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Mini Brews - Scaling Down For Experimentation

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troyedwards

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I am currently doing BIAB at 23L knockout.

I want to experiment with brews.

My first option is to make 23L and split it between x amount of vessels for fermentation with different yeasts and dry hopping profiles etc and then bottle. In this option how much yeast should I use for a smaller batch? Still the whole packet of dry yeast and a full Wyeast pack?

The second (and more appealing) option is to make adjustments to the grain bill. So therefore I can scale it back to 5L batches on beer smith. Will this provide a good enough sample of the beer to bottle?
 

adryargument

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I am currently doing BIAB at 23L knockout.

I want to experiment with brews.

My first option is to make 23L and split it between x amount of vessels for fermentation with different yeasts and dry hopping profiles etc and then bottle. In this option how much yeast should I use for a smaller batch? Still the whole packet of dry yeast and a full Wyeast pack?

The second (and more appealing) option is to make adjustments to the grain bill. So therefore I can scale it back to 5L batches on beer smith. Will this provide a good enough sample of the beer to bottle?
I do a 60L brew and drop it into 3 fermenters and use different yeasts / dry hop.
Simply split your correct amount of yeast for your 23L evenly into the smaller fermenters you end up using.
 

mxd

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23 ltrs is a mini batch, you just need to drink more :)

Both options will work, as for the yeast you can use a yeast calculator (e.g http://www.mrmalty.com) to assist with you calculations.

Another option

do the 30 ltr mash (or what ever you do for 23 ltrs),

then seperate into different pots for the Boil/hop additions, then use the same yeast
 

troyedwards

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23 ltrs is a mini batch, you just need to drink more :)

Both options will work, as for the yeast you can use a yeast calculator (e.g http://www.mrmalty.com) to assist with you calculations.

Another option

do the 30 ltr mash (or what ever you do for 23 ltrs),

then seperate into different pots for the Boil/hop additions, then use the same yeast
I see, I see.... There are plenty of ways to skin a cat :)

Thanks y'all
 

drsmurto

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I do 10L batches and plan on doing some 5L batches next year. I have a number of 5 and 10L 'cubes' to be able to cold condition/lager in.

I have a 15L water 'esky' cooler, a 30L pot i use for decoctions or an 18L stockpot rather than using the 55L esky and 50L kettle.

Not that difficult although with the much smaller mash size you need to find a better way of maintaining mash temp - much smaller thermal mass means the temperature drops much quicker. Pre-heating plus wrapping in an old sleeping bag is ok for 10L batches in the 15L cooler (1C drop over the first 20 mins). For 5L batches i will use a stockpot for a mashtun and put it in the oven to keep it at temperature.

Scale your yeast down by the same amount as the volume.
 

Jazzafish

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Agree with DrSmurto about mash tun and temp loss.

I have done some small BIAB batches on a stove top to experiment or try different ideas. Was alright if the experiment was a fail because I didn't waste any ingredients, just some time. That said if I liked the result, there was never enough! These days I'm short on time so just punch out a full batch and cop it sweet if it isn't quite what I was after. Just make notes and tweak it if I rebrew.

Still use the stove top BIAB for starter wort. Need to apply heat periodically to maintain heat.
 

Tex083

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I have only done 3 AG brews all using my 19L Stockpot from BigW
I have a total vol of around 13L and it fits nicely in a 10L Willow Jerry.
I chose to do it this way to make more beers, not lots of one beer. Its the same amount of work for a smaller gain but I enjoy the brewing process. I use a camping mat for insulation on the mash tun and loose 2-3 degrees over the 60 mins.
 

kevo

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After having made 5L batches for a while thinking that I didn't have space & time to manage bigger brews I found I ended up really frustrated at the time I spent making such a small amount of beer.

The time difference since doubling or tripling my batch size has been negligible - make bigger batches, experiment more...

There is little difference in terms of time (and space) to brew batches bigger than 5L

Kev
 

Thirsty Boy

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The thing with small batches is you can knock em out in your kitchen, and the size is actually manageble with kitchen equipment and no unweildy compromises.

It might seem a lot of work to make 5 or 10L of beer... but really, how much work is brewing a batch? Its mostly waiting around, and if you are in your kitchen, things aren't massive in size and easy to manage, you can knowck out a batch while you balance the chequebook. Or like today, watch the cricket.

A 10L pot, mash it in, whack it in a an oven you have pre-heated and then turned off so you dont lose any heat... wander off for an hour. Pull bag and it'll be up to the boil in 5 mins on just a single stove burner.... wander away for an hour. Top it up to volume/gravity or whatever with water from the kettle and then stick it in a sinkful of water to chill down, change the water a few times over the next hour, tip it into a little fermenter and sprinkle in half a packet of yeast.

4 hours from start to pitch and you'll actually have spent only around half an hour of actual work on the brew - in the meantime you've walked the dog, mowed the lawn and made naughty with your other half. Great way to get yourself 5-6L (remember thats more than a dozen stubbies) of trial beer, have a little fun and get to brew when otherwise you might not have the time.
 

Nick JD

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I often make 12L batches when I'm not too sure of an ingredient (mainly new (to me) yeasts and hops). In a 19L pot the technique to make 12L contains no "tricks" - it's your "standard" BIAB technique.

Makes 36 Stubbies. Seems like such a little amount in a FV (I use a cut-down jerry on the hump in my fermenting fridge, so it's using wasted space also) but it's a carton and a half.

Usually I make triples and IIPAs in small batches (9-12L) as it's better for my head and liver if there's only one or two 8% beers cold in the fridge. :huh:

I have a lot of time to brew, and enjoy the process - but can fully understand those with precious-little free time brewing 100L batches. That said, it'd fully suck to make 100L of dud beer.
 

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