1 gal vs 5 gal fermentor Question

I am currently fermenting my first batch of beer. 5 gallons of a red IPA. In an effort to try more recipes and not risk ruining large batches of beer (fingers crossed this first batch is alright), I have thought about doing small batches.

Can I use my 6-gal and 5-gal carboys for 1-gal and 2-gal recipes? Or do I need to buy 1-gal equipment as well? I’ve had different people at a local brew shop tell me yes and no.

Thanks for any help you guys can provide. Looking forward to finally getting into homebrewing.

It would be better to ferment with less head space. This would also make handling/temperature control easier due to the smaller size. I have gotten small frosting buckets from the grocery store that have a volume of 2.25 gallons. The bucket lids have a removable o-ring type seal which would eliminate any air leaks, or CO2 leaks. All you would need to do is drill a hole for the air lock grommet. The buckets cost me $0.50 apiece.

I’ve done 2 gallons of hard cider in a regular fermenter bucket. Not ideal but it worked.

It will work, but expect a lot of loss in a 5-6gal carboy. The surface area of the bottom will make it very difficult to get the beer out. I’m with Flats, get a 2gal bucket.

It can work, but I’d bet once you taste your 1st beer, you will be doing MANY more 5 gl batches. Plan for the worst, hope for the best…as it goes, but I’d bet your beer is fine