When starting out brewing, I often recommend not worrying about calculating the ABV of your beer, especially if it’s your very first batch. In some circles, this is considered a mistake. I have nothing against the practice – in fact I always take original and final gravity readings when I brew. But when you’re just starting out, it adds one more step that could lead to potential contamination, while reducing the final volume of beer you’ll bottle. Let me explain:
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:
If you’re not a hop head or you want an easy-sipping beer on a hot summer day, this beer will take good care of you.
For this one, we’re going with light sweetness, and low spices. It’s designed to be an easy-going, easy-sipping blonde for those of you who love Belgian beers.
If you love rich and malty Belgian beers that make a good thing of phenolic flavours, mild hop bitterness and a hint of caramel flavours, look no further.