Advantages of Small Batch Brewing (First World Problems Are Real)

This whole small batch brewing was first born out of my shitty ability to brew beer. I was constantly attempting to gag my way through failed experiments, or real genuine mediocre attempts at styles. Then once I got “decent” at brewing I then realized I still had a shitload of beer lying around I was struggling to get through, which would get often get worse with age in my hot garage. I THEN realized I might like wine more (and maybe whiskey and other spirits as well). It was all going sideways!

I have noticed that most homebrewers seem to largely consume beer only, and some go as far as to not even know one of the cocktail basics. To avoid becoming a raging alcoholic and fat while enjoying other booze AND beer, I decided to dial it back to 2.5 gallon batches for kegging, which has now become 2 gallons, and most all other non-hoppy beer has now become 1 gallon.

For those who have my predicament, or maybe want a change, here are advantages to smaller batch brewing I have found (but for those who don’t give a fuck about my first world home brewing problems, then don’t read the following):

1. Not becoming a fat ass and/or polishing a 6-pack worth of beer a night. Granted there is a “disadvantage” kegging mostly hoppy beer as it does need to be consumed rather quickly, but at 2 gallons that’s not too hard to do, especially with help from the lady friend. Now if one doesn’t have a lady friend or free loader friends, and for those who don’t care for whiskey sours, then 5 gallons at a time isn’t too hard to get through, but for those who don’t have the “issue” I have with enjoying most all the booze, then godspeed with those 5 gallon batches.

2. Failed batches don’t matter as much. This is one of the best advantages. I have no issue dumping most the failed 1 gallon experiments (see below), or trying to get through other styles I’m just not that into. If I give out some then even better. In fact, I will usually dump half the bottle even if I think it’s drinkable because drinkable isn’t good enough for me. Jesus, do I even like beer?

3. Experimenting. I can do weird stuff like throw a grasshopper in there, dip one of my balls in it, and it won’t matter if and when it turns out terrible (see above). I used to chug through all my gross experiments out of principle, but the expression in our household “so much beer and not a drop to drink” got old quick. There would be a ton bottles in my garage that I would stare at for months before buckling and plugging my nose while drinking it. I’m still staring at some of those fuckers to this day. (There is also this, which would probably work well for single hop experiments).

4. Saving money. I save a lot of money brewing small batches. The added bonus to this is I will sometimes pull off a gallon and throw it into a jug for some other experiment (see above), so I can get 2 different beers without breaking the bank. At 5 or 10 gallons, for those who are poor like me, it’s a lot of money, especially for those hoppy beers. There is the added benefit of having more beer of course with bigger batches, but see 1.

5. It makes it easier to brew more often. We all love brewing and as much as possible. Fortunately I can do that currently, so I want to take advantage of it. If I do small batches and brew every week or every other week, I’ll have 5 gallons of three or more different styles on hand at any given time. If I had 5 gallons of each style…then…see the above steps.

So there there they be. My reasons for small batch brewing. The end.

7 Comment

  1. Simon Duffy says: Reply

    Small batch brewing is definitely the way forwards for me, especially as I’m not a huge beer drinker, but I am enjoying the process and evolving my brewing set up (I’m currently working towards a two pot HERMS like affair that involves drilling lots of holes in pans for gadgets and gizmos to go in). It’s definitely cheaper than big batches. Grain costs peanuts and I can get 6 bottles of something palatable for less than 3 quid. The other benefit of small batches is that all the ‘stuff’ doesn’t take up much room, which keeps ‘The Boss’ happy. Your example has encouraged me to YouTube my brew days and a search for ‘homebrew buffonery’ will avail you of some cringe worthy attempts to emulate your natty style and repartee.

    1. Jason says: Reply

      Love it. You have any videos up?

  2. Gus says: Reply

    I just discovered your site. Great work. I came to small batch (1g) brewing also by some woeful brewed 5gal batches so I decided if I was going to keep brewing I needed to get a better understanding of what’s happening. I came across Emma Christensen’s book Brew Better Beer where all of the recipes are 1gal kitchen stove brews. It allowed me to move away from can and extract to all grain. With some success I moved to 2.5gal and now 5gal brews and winning competition awards and I’m the president of the local brewing club. But here I sit brewing a 1gal LDM extract beer with leftover hops and yeast to toss in a 1gal mini keg and quaff.
    Keep up the good work.

    1. Jason says: Reply

      Nice work on the awards! I’ve actually got great results making beer with just DME myself. I should do more actually.

  3. Corey says: Reply

    The next time I brew something the wife likes I’ll tell her I dipped a ball in it!

  4. Clemens Brunner says: Reply

    I brew around 2-5 Gallon Batches but decided to split them up in different 1-1,5 gallon carboys. Gives me a lot of space to experiment with dry hopping combinations and yeast strains. Also just prefer glass carboys to plastic buckets. I still got issues with oxidation. I would really appreciate if u could make a video about budget/beginners tipps to avoid oxidation.

    1. Jason says: Reply

      I should do a video on it, but I just purge everything with C02 before transferring (the keg and the lines), if you don’t have a tank, all you can really do is avoid splashing as much as possible when transferring.

Leave a Reply