[amw] Show full post »
[amw]
Here some out of focus fermentation for you:

DSCF0029_rot_small.jpg

I've upgraded my Ashbeck bottle with an airlock - it is blooping as expected.

I'm glad that this has started doing something - the US-05 that I pitched had been 'festering' in an opened pack in my fridge for 3 weeks - not the 2 days that the manufacturer suggests!
Having said that, half a packet in 4.5L of wort is about double the rate they suggests, so this may cancel out some of yeast-death caused by the open packet...
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Pinto
Clibit wrote:


Do other people find larger batches make better beer?


It makes "different" beer for certain; it's a simple fact the the larger the brew, the further toward homogeneity it goes - that's simple median averages at work.  A 5l brew is certainly the way to test if concept works, but don't be disappointed if a subsequent "full" length brew doesn't gave the same subtle nuances the tester did
Beer is like porn - you can buy it easily enough, but its so much more fun to make it [wink]
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GHW
Yeah I didn’t mean to imply your beers would be poor, amw, just that my own experience is that my small batches, of which I do quite a few regardless, haven’t usually been up to the standard of my bigger batches.

that may of course be because they are often experimental, or user uppers!
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[amw]
Clibit wrote:


Do other people find larger batches make better beer?


I think unless you actually *do* that experiment it would be hard to judge 'better' (or at least, it would be hard for me).

I suspect that things are rather more *repeatable* with a 5 gallon brew rather than my 1 gallon - I have no factual basis to back this up, but you only have to look at the weight of the hops (6 g) in my last brew to see the problem - if I am out by 1 g that is an error of 17%, whereas if I'm out by 1g in a 5 gallon batch that is 3.4% (5 times less).  The same arguments go for measuring volumes of water etc - especially as those errors fro different sources can (literally) all add up.

In addition to those error problems (which can possibly be overcome with the right equipment and technique) there are other problems of scale - the temperature stability/distribution of the wort in a much smaller fermentation will be rather different to a larger one (even with temp. control).  The surface area/volume ratios will also be different (mind you, look at yorkshire squares (or any other type of big open FV)) which may effect things - rate of CO2 escape, oxygenation, oxidation etc.  Plus there will be other things I don't know about.

I suspect that it is quicker/easier to become a better (more skilled) brewer when using larger equipment and brewing the same recipes repeatedly - you are more likely to be able appreciate which factors combine and how they change the outcome than if you are constantly battling scaling issues and brewing different beers.

I don't drink enough (or have enough friends!) to get through that much beer and part of my reason for home brew is to be able to brew different kinds of beer, so maybe I'll never become a skilled brewer - that's a risk I'm willing to take 🙂
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Hops_and_Dreams
That made a really nice dry stout Alex, I'm sure you'll like it.

I make full batches for the reason that if I'm spending a few hours brewing, I might as well make it as productive as possible. I've only made a handful of batches that I really haven't liked, so I've not been lumbered too many times.
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EspeciallyBitter
I landed on 10-litre batches as it suited my space in the flat and almost all of my homebrew is drunk by yours truly. If I brewed bigger batches I'd struggle to store it and I'd be more limited in the number of brews I can have ready to drink at any one time. (I'm also not sure I'd want to haul bigger volumes than that around my flat.) Everyone has their limit they're comfortable with, based on free time, money, how much they drink, storage space and (in many cases) a spouse's patience. 

I'm a little with Hops in that I sometimes think I should just brew a gallon sometimes but the time invested doesn't seem worth it once I drop below 10 litres. It's an arbitrary threshold that's entirely down to how I feel about it. Honestly, Alex, you whipped up a gallon batch in time at all and made it seem quick and easy, so maybe I'll reconsider my own limit.

I've been brewing 10-litre batches for about 18 months now and all my recipes are based on what efficiencies etc. I usually get. It would not surprise me in the least if I brewed the same recipes at 23 litres and ended up with a noticeably different beer, at least the first few times. When I read about commercial breweries doing small pilot batches and then scaling up to hundreds of hectolitres, I do wonder how close the final result is to what they had in the pilot batch. One day I'll get a polypin and attempt a cask-like conditioning process – that alone would likely produce a very different beer.
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[amw]
That made a really nice dry stout Alex, I'm sure you'll like it.

I make full batches for the reason that if I'm spending a few hours brewing, I might as well make it as productive as possible. I've only made a handful of batches that I really haven't liked, so I've not been lumbered too many times.


Yes, I reckon it takes almost as long to make 1 gallon as 5, assuming you have the equipment - the main limiting factor is that my pot is only 9L - this also makes 4.5L-in-the-FV relatively easy to achieve.  I did manage to make 10L by making a more concentrated wort and then 'topping up/thinning out' in various ways, but I then figure it might be easier to get 4.5L to work easily rather than going for 10L and mucking it up.  The long and short of it is, I should buy a bigger pan... 🙂

I hope I manage to make a 'really nice dry stout' too!  Give it a month or two and I'll tell you...
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