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AG in a apartment

So 5 years ago I was a AG brewing fool. New job, relocation, went from a house to an apartment, AG brewing no longer possible, I did a few extract batches and then gave up on brewing. Anyway you just can’t keep a homebrewer down, I have recently started brewin again, NB’s extract kits which have been quite nice. I then decided to take another look at how I can do AG in my apartment and realized I don’t have to do 6 gallon batches I can brew 5 gallon batches and I can brew stonger and top off with water to hit OG’s. So I’m kind of pumped right now, dusting off my batch sparge formulas and going over mash tun designs in my head, I’ll keep ya updated.

don’t ever let “the man” get ya down!

No need to reinvent the wheel. I only do small (2.5-3.5 gallon) AG batches in the kitchen.


Yeah, totally do 3 gallon batches. I do 4 gallon batches on my electric stove, only because the stove is a beast and can boil 5.5 gallons no problem. It’s nice to brew inside where there are no bugs and crap in the air.

What? What does living in and an apartment have to do with it? Brew outside …lol. More work yes, but still possible.

Second floor apartment, and no open flame rules, put a damper on outdoor brewing, plus nosey neighbors. My stove will boil 4 gallons easy so I’ll just do four gallon boils adust OG for top off water and call it good.

Note: I am not a lawyer. :wink:

I inquired about brewing when I moved into an apartment 4 years ago. The manager didn’t know what to think. Other than “does it stink?”

She said to ask the fire department. I spoke with the guys at one of the houses and the Inspector. They classify a turkey fryer the same as a gas grill. As the complex allows gas grills they didn’t see a problem with the turkey fryer.

Of course the fryer being used for beer is safer than for turkeys as wort extinguishes the flame. That was their main concern, an oil fire.

IF you look into it further and are able to brew outside, be sure to protect your below neighbors from boil overs. The auto parts stores carry large drip trays to put under your car.

I have none done “brew in a bag” personally, but I think a lot of people have a great deal of success doing this - might be something worth looking into and trying with more limited space.

  1. renters insurance.

  2. read the fine print, even if manager says ok to do, verbals mean nothing

  3. my common sense circuit starts lighting up when thoughts of a boil over happen over someone else’s deck (persons & personal property coated in sticky boiling liquid), i vote for inside batches and keeping it small for now

  4. the apartments i lived in always had bratty urchins running around, if your out in a courtyard or common area with a fryer, best have another person there to tend it while you have to run back in the apartment for that thing you forgot

good luck

when I lived in an apartment, I also rented a garage stall. I was lucky enough to snag one that was in the back facing away from the complex. It had no lights or electricity, but I regularly used it for various projects.

But with that said, I’d go for on the stove, smaller batches.

I do 5 gallon AG batches as well in my apartment. I find BIAB and split boils to work best on my set up. I also split my laundry water supply line to run my wort chiller being that I don’t have access to an outdoor hose outlet. Its a little tight, and needs to be well planned, but once I get going its highly satisfying to be able to do AG…


I have a question about your instructions. You recommend multiplying a recipe by .60 to adjust for the smaller batch size. Does that equation apply to the hops as well?


+1 one on the smaller batches. I did the whole smaller boils then topping off thing for a while. I switched to smaller batches with full boils and my beer comes out much better and far more consistent. I usually do 3 to 4 gallon batches.

One of these really helps get my boil going:

Good luck :cheers:


I have a question about your instructions. You recommend multiplying a recipe by .60 to adjust for the smaller batch size. Does that equation apply to the hops as well?

Yes everything is scaled.

I’ve prefer a cooler MLT for indoor use, in my experience BIAB just represents a little more potential for a mess. If you don’t have the room for a 5gal round cooler though, BIAB does represent the absolute smallest footprint as far as storage is concerned. One pot, one bag, very compact and certainly inexpensive.

Yes, I do just as tom said above: hops, grain, adjuncts all get the 0.6 action to scale down. Very easy and convenient.

Oh, and you really don’t need too much additional room for the 5 gallon cooler-tun storage…mine fits inside my 5 gallon boil pot and gets put up on a shelf.


Thanks guys. I picked up a cooler yesterday. Now I just have to replace the spout as described in the link above.

I’m excited to give this a try!

Spring, summer and fall outside 10 gal AG
Winter inside 3 gal AG

I tell my wife that it means I “have to” brew more often to keep my production up.

I did 5 gallon extract brews for years in a small apartment, and even switched to full-wort AG batches before I moved to a house. The toughest things for me were always storage space and also the stovetop boil. The wife had to give up a lot of her closet space to support me, and later even accepted the mini-fridge fermentation chamber in the dining room :smiley: .

I started out on the cheap, with a big ceramic-on-steel pot (this was in the days when people still thought aluminum was strictly verboten), with a footprint big enough to span 2 burners, and later bought a couple 4-gallon pots like these: ... A-10493636

so I could split the boil across even more burners. If I were doing it over I might just start with these and split the boil.

It worked OK on 2 different unremarkable stoves–one gas and the other electric. Took a long time to reach boiling, but it did the job.

Also, I had a wort chiller that could be clamped around just about any spigot, so I ran it from the kitchen faucet and discharged into the sink. I’m quite sure one could mod a chiller with garden-hose fittings to make that work if he didn’t mind chopping it up a bit.

The downside was that the wife couldn’t stand the condo smelling like, well…a brewery, on brewdays, and it also got hot as hell in the kitchen.

Good luck!

Out door brewing is out of the question, deck is to dangerous and no other place to set up a burner. Even if I had a garage I wouldn’t want to tote stuff up and down the stairs, I can just imagine all the questions I’d get from management. I have a plan will let you know how it worked in a few weeks.

I’ve been brewing three gallon batches in the kitchen for years. When we remodled the kitchen several years ago my wife said to get a stove with an over sized burner for brewing.

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