August 3rd, 2005

fear & loathing

Nanobrewing?

Back in June thaen posted about nanobrewing, aka batches smaller than 5 gallons, most commonly 1 gallon batches. For those of you who missed that episode, here's a short re-capCollapse ) Since they haven't posted a write up about this on their website yet, Has anyone done this, and would they be willing to share their experiences/thoughts/tips? This sounds like an excellent way to brew half a case at a time, since I'm a very fickle beer drinker. Belgian Trappist ales for a week or two, framboise next, then stout for a week or two, etc etc. 5 gallons of a hard lemonade batch gone slightly awry (secondary fermentation w/champagne yeast) is tiring to drink after a while. Brewing a gallon batch of my latest crazy brew each week would keep things interesting, and help refine/understand the process of brewing better, and how different temperatures, quantities, and ingredients affect the beer. Additionally chilling the wort is really simple, since you have such a low surface area to volume ratio, compared to that of a 5 gallon carboy.

Also, I haven't reached the point of doing an all-grain batch yet; I'd like to buy homebrewing supplies in bulk to cut down on trips to the brew shop, since they're about an hour's drive round trip for me. How long will pale/dark liquid malt extract keep for in an airtight container? My brewshop pressurizes their LMExtract with CO2 to prevent oxidation; how much of an issue will oxidation be to a home user who might use 10 lbs. over three 1 gallon batches over three weeks? The longest I've kept LMExtract has been about two hours before brewing.

Photos of the nanobrewing process would also be greatly appreciated. I think it would be great to see a wallpaper image of 6 or 7 half gallon milk jugs in a row bubbling away at different stages of primary and secondary fermentation.