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Beerbear

Using the LBK in the Future

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As I advance as a brewer, and want to experiment with different ingredients, or even try an all-grain/part-grain set-up, will I be able to utilize the LBK to brew manageable batches? Everyone always says, "you'll move on to 5-gallon set-ups pretty quickly," to me, but I like how manageable the two-gallon system is being just about a case of beer per batch. Am I wrong, and will I come around to 5-gallon batches?

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When you move on to extract and then to all grain, you can still use your LBK. If you have a 5 gal recipe, you can either cut the recipe in half or get a second LBK and split the 5gal into 2 LBK. Either way you want to fill your LBK to the bottom of the word "QUART".

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Thanks for the reply! If I were to use the extract for two LBK brews, the leftovers wouldn't be wasted would they? Easily used for another recipe?

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A 5 gallon batch  divides nicely into 2 LBKs; there's enough headspace that 2 1/2 gallons will ferment in it with no trouble. The LBK is a convenient size. That would allow you to run some experiments, too--dry hop one but not the other, or use different yeasts, different fermentation temperatures, or whatever appeals