Whether you have been homebrewing for years or just getting started, I would like to point out the benefits of brewing 1 gallon batches! I have personally moved back to doing more 1 gallon batches because of the benefits that follow!
1. Less Time Needed
Homebrewing small batches requires much less time overall. The process of heating and cooling 1 gallon of wort vs 5 gallons (or more) takes significantly less time. This equals much less waiting time, and more time spent performing the fun parts of brewing!
For most of us, bottling day is much less enjoyable than brew day. Anything I can do to make this day more efficient and shorter, I love! The thought of only having to clean and sanitize 8-10 bottles vs 48 is much less daunting.
2. Decreased Space Needed
We are not all fortunate enough to have a dedicated brewing room or space. Many of us have to make do with an apartment/townhouse stove or small patio. 1 gallon brewing is extremely doable in these small spaces.
There is no need to store a large mash tun, boil kettle, or brewing stand. The necessary supplies to brew a 1 gallon batch of beer can fit easily into your kitchen cabinets.
3. Get Started (and continue brewing) Inexpensively
Accumulating the necessary equipment and supplies can be daunting, and often many people never get into homebrewing due to this fact. If you have an operational kitchen stove, you can make 1 gallon brewing happen! Heck, even if your kitchen stove doesn’t work, you can pick up an outdoor propane burner, and brew that way!
If you are interested in the supplies that I recommend to get started, please see my post here. You can get everything you need to start small batch brewing for right around $100.
4. Logistically Easier to Handle
When brewing 5 gallons or more, moving the wet grain or 5 gallons of wort can be difficult for someone brewing on their own.
When brewing a one gallon extract or BIAB (brew in a bag) batch, the grain can easily be lifted with one hand, and the full fermentor is generally only about 10 pounds.
5. Easier (and cheaper) to Experiment
One of the worst feelings as a homebrewer, in my opinion, is developing a promising recipe, carefully brewing and fermenting the beer, only to have the final product disappoint. What is even more frustrating is having 47 more bottles of this beer that you are not interested in drinking, and that you do not feel good about sharing with your friends/family.
This is where 1 gallon brewing can come in. When developing new recipes, you have much less invested into a one gallon batch of beer. Even worst case, if it does turn out poorly, you only have 8-10 bottles of the beer that you spent time brewing and packaging.
I like to perfect batches using a one gallon volume, then after I’ve found a winner, scale it up to 5 gallons to throw in the keezer!
6. Brew More Often!
This is one of my favorite parts of brewing one gallon batches. Since you are spending less money on ingredients (less ingredients=less money), brew days and bottling days are much shorter, and since you’re not having to store 5 gallons of beer at a time, you can brew more often!
It is extremely reasonable to brew a small batch of beer every 2 weeks without it piling up in your closet, especially if you’re sharing with friends.
I personally love having a variety of beers on hand, and this is a great way to make that happen!
7. Easier to Learn the Finer Aspects of the Brewing Process
A big hesitation for many people to take the jump from extract brewing into all-grain brewing is the increased need for expensive and space-consuming equipment.
Don’t get me wrong, you can make great beer using the extract method; however, it is very satisfying to learn and utilize knowledge regarding water chemistry, pH, and perfecting an all-grain recipe.
When brewing a one gallon all-grain or brew in a bag batch, you will utilize all the same skills that a larger batch brewer would, but without the need for a garage full of equipment.
This makes all-grain brewing accessible for just about anyone!
I hope you enjoyed learning about the benefits brewing 1 gallon batches. This is definitely going to sound cheesy, but getting into one gallon brewing significantly changed my brewing life. It allowed me to learn and perfect the finer points in the brewing process and create a much wider variety of beer styles. It also feels great when friends or homebrew club members are surprised at the fact that a delicious beer was brewed on your stove and fermented in a one gallon fermentor in your closet!
If you enjoyed this article and are ready to take the next step into small batch brewing, please see my ‘how-to’ articles on how to brew using the extract method and/or the brew in a bag (BIAB) method.