Currently I am making 1.7 to 2-gallon batches (1/3 of a standard 5-gallon recipe), BIAB, in my kitchen on the stove. I do not own a propane burner setup and probably never will. I also do not own a chiller and won’t buy one, opting instead to just chill in the kettle in a cold water bath. I have a 4-gallon kettle that works great for both mash and boil, and also a smaller 2(?)-gallon kettle that I use on the side for heating sparge water, etc. Yes, I rinse-sparge my bag – I never squeeze it. I set a colander over a plastic bucket to drain the mash, then dunk the bag again, then pour the dunk-sparge over the colander. Then I transfer the whole lot back into the kettle. This reduces particulate in the boil. I ferment in 3-gallon glass carboys.
About once per year I make a full 5 or 6-gallon batch, which this year is happening TODAY. On these occasions, I do have a Dennybrew-style cooler mash tun that I use instead of BIAB. I bring out 4 of the largest kitchen pots and kettles that I have and I use all 4 burners for the sparge water and boil. It might sound crazy but I can tell you, it works just dandy.
I used plastic bucket fermenters for many years. However, I experienced so many oxidized or contaminated batches that I now advocate the use of glass. If I can find some 2-gallon glass carboys, I’ll get some eventually. However the 3-gallon ones do work just great.
For temperature control, again, I’m a cheapskate. I use mother nature. Right now for my porter I think I will ferment in the basement with a blanket. Basement is about 56 F or thereabouts, and with a blanket to hold some heat in, I’m sure I can get into the low 60s. Perfect. There is always a good natural solution around my house. If I wanted to make lagers, I could use a wet t-shirt and fan to bring the temperature down to about 52 F or so. I suppose I am very “lucky” to have a poorly insulated home in Wisconsin!