1 Gallon Batch Questions

Hi All,

I just got the 1 gallon batch kit as a gift with the Irish Red Ale recipe and the Boubon Barrel Porter. And I’ve never brewed before so I had a couple of questions before I start:

  1. Yeast starter - I know this is probably a good idea to do, and the 1 gallon kit comes with the dry yeast (not the liquid yeast). I was looking at the Fermenter’s Favorites™ Yeast Starter Kit - 1000 ml, but the directions call for 650ml water and 1/2 cup of the DME. This seems a lot for a 1 gallon batch. It also is for the liquid yeast (“smack pack”). My question to make a a yeast starter for the 1 gallon batch, what would be a good volume to make and does it matter that I have the dry yeast? Or is it better just to stick with the directions and pitch the dry yeast into the primary 1 gallon fermenter?

  2. Blow-off - I’ve heard that the fermentation can be quite vigorous with the Irish Red and specifically the Bourbon Barrel Porter. I plan on doing the blow-off tubing from the primary, but I was wondering about the Fermcap-S 1 oz? It seems to have helped people with the blow-off. Will this contribute to any “off” flavor considering its a smaller batch size from the normal 5 gallon kits?

Thanks all, and I’m looking forward to making my first batch!

It’s not recommended or necessary to build a starter for dry yeast.

I’ve never used ferm cap but for 1 gal batches it’s probably not a bad idea. There’s so little headspace in the jug that you’re very likely to lose beer/yeast even if you use a blow off hose. One thing you can do to help alleviate the blow off is control fermentation temperature. If you have a cooler or something you can use for a swamp cooler and keep the fermentation temp in low to mid 60s you’ll have better beer and a better shot at avoiding a blow off.

Good luck and have fun!

I agree with Danny, don’t worry about using a starter for a one gallon kit. Just sprinkle half the package onto the top of the wort AFTER it has fully cooled to fermentation temperature.
Also agree you should keep the temperature down to minimize the risk of blowoff, but in addition you should ferment in a 2 gallon bucket.
I have no idea why NB provides 1 gallon jugs for their 1 gallon set ups. That is just asking for trouble. almost every new brewer who gets these has the same problem with it.

I would just pitch the dry yeast right into the jug. No need to make a starter.

But, in the future, when you do decide to make starters (because face it, soon you’ll be making 5 gallon batches and kegging in your fancy kegerator, lol), use the following calculator:

http://www.brewersfriend.com/yeast-pitc ... alculator/

Playing around with that calculator, there’s pretty much never a need for a starter for a 1 gallon batch unless you’re using liquid yeast that is REAAAALY old (3+ months). You’re definitely good with dry yeast.

If you’ve got an unused bathtub or deep laundry sink, you can use that for a swamp cooler. Fill with water up to the level of the beer in your fermentor and add frozen bottles of water(to the water in the tub). Monitor the temp of the bath water and try to keep it at or a couple of degrees below your target ferm temp. I have no trouble keeping 5 gallons at 55* while fermenting this way (I use a laundry sink). A one gallon batch would be a little easier, you could even just use a big 5 or 10 gallon plastic tub. Try to keep both these beers fermenting in the low 60’s and you’ll be fine.

+1 to Templar. If these turn out good (and I’m sure they will) you’ll be doing 5 gallon batches soon.

Best of luck, it’s an addicting hobby.



The Fermcap-s is kind of a controversial item. It works for its intended purpose but the FDA says it should only be used when the beer will be filtered. The silicon can possibly cause kidney problems so they say. If you are going to use it only use the recommended amount and no more. I have used it in the boil to control the hot break and it works awesome. After seeing the caution I won’t use it anymore.