Monday, November 26, 2012

4 Gallon Batches

Brew according to your equipment.  I think I've heard this somewhere before.  Whether you are brewing on a budget, ready to upgrade to all grain brewing, or just like to experiment and find 5 gallon batches too large, a 4 gallon batch system may be the thing for you.

For me, I was ready to move toward all grain, and wanted to upgrade the equipment without breaking the bank; I needed to stay on a budget while piecing together my system.  Generally the larger, the more expensive, especially with the brewing pots.

This all grain equipment, suited for 4 gallon batches, contains the following.  5 Gallon Carboy.  5 gallon drink cooler, Turkey Fryer with a 7 gallon brewpot.

These are the volumes throughout the stages of the all grain process.

  • Water for the mashing, 7.5-8 gallons
    • Mash = 3.5-4 (depending on the amount of grain, and limited to the room in the cooler)
    • Batch Sparge = The difference between the runoff amount and 6 gallons is what will be needed, generally about the same 3.5-4 gallons as mash
  • Preboil wort volume: 6 gallons
  • Post boil volume is around 4.5 gallons
  • Batch size, into the carboy = 4 gallons
This works well with for me.  The 6 gallons leave about 3-4 inches left to the top of the boil kettle.  Boil-overs are minimal and only at the beginning with the heat break (I do scrape the heat break material off).  4 gallons in the 5 gallon carboy leaves enough headroom too.

You too may find that 4 gallon batches will suit you and your equipment well.

Cheers!