Help with a 1-gallon batch


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Sep 20, 2012
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I posted this on another forum with no answers as of yet, so I figgered I'd try over here.

My brother-in-law is a big IPA fan, where I'm not... He's coming to town in November and I wanted to do a quick 1-gallon batch for him, so I snooped around and found a simple extract with steeping grains recipe and attempted to scale it down using the tools on the site where I found it. Long story short, the scaling tool was crap, so I ran it past someone at my LHBS, and he came up with this:

2.5 oz American Crystal 20L
3 oz Carapils
2 lb LME
1 oz Cascade (pellet, flavor/aroma)
1 oz Chinook (pellet, bittering)
1 pkt Munton's Dry Ale Yeast

The original recipe showed an OG of 1.071 and an FG of 1.014, though I know with the tweaking we're gonna see something totally different.

I've admittedly never done a small batch like this, so I need to figure out two key things: the hop schedule and the starting water volume. :mrgreen:

So I'm flying by the seat of my pants here. Anyone care to share how they would proceed given the what I have to work with? :roll:
Don't see anything particularly wrong with the recipe. The LME is going to give you about 72 - 76 gravity points in a gallon of beer, the two other grains will add another 12 (8 at 66% efficiency) so I'd predict your OG will be around 80, perhaps a bit bigger than you wanted. The hops additions are likely be a little much for this beer. Run it through the recipe calculator on this site. The site will also do your water calculations. Give the Recipe Builder a try and see what you come up with.
Thanks for the reply, Nosybear! I took your advice and ran it thru the calculator, and here's what I came up with: ... ye-pee-eh-

Initially, I entered the full ounce of Chinook at 60 minutes and .5 oz of Cascade at 10 minutes and came up with an IBU of 156.34. Now, if I'm reading the recommended IBUs for the style correctly, that would pretty much melt a person's face off, would it not? So I've dialed it back to the high end of the IBU scale. Does this look like something that might be acceptable? Keep in mind, I am a beginner for the most part, so I'm kinda just playing the numbers here. :)

My only other question would be regarding the boil volume. I may be reading this completely incorrectly, so please excuse my inexperience here... The overall recipe shows the batch size at 1 gallon, and the boil size to be 1.5 gallons. So I'm assuming that I would be basically starting off with 1.5 gallons at steeping, right? But the Water Calculation table shows boil water added to kettle: 1.5 gallons, boil off losses: -1.5 gallons and top-off amount: 1.33 gallons, with a total (after miscellaneous losses/absorptions) of 2.83 gallons. Is this because the calculator is written primarily to handle larger batches? Should I ignore all this and start off with 1.5 gallons? :?
Other people may disagree with this suggestion, but I don't think you need to boil a 1 gallon batch for 60 minutes.

With a 5 gallon batch you're trying to do several things at once with a 60 min boil - hit a target OG by evaporating off the right quantity of water and ensuring that you extract the right level of bitterness from the hops. With a 1.5 gallon pre-boil volume there's a fair chance you're going to boil the wort down to a syrup in 60 minutes, depending on how fierce your setup is.

I've only done this quickly in the recipe calculator, but I think you can cut the boil back to 20 minutes, cut the boil volume down to 1.2 gallons, increase the Chinook to 0.75oz (as a 20 min addition) and still arrive at roughly the same level of overall bitterness.

At least, that's how I'd do it. If you're worried about the hops not being boiled for long enough, maybe make a hop tea seperately?

For the recipe itself, 68 IBU is high but then this is an IPA so it's expected to be high - and it's also a 7% IPA and higher abv's take the edge off hop bitterness.
I think this may be the route to take. I'll be doing this in the kitchen, so its not like I'm firing up a banjo burner for such a small batch... But you're right, I don't want to end up with cough syrup. :oops:

Thanks for the reply! I'll post back and let y'all know how thing come out.
Reduced boil time will reduce the perceived bitterness, as the the Alpha Acids need time to solulize and then isomerize. You can increase the initial hop addition as previously mentioned and/or add most of the extract as a late addition. This will improve your hop utilization and raise the IBU's. You will need to add some extract (1/4 to 1/3) at the start of the boil, or the hops will give off a grassy taste, but then save the balance for the last 10 min. All you need to do is sanitize it at this point. If you plug the extract into the recipe builder as 2 separate entries, with the volumes divided, and check the second as a late addition, you will see a jump in the IBU number. I don't know the formula Larry is using to factor this, but a basic rule of thumb would be an increase of about a third. For example with a target IBU was 65 and you changed the extract to .5 lb at 60 min, and 1.5 lb at 5 min, your IBU number would be 90- 100. Then factor the reduced boil time and that number come back down to the 60 range. This is all very generalized, and you wont know for sure until you brew it, and after all, it for your brother in law. Its beer and it will be drunk. Be sure to take good notes, so you can adjust in the future, and let us know how it ends up.
Also as a full volume boil, be sure to aerate well before the pitch, as most of the O2 has been boiled out.
This just came to me, and its not what you asked, but you could consider making a five gallon batch, and bottle the lot. Then you would have an IPA stock for when he visits again. Just thinking.
How about, since I currently have the extract in two 1lb containers, adding half at the beginning and the second half at 10 minutes followed by the Cascade addition at 5 minutes?

