You can brew in 1-gallon batches? Oh yes, small batch brewing is awesome.
Read just about any intro to home brewing book, however, and you’ll find yourself walking the same path I did when I took up this awesome pursuit: buying all the requisite equipment and ingredients for 5-gallon brewing. It was the easiest way to get started. All the recipes I had access to were scaled for 5 gallon brewing, and since I was so new to brewing, I had no clue I had a choice in the matter. I simply assumed all home brewers were brewing in 5 gallon batches and proceeded accordingly.
I got all the equipment and ingredients needed to brew my first beer (Palilalia IPA from Charlie Papazian’s Complete Joy of Home Brewing) and off I went for years without giving the batch size any thought. But after pouring two consecutive botched brews down the drain, I started asking myself if there was a better way. If you’ve ever poured that much beer down a drain, you know the feeling. I can’t imagine how the pros feel when they have to do the same, at much larger scale!
Oh, and I was also moving to a much, much, smaller house, and as a kitchen brewer who would find himself in a home with no storage space (our three kids got first dibs with all their toys and clothes), I knew I’d need to take a different approach. So, now that I’ve sufficiently foreshadowed what comes next, here’s the comprehensive list: