Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

1-gallon brew questions/issues

I received the 1-gallon kit for my birthday a few months back and have had two brew sessions both turning out some pretty good beer. However, I have these two issues every time (brewed 4 times now, 2 are fermenting now) and was hoping for some guidance from the pros here.

  1. I always have an issue with the fermentation causing foam to be pushed through the top of the carboy and into the airlock. Now, it doesn’t pour out to where I feel I need to move it into a sink/tub, but each time enough goes through to where it drops down the side a bit and requires me to remove it, wash it, sanitize it and replace it.

What am I doing wrong? Why does this happen each time regardless of the recipe? I cool the wort to 60-70, add half the yeast and place it in a spot that hovers around 65 degrees.

  1. I start with 1.25 gallons, but I am always below 1 gallon after brewing and cooldown giving me, maybe, 8 bottled beers. Is this normal? Can I add water during or after the boil without changing the beer or introducing bacteria? The first time I thought maybe I had too much of a roaring boil, since then I have turned it down a bit but that hasn’t changed the result.

A gallon of beer, I would expect 10x12oz bottles. Why am I losing 2-3 bottles while I brew?

I ordered 3 more 1-gallon kits along with the 4 more 1-gallon carboys I got for Xmas, need to figure what I’m doing wrong.

Thanks :cheers:

I, too, had started with one gallon batches so let me give you some advice to get rid of the headaches.

The one gallon carboy does not allow much space for fermentation so you will ALWAYS have stuff bubbling into the airlock and the best way to remedy this is replace the airlock with a blow-off tube. If you have a homebrew store you can get them there. Get a few feet of tubing, sanitize it, stick it in the hole of the plastic cap on the carboy, then place the other end in a bucket of clean water or sanitizer. You may have to replace the water in the bucket every once in awhile but after active fermentation is complete, usually after a couple days, you can put a regular airlock on the carboy.

Getting one gallon of wort after a boil is about getting to know your equipment and how it works. Best way to get this is boil some water for 60 minutes and notice how much you lose due to boil. Add that amount plus one gallon to get your target amount. I always lose one gallon in boils so I always make two gallons of wort before my boil.

Getting 8 bottle of beers in one gallon batches is not bad and is pretty normal. You have to consider trub, (byproduct of fermention, boils, etc) and equipment loss will affect how much beer you will actually get. If you want a little more beer just add more water before you boil.

You will eventually upgrade to bigger equipment cause 1 gallon is just not enough to appreciate the work that goes into the beer. I brew 2-3 gallon batches and that seems to be the right amount for me to try stuff and give a few bottles away. I use 1 gallon batches for experimental batches.

All good advice above, I would just add that in addition to boil evaporation loss, wort volume will shrink approximately 4% while cooling.

I started brewing my gal batches in two gal plastic buckets, because I had the same problem you did. It worked well for some hard cider batches I did because I could ferment 1 1/2 gal in the primary and transfer to my glass jug as a secondary and leave minimal headspace.

I don’t think I have ever got 10 bottles from a 1 gallon batch of beer, always 8 or 9.

Thanks for the replies, I’m a little bummed that the 1-gallon kit requires extra space to allow for a blowout tube. Minimal space usage was a selling point for me. Though, each time it’s overflows just a little, so a tube going into a small cup of water might do the trick and not take up too much space.

I’m new to this but seems like most people don’t like doing one-gallon batches. Right now I have 3 different beers going. Maybe I’ll expand to 2-3 gallon, but I’m still at the “buying a pre-made recipe” stage and I never see 2-3 gallon kits, just 5 (hard to find 1-gallon kits, need to look in how to convert 5-gallon recipes to 1-gallon, hoping its as easy as doing some basic math).

[quote=“Quick”]I’m a little bummed that the 1-gallon kit requires extra space to allow for a blowout[/quote]It’s nearly impossible to ferment a given batch size in the same size container, most 5 gallon equipment kits come with 6.5 fermenters to contain the krausen formed during fermentation, even then you can sometimes get a blow off. NB sells a 2 gallon bucket that will hold your gallon batch just fine, probably wont even blow.

[quote=“Quick”]Maybe I’ll expand to 2-3 gallon, but I’m still at the “buying a pre-made recipe” stage and I never see 2-3 gallon kits, just 5 (hard to find 1-gallon kits, need to look in how to convert 5-gallon recipes to 1-gallon, hoping its as easy as doing some basic math).[/quote]It really is just simple math. Dividing the ingredients of a 5 gallon recipe by 5 should get you in the ballpark for a gallon batch, may need to do some trials to get it where you like.

I agree with Glug. It is what it is. 1 gal in 1gal fermenter= blow off. No way around that. That equates to a loss of beer. I don’t know why they don’t use the 2 gal plastic fermenter in the kit…
I would highly suggest looking into bigger batches, esp if you the beer you are making. 1 gal = the same amount of time for 5gal.

[quote=“Loopie Beer”]I agree with Glug. It is what it is. 1 gal in 1gal fermenter= blow off. No way around that. That equates to a loss of beer. I don’t know why they don’t use the 2 gal plastic fermenter in the kit…
I would highly suggest looking into bigger batches, esp if you the beer you are making. 1 gal = the same amount of time for 5gal.[/quote]

The kit from Northern Brewer only came with a 1-gallon glass jug, so not sure what you mean by the 2 gallon “in the kit”. I’m using what is provided.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/brew ... r-kit.html

I accept the fact it will have blow off and will plan accordingly and have already purchased tubing to use, I’m just saying if this is to be expected each time for this specific kit, I’m surprised the kit didn’t come with what was needed to deal with it.

I appreciate your suggestion, but I’m doing what works for me now. I enjoy 1-gallon, I don’t want a lot of beer nor do I have much space for what is needed for larger batches right now. One day I might look into going bigger, but for now, I’m enjoying making small batches for myself and my wife.

You need this for your gallon kits:

And the lid

Thanks for the link Glug.

Quick- I’m also new to homebrewing and I feel the same way you do. I really have my doubts about making 5 gallons at a time. Space isn’t really an issue but I’m the only one that drinks my beer. I’m single and most of my friends don’t drink beer. I also like some variety and don’t need 9 or so 6 packs every time I want to brew.

I’m probably going to just cut 5 gal. kits in half and brew 2-1/2 gal. batches. Just having fun for now and getting the procedures down while trying to get advice and knowledge from the forum.

Happy New Year! :cheers:

you can do that very easily. Simply by a five gallon kit qnd divide Iit in half. I would also recommend going with a 3 gal fermenter.

I also started with the 1 gallon kit. It didn’t take long for me to catch the fever though and I was quick to move up to 5 gal.
I urge anyone who is enjoying brewing to just suck it up and go for the 5 gallons. It’s the roughly same amount of work, effort and time to do 5 gal as opposed to 1.
Yeah space may be a little tricky; for me it has caused several arguments with the GF, but she shuts her mouth when I put a beer in it.
The yield however is a huge plus, it’s hard to have too much beer laying around.
I actually have a really hard time keeping brews on the ready because they tend to go pretty fast and finding all the time to brew is not always the easy part.

Anyway, keep having fun, but I doubt you’d be sad to move up to 5 gal.

[quote=“sammysam”]for me it has caused several arguments with the GF, but she shuts her mouth when I put a beer in it.[/quote]++ :cheers:

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com