Why We Brew Smaller Most of our recipes are for 2½ gallons of beer, which makes approximately twenty-four 12-ounce bottles or twelve 22-ounce bottles. Why such a small batch? We started out making 5 gallons, which is what most people do when they start because most of the recipes out there are for 5 gallons. The common feeling being, if you’re going to spend a few hours brewing something and then many weeks fermenting and conditioning, you might as well make as much of it as you possibly can. That argument does make a lot of sense. It’s great to get a lot of beer out of the ingredients and the process. However, we don’t throw a party every weekend, and we’re urban dwellers with relatively small living spaces and pretty tiny kitchens. One 5-gallon batch makes about forty-eight 12-ounce bottles of beer. If you’re brewing this size consistently, the amount of beer that you end up with (even after drinking as much as possible) seems endless. The bottles, kegs, and fermenters will start to spill out of your fridge, closets, and basement. In fact, one day one of us couldn’t take a shower because of the fermenting buckets occupying the bathtub. We started to wonder if this qualified as hoarding. It was time to take it down a notch. Upon doing so, we found that there were many other advantages to smaller batches than just saving space. Smaller batches are, in general, much easier to deal with. You can get a smaller amount of liquid to come to a boil faster. Inversely, it’s easier to cool down a smaller batch of beer, an essential step that needs to happen quickly in homebrewing. You don’t need as much stove power, which is very helpful, especially with cranky or electric stovetops. Another plus is that small batches are so much easier for us to lift, transfer, and generally maneuver, especially when we’re brewing alone. With small batches, we feel free to experiment and try, try again without too much hassle. Having said all that, if you are having a party and want to brew 5 gallons, our recipes can easily be doubled for a larger batch. Happy Brewing!