Oh and as for doing the 5 gallon batch, I simply don't have the room for storage. Nice idea, though.
Half and half would work. The increased bittering effect of the late addition would be lessened , but It should turn out drinkable.
Even if you hit 50 IBU this should be perfectly acceptable level of bitterness for a 7% IPA. Let us know how it turns out.
Started with 1.25 gallons distilled water. Ended up topping off with DW after boil to a little more than one gallon. Always amazed at how much wort pellet hops can suck up.

Otherwise, everything went as planned... OG a bit high at 1.080, but I'm not complaining.

Fermenting in 2 gallon bucket. Started off with three-piece airlock, but changed to blowoff into gallon jug with Star San (better safe than sticky).


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I have this feeling that I should apologize for using the enameled pot for this batch! My wife had a turkey breast brining in our small stainless pot, so I had to dig the old standby out. Luckily its in good shape!
That's going to be a pretty beer. Have you thought of dry-hopping with some Centennial or Citra (two of my favorite IPA hops)? I used Centennial, Zythos Blend, some organic Crystal I picked up out in Palisade, CO and some Citra. Stuff has one fantastic nose and, because of the dry hopping, no excessive bitterness. I personally like more Crystal Malt in the IPA to balance out the bitterness, say 10% to 15% (mine had 12% of 40L Crystal Malt and the result was the most gorgeous orange color). I still think I'd stick with a one hour boil to drive most of the DMS out. Question: Why are you only doing one gallon?
Oh, if you did the half-half thing, it will drive your bitterness up. Utilization is a function of gravity - higher gravity boil, lower utilization. That may not be bad.
I ended up doing all the LME at the beginning. I'm not a huge IPA/excessive hops fan in the first place, so I figgered if I wanted to make something drinkable for me, I didn't want to go overboard with the bitterness. Also, since I'm making this primarily for my brother-in-law who will be visting in November (and who is an IPA fan), I didn't want to go nuts with megahopped bitterness as if to make him think that I thought that's all IPAs are about. Does that make sense?

That's also the reason for the small run. I don't have a ton of space for storing bottles from a 5-gallon batch, so I wanted to try something small. If I end up liking what I've made, I can always scale back up to a full batch—another reason to keep the recipe simple.

I haven't heard even a whisper from the bucket, though, and apparently using a blowoff was for naught. But I'll let it sit until late in the weekend if not a couple days longer before I crack it open and take a reading.
I think the best reason for brewing is brewing what is best for ME.... Awards are nice, recognition is good but when it all comes down to it, opening a beer I like is what matters to me about brewing. I was merely curious as to why you did just a gallon, although I recently did a three-gallon batch of pumpkin spice ale for pretty much the same reason - I didn't want a bunch of beer I mostly don't like sitting around. Dry hopping will give you the classic IPA nose without adding bitterness if you want to give it a try but hey, if you like it, that's what matters. Prost!
Moved to secondary tonight... OG 1.080, FG 1.012. 8.9% ABV :eek: I think I've created a monster!


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Nosy shoots, he scores! I predicted you'd be at about 1.08! Still, it should be good although you likely need to up your dry hopping. Otherwise you'll likely be out of balance.... Too sweet. Although that may be what you want and if it's what you like, it's your beer. That's the beauty of homebrewing, n'est pas?
I'm a pretty inexperienced brewer, and truth is, I've never dry hopped. :eek: All I have at the moment is .2 oz (yes, *point* 2 oz) Chinook pellets, and I'm a little scared to dry hop a nearly-full 1-gallon jug.

But I am curious... If I were to do it, how long? Add now and leave until bottling? Add now for a short time, or wait a bit and add for a specific amount of time prior to bottling?


Oh, to change the subject for a moment... Here's a photo of my first test pour of my Jon Lord Memorial Stout that's been bottled for 2.5 weeks. Good stuff, and only gonna get better with age!


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