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02/12/07 09:55 AM  
3 Gallon Batches

I'm thinking of brewing (extract brewer) in 3gal batches (for my equiptment this is a "full boil"). What issues (besides less beer!) if any do you see or have experienced? For ingredients grains, extract, sugars, hops is it just proportional to 5gal? For fermentation vessels any oxygen to surface area issues in a 6.5gal carboy primary or 5gal carboy secondary? For areation with pure O2 and stone, proportional to 5 gal? Yeast amt is the real unknown for me, amt to pitch (usually one pack or one tube) starter sizes, attenuation, over/under pitch, HG beers, ferment/secondary times. I know this is a lot of variables and I'm sure there are more but any info in general will be helpful especially concerning yeast.


02/12/07 10:03 AM  
Re: 3 Gallon Batches
I do 3 gallon batches sometimes, mostly when I'm going high gavity. I don't think I've ever made 5 gallons of all-grain barley wine. By and large I find it to be the same experience 'cept smaller.
02/12/07 11:14 AM  
Re: 3 Gallon Batches
Ditto to what Steve said. Just remember, to reitterate, it's about the same amount of work for less beer. If you're ok with that, then you're ok with that.

I find the oxigenation easier - I don't use a airstone or anything - I sit down; carefully hold the carboy in my lap and shake the s**t out of it. O2 in the fermenter isn't a problem; a vigorous fermentation expells the O2. For lower gravity brews I just pitch a pack of yeast (sometimes without rehydrating), tube, whatever...but I'm not going for consistency as I experiment more than replicate.

I've gone as small as a one gallon batch for some experimental brews without much hassle - if it's good I can scale up.

cheers, scamborn

02/12/07 06:54 PM  
Re: 3 Gallon Batches
I brew all three gallon batches and love it - check out my blog for some information:


Ross Lunato
02/12/07 10:04 PM  
Re: 3 Gallon Batches
I also brew three gallon no-sparge batches and use five gallon carboys. Even with the five gallon carboys, I recently had a Hefeweizen bubble out the blow off hose. I think three gallon batches are just about perfect for me. If I'm brewing higher gravity beer, say a 1.065, I just pitch two Wyeast smack packs instead of making a starter. Seems to work pretty good. Also, the final batch volume is about 3.9 gallons, but I leave about .8 - .9 gallons behind as trub etc.
02/15/07 12:49 PM  
Re: 3 Gallon Batches
I'm apparently yet another 3gal batcher. I find this batch size to be about all my wimpy stove can handle. It's also a reasonable size if you like variety and don't have a lot of beer buddies to share your product with. I mash and sparge in a 16qt enamelware kettle (cheapest of the cheap from Target) and ferment in 6gal carboys for primary (lab surplus given by a chemist friend) and do secondary in 3gals.

I generally scale recipes linearly and don't worry too much about under/over pitching. Time in the fermenter should be the same independent of batch size, yeast cell count and health being much more significant. That said, you can't use the standard bubble rate as an indicator of when it's ready to rack if you use the larger carboys since there's a greater volume of headroom and less fluid to generate CO2.

I have a brew log with my 3gal recipes up at:


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