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Reducing from 3 to 1 gallons

Hi all,

I’m thinking of doing an experimental apple ale recipe I found this weekend, but don’t really want to brew a 3 gallon batch of it. I’m rather new to straying from the recipe, so how does one reduce the grain bill when doing smaller batches? Does the yeast or hops get reduced to for a smaller batch like that?

I’m guessing this would count too for messing with a potential 5 gallon recipe some day - decreasing it to 3 or even 1 gallon. For context - I brew all grain and with a Brew Bag. Most of my equipment is geared towards 5 gallon batches, but I’m confident I could do a smaller one it too. Thanks for your help!

This recipe builder may be a good starting point. Enter the recipe ingredients for the full three gallon recipe and then use the scale tool for one gallons. You will probably need a good scale to weigh out the ingredients for the smaller batch size.

This is another recipe builder with scaling capabilities. Also has a check box for scaling to sensible amounts.

I took a look at the Brewer’s Friend builder - I had no idea it had scaling capability. Thanks for the tip!

Quick question - should I still brew with a Brew Bag if I’m dealing with sizes this small? Also, should I even use my wort chiller too? I remember from my home brew starter kit days an ice bath works for small batches like this

Biab is perfect for small batches. Before I switched over do exclusively Biab I would do small Biab test batches

Thanks for the reply! I’m glad I’m on the right track, then.

My brother has a 1 gallon carboy he uses for small cider batches. Would that be okay for me, or should I get a 3 gallon one for the extra head space?

Divide all ingredients by 3 of course. But then also:

  1. Assume your boiloff rate will be about 50%. Seriously. Sparge enough to produce an extra gallon of wort, which will boil off if you use the same equipment. If you can use a smaller kettle on your stove, boiloff might only be about 35%. But it will be quite high either way, compared to a “normal” batch size. And along with this…

  2. You should see your efficiency skyrocket, since you can sparge so much more.

If not sparging, then nevermind about efficiency, but you will still need that extra gallon of water to boil off. Alternatively, I suppose you could shorten the boil to only 15 minutes or something like that instead of boiling a full hour, but this might not give you exactly the same result, might lead to more haze, and might require adjusting hops up to get the right IBU level.

If you fiddle with your software enough (you’re using BeerSmith or some kind of software, right?), you should be able to get all the parameters where you want them to match the original specs.

I’m doing BIAB for this one so no sparging. Good tip with the second gallon to factor in boil off. Should I scale it for 2 gallons instead of 1 then?

I’m using Brewers Friend at the moment

No, your final out put is one gallon, so use your grain bill for a one gallon batch… you have to account for boil off and trub and the such… Sneezles61

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