Small Batch Brewing

Last month I winter set it and I wasn’t prepared.  Some of my equipment literally froze solid.  As part of that experience I started thinking of small batch brewing.  I am defining small batches here as being a gallon or less.

I got the chance to give the small batch brewing approach a try.  My wife was out and I had some ingredients on hand that I decided to string together into a simple dark lager of sorts.  Shooting for a 1.050 or so gravity I used a little over 2 lbs of malt and a thin mash for a fermentable wort.

The first thing I noticed in the process was the speed.  I am used to spending about 30 minutes or more heating up mash water.  With the small batch on the kitchen stove it only took about 10 minutes to heat the water AND dough in!  So there was an immediate gain in time there.  I also ended up with a pretty concentrated wort from just the first runnings.  I had to reconsider how I was going to proceed and ended up doing a no sparge brew.

For a first attempt I learned a little about what to expect out of the numbers for brewing.  Things I can better incorporate into a second small batch hopefully in another week or so.

The best thing about this batch (that’s still fermenting BTW) is that I’ll get a good slug of fresh Bock yeast to put into my Yule lager full size batch soon enough.

Watch the video and let us know if you’ve experimented with small batch brewing.