Concentrated Brewing

I am very much a newbie when it comes to brewing. I have three successful brews under my belt with my 1 gallon brew setup. I would like to go to the next level and try a five gallon brew, but don’t, necessarily, want to buy all the equipment that would be required. What I would like to do is purchase the fermenting equipment for a five gallon batch, but start off the batch by doing more of a concentrated wort. Basically, starting a five gallon batch in a one and half gallon pot, then just add more water to the fermenter once the wort is ready.

Does anyone see any pitfalls to this idea, or is this feasible?

The small boil amount would have a very concentrated wort, high SG. This would reduce hop oil isomerization, lessening the effect of your hop bittering and flavoring additions. Beer would also end up being much darker than intended with increased Maillard Reaction in the concentrated wort.

I bought a 5.5 gallon clad kettle at Walmart for brewing, cost $62. I also use it in the kitchen for cooking. Not solely a brewing related cost.

I started with a 5 gallon soup pot from Walmart. I think it cost about $25. Worked great for 5 gallon partial boils. I now do 5 gallon biab and use this pot for my dunk sparge. A small investment that has been, and continues to be, very useful.



Yeah, you’ll be seriously lessening your quality if you do that concentrated of a boil. Like the other guys have said, pick up a cheap stock pot and do brew in a bag/partial mash batches. Pick up a bucket and an auto siphon. You’ll make off for fairly cheap.

Thank you all for the insight.

I am generally not a hoppy guy, so I usually go toward the more malty, smooth style beers.

Would this method work well with that, considering I don’t like using much in the way of hops?

Hop bitterness could be less perceived with a concentrated boil, but the risk of burning the wort is greater.