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Can Not Get Scale Right

Hi I currently work for a microbrewery in Manchester and have had a lot of success with brewing beers in casks of 9, 10 and 18 gallons. I run a website showing how to keep cask ale (
) so I like to think I know what im talking about

However I recently found I knew nothing when trying to do home brew, I started by buying the equipment and have spend a significant amount of money. Using my skills from brewing large scale brews I attempted to replicate this on a smaller scale however it never tastes any good.

Does any brewers that have done both have any advice on scaling down for me ?

Thanks in advance

have you tried the brew calculators? you could enter the ingredients for brewing a large batch beer and then scale down to whatever size you want. I believe it is called “switch grain” (at least in the one i use). It keeps the percentages of each ingredient the same for any size batch.
also, more info would be helpful to other brewer’s, like what do you mean by not tasting good? what equipment are you using? how do you create a recipe? etc…

I haven’t brewed anything industrial scale, but it is my understanding that the biggest difference between that process and homebrewing involves fermentation dynamics. Fermentation tank geometry, and it’s effect on pressure, temperature control and yeast suspension would be my first guess for what is going on.

To put it in the simplest terms, the small tank size for home brew means the yeast will perform differently, and you’ll need to give them significantly more time to complete fermentation and very importantly to clean-up after themselves. In a lower pressure environment, yeast will generate more off-flavor intermediate compounds, which they will further metabolize when the sugar concentration drops sufficiently, but they need time to do so.

How long are you giving your beers after pitching before you try them?

Thanks for getting back to me. I am using the Deluxe Brewing Starter Kit listed on this site with the glass carboys, this does help brew the beer well. I am fermenting between 2 - 3 weeks depending on strength. And there isnt anything specifically wrong with the beers however I am spending a lot of money on beer that doesn’t taste better than a normal beer from the supermarket. When I was brewing professionally I could brew a beer as hoppy as I liked or as malty however I have had some terrible bland beers and some horrible sharp beers that were undrinkable (a beer undrinkable almost a sin !)

Ill try the calculator you talked about and try to keep you posted, maybe more practice needed. How long did it take you to master the art in order to make beers that were better than you could buy ?

Thanks guy

Because you brew professionally, I had assumed you had water chemistry under control, but from your descriptions it sounds to me like water problems.

By the way, my beer is generally finished fermenting in 2-3 weeks (depending on style), but I don’t think they hit their stride for at least a couple weeks beyond that, and really strong beers can take quite a long time.

Homebrewing is quiet a bit different. Are you using extract or all grain? How are you monitoring ferm temps?

Hi again thank you, I monitor the temperature of the beer using a very expensive jacket, even with trade discount still cost 400 quid, this usually keeps the beer around 20 to 23 degrees I have experimented with this although this seems to be prefect.
Water chemistry was never really something I did so I’ll look into that thanks there were guys at the brewery that did nothing but chemistry side, sure I can call in favours.

Thanks again guys I’ll try a again maybe my know it all approach wasn’t the best


There is one problem. 20 to 23 is too warm for anything other than some Belgian yeasts. OK, maybe you can get away with some Brit yeasts at 20, but for most ales you want to keep in the range of 15-18. Lagers work best around 10.

Look into water chemistry though. If your beers are as good as what you can buy, but you want them to step up a notch, that will bring you there. Allows the hoppy beers to bite, and the malty ones to be rich and smooth.

@ Wrongside,

Sounds like you need to get to grips with your local water chemistry in the UK, you can get a water report from your local water authority, there are also simple salts which can be added to your water to Burtonize it to suit your needs.

Dave Line had some useful info on this in his old book “Brewing Beers like those you buy” after that I’d address Issues like attenuation, boil off and dead space when brewing in small batches these issues can have a disproportionate effect on the final outcome.

Finally brewing at a consistent fermentation temperature is difficult to set up for small batches of beer, many use a temperature controlled Fridge using an STC1000 temp controller, I can vouch that this works well as this is my approach.

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