First 1 Gallon All Grain Batch

Posted on August 22, 2011 by

Last Friday marked the start of a new beginning for me in the brewing world. If you followed my last post you would know that I haven’t brewed in quite a while because of my lack of space. Some of you may say that there is always ample room, heck the guy at the homebrew store told me he brewed 5 gallon batches in a fox hole while he was in Vietnam…So I guess I shouldn’t complain.

Regardless, the room I have isn’t sufficient to brew the way I like to brew. So I’ve been doing some research and decided to give brewing 1 gallon batches a try. I feel there are two major bonuses to this. I can really test and try ingredients, in small amounts to see what they are really like, and it allos me to do all grain batches to begin preparing myself that eventual all grain cross over.

Small Amounts = More Knowledge

If your like me you desire superior knowledge in everything you do. You want to be the best and you won’t stop until you are. One reason I’m excited to get on board with these one gallon batches is it limits the ingredients that I can use. Typically, I use 1 to 3 grains and 1 kind of hops. This will, hopefully, allow me to really zero in on specific characteristics of certain ingredients.

Going All Grain…Kinda

When brewing one gallon of beer I can finally go all grain because I’m using between 2 and 3 pounds of grain, which fits very well in my 4 gallon pot. This is a great baby step towards the extra time and processes that are incurred when you decide to go all grain. Plus, I hear it makes better beer than extracts, even though I’ve had some tasty extracts…

Enough about that though. Let’s talk about my batch.

Here is the recipe.

Mike’s NW Pale Ale

Malts:

2 lbs 2 Row Pale Malt

.25 lbs 2 Row Caramel Malt 60L

Hops:

All Centennial (Its going to be a little hoppy for the style, but its the Pacific Northwest and I could only by 2 oz at a time.)

.25 oz First Wort Hopping

.15 oz (60 min)

.25 oz (10 min)

.35 oz (1 min)

.25 oz (Flame Out)

.75 oz (Dry Hop 1 Week)

Yeast:

Safale US-05 (Half packet)

Directions:

Bring 144 oz of water up to 150 – 155 degrees and drop your grain in to start the mash. I lost 10 to 12 degrees when I dropped mine in. So I’ll adjust for that next time. After and hour, pull the bag out and into a strainer over the wort and pour 112 oz of 170 to 180 degree water over the top to rinse the grain and finalize conversions. Be sure to do your best to pour slowly and not splash any wort at this point. Hot side aeration is bad!!!

Boil for 60 minutes adding hops along the way.

Cool down as fast as you can. I just put a lid on mine and put in the freezer for 120 minutes. Not ideal, but my sink leaks water and a wort chiller is not a possibility.

Rehydrate and pitch yeast. Ferment the hell out of it.

A Couple of Notes:

1. The go into the first time trying this with an open mind and know it isn’t going to be perfect. I have about 4 things I need to pay attention to next time.

2. One gallon batches prove to have their own challenges. However, cleaning and working with 1 gallon is much easier than 5.

3. It isn’t that expensive to do this. Cost me just under $60 to get the 2, one gallon glass jugs and enough class to bottle 1 gallon, along with grain bags, ingredients and a new mini auto siphon.

4. It takes just as much time to do 1 gallon as it does 5…heck as long as it does to do 7 barrels with the right equipment.

5. Learn your gear. I started with 1.6 gallons and I still ended up topping off my jug with 6 cups of water. I’ll start with 2 gallons next time. I’ve go my boil off somewhat calculated now.

To make a long story short. I’m very excited about this. I’m going to ripping up some 1 gallon batches for a while to learn my ingredients better and to hopefully develop some new, personal, recipes that I really like and can share with you. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Has anyone else done any experiments lately or brewed up one gallon batches?

Cheers!

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  • http://twitter.com/greglynch greglynch

    Love it and I am happy you started brewing again! 

    Greg
    Cincinnati, OH

  • Brian

    Mike – good to hear from you again. Can’t wait to hear how it turns out.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks! I’ve been spending a lot of time in different pubs and breweries trying new beers here in the Pacific Northwest. There are SO many, and a lot of interesting combinations. Some successful, some not so much…Can’t wait to incorporate these things into my own beers and pub. Someday…someday…

    Mike

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Greg! I appreciate it. I had to just find a way to do something. Its a lot of work and I’m not sure its worth it at this point. But its more of the work I like. Less cleaning and more all grain makes Mike a happy boy.

    Mike

  • Anonymous

    Haven’t done any 1 gallons but last Friday I did three 5 gallons on stove top. Will not do that again (maybe). I was brewing a stout, dark ale and brit ale. Long story short I started at 10pm and after the brewing and cleaning up (had a bowl over that can’t be described) It was 6am. One gallon batches would be awesome to build a variety of styles to drink. Glad to see you back at it though. Cheers! 

  • http://twitter.com/billybroas billybroas

    Cool, Mike. While I haven’t brewed 1 gallon batches, I’ve been doing a bunch of 2.5 gallon ones and have really been enjoying it. I like to think that it’s my pilot brewery to see if a brew is worth scaling up to the monster 5 gallon system ; )

    Nice to see you brewing again.

  • Clutch2bone

    Thanks for the fresh post, I am in the same situation when it comes to room. I am going to look into this 1 gallon brew closer

  • Anonymous

    Yikes! That is pretty intense man!

    The one gallon batches should prove useful in my future of brewing, but I can’t wait until the day I can build a bigger stash of beer with a better stash of equipment. I mean to sit down one day and draw out my brewery…

    What did you brew up?

    Mike

  • Anonymous

    Agreed!

    I like trying new beers and while brewing up 5 gallons isn’t that much, it is a TON when you find out your not a big fan of the recipe or you mess it up a little bit and it just doesn’t taste that great.

    What have you been brewing up lately?

    Mike

  • Anonymous

    Give me a month and I might have it zeroed in, at least for my system. Let me know if you need any questions answered. I did a bit of research ahead of time. There is a site out there that has and sells recipe kits for 1 gallon batches. I can’t remember or find it off the top of my head. They need a bit better marketing I guess.

    Again, let me know. Love to help. I’ve got some conversions that might be of assistance.

    Mike

  • Roddyusa

    Mike, although havent heard from you in awhile, i still enjoy your articles and still plan to brew myself in the future. Rodney>Florida

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the kind words! Let me know if you need any help getting started. I know it can be confusing and having someone to guide you and tell you that its all going to be fine helped me a lot, so I’d like to pay it forward!

    Cheers!

    Mike

  • http://twitter.com/billybroas billybroas

    I made a Gose recently for our Homebrew Academy Group Brew where we did fruit beers. Added some lime & tripel sec to it and it came out just like a margarita lol.

  • Anonymous

    Right on!

    I was thinking of dropping in on the homebrew club here and seeing what’s going on. I haven’t had a lot of success with homebrew clubs yet. The last one I was in just seemed a little stuffy for me.

    I’d love to try that brew of yours…It sounds more like a brew cocktail than anything else…

    Mike

  • Justin

    I do one gallon batches too! I use a 2 gallon rubermaid cooler for my mash tun, and a 9 dollar ss pot I picked up at the grocery store for my hlt and bk. Marris Otter and Kent Goldings = delish.

  • Anonymous

    Nice! Sounds like you have your process down a little more than I do. I actually haven’t done a batch since this one. I really enjoy brewing, but it is a fine line of too much work at this point for 1 gallon of beer. It has to do with the space in which I live. I have to store everything, clean everything, deal with small spaces, drains that don’t plug and so on. Yes, it sounds like I am making a bunch of excuses and I suppose I am…but brewing beer is a lot of work as is, and moving into this new space has made it very unappealing for the 1 gallon of beer. And the fact that I live in Portland now and I can get a good pint 1 block from the house… :)

  • Wayne

    Brooklyn Brew Shop might be the place you are thinking of. 

    http://www.brooklynbrewshop.comI just brewed my first batch using their kit. Mine was their Chestnut Brown Ale recipe. So far so good… Looking to do exactly what you are hoping for, better knowledge of ingredients and try to incorporate different ingredients into my next 1 gallon batches. Trial and error is easier to take and cheaper 1 gallon at a time. Wayne

  • charlie madison

    I have done a handful of one gallon batches although I have now bumped them up to two gallon BIAB to make it more worth my time.  It is an awesome way to learn and to experiment without blowing five gallons on a whim.  

    Plus, added benefit you didn’t list: If you are doing a smallish beer in terms of gravity you pretty much just made a one gallon yeast starter.

  • Dave

    Justin – (I’m not sure you’ll get this since it was 10 months ago when you wrote your reply)
    Can you send some pics of your set up my way?  Or just tell us a little more about the process.  What’s your efficiency?  I’m planning on using 1 gallon batches to figure out a few clones, then scale up.  The kicker, I don’t want to be too far off from my 10 gallon process when I’m doing the little cute batches.

  • michael

    Hey, do you dry hop after a week or the last week it is fermenting

  • JEEE-hosaa-SA

    I was given a one gallon kit for my birthday. Never had brewed before, but it was full mash and I gotta say I learned a lot more than my firends who were brewing. I guess I had so much less to handle that it took the pressure off. My beer was phenomenal by the way. Deeeeelicious. I’m fermenting my second batch now and about to order the ingredients for this guy. I think I’ll start 5′s after I’ve learned more.

  • Thess

    Hey, i did this too, but i went with 2gal to 2.5.

    Heck, ive even totally made my own recipies up based on grain and hop descriptions alone.

    Some were great… some were meh. and some went down the drain lol

  • Frank

    Just a curious question. I did a stout brew and the yeast required being dehydrated. I did so according to the instructions and ended up with more yeast. I could not of course get it all into jug, but probably half. Any thoughts or ideas. Will be bottling in two days so I have no turnout just yet. Thanks, Frank

  • Jared Krueger

    Awesome. I am investigating going from 5-gallon partial mash to 1 or 2 gallon all-grain. I just don’t go through 5-gallons fast enough to learn enough. I want smaller batches more frequently so I can learn more about effects of different ingredients. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  • newbie

    Hi Mike – just bought a 1-gallon kit from Brooklyn Beer and came across this blog. Looks exciting. Why did you put the gallon fermenter in a bowl of water? Does that lower the temperature of the beer in the fermenter from the ambient temperature?

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