottle bucket will look larger when it came from a small batch.

I have seen three gallon glass carboys for sale. I considered getting a couple for a batch of blackberry wine, but it was cheaper to buy more blackberries than the equipment. If you really want to do small batches, that might be a way to go. Then again if you're going to spend more money on equipment, I'd direct it towards going all-grain (I'm assuming you're an extract brewer).

Good luck!
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline rleazer

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Re: carboy size and small batches
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2013, 04:15:00 PM »
hey dude,

i know what you mean on most of what you just mentioned.  though I'm planning on doing partial mash for a couple of experiments and i thought less water to boil would ease the process a bit.  and i live in a hobbit hole as it is.

what about the yeast situation?  if i did something as small as a gallon would I need to at least split the yeast in half?

thanks!

KernelCrush

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Re: carboy size and small batches
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2013, 04:30:37 PM »
I was just gifted a 3 G carboy along with several 5's from a neighbor who is moving.  Dont have much use for any of them.  Will give you the 3 G no charge.  I pack it up.  you pay shipping.  PM your address if you want it.  yeast depends on gravity, age, volume.  You may want to use dry yeast for small batches.  No sense wasting liquid yeast by not needing a whole pack or vial.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 02:15:33 AM by KernelCrush »

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: carboy size and small batches
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2013, 07:02:17 PM »
Quote
though I'm planning on doing partial mash for a couple of experiments and i thought less water to boil would ease the process a bit.  and i live in a hobbit hole as it is.

I was sharing a studio at the time I made those small batches that I mentioned, and I happened to be transitioning from extract to all grain. I totally understand. They were a helpful learning experience. Go with it. What's the worst that could happen?
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline rleazer

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Re: carboy size and small batches
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2013, 08:46:04 AM »
kernel crush!

thanks for the offer but i'm actually planning on brewing today and I my neighborhood brewshop has decent prices.  i recommend you gift it to a new brewer who needs it more.  thanks though!

r

Offline dantesbrewery

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Re: carboy size and small batches
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2013, 07:58:42 PM »
Coming in a little late...

I've been brewing 11 litre (3 gal) batches for years. Lately it's been 8-9 litre (@2-2.5 gal) as it works well for BIAB in a 5 gallon pot with a 5 gal nylon paint strainer bag.

Sell off the 6.5 gal (25 litre) carboy and invest in some 11 litre (3 gallon) carboys. You find 2.5 gal (1/2 height 5 gal) carboys but I find those don't' siphon as easily as the 11 litre (3 gal) carboys. Most wine making shops tend to supply 11 litre (3 gal) carboys more than homebrew shops as they are often the right size for many wine kits.

3 gallon patches also work well with liquid yeast without overdoing it. For anything less, use dry yeast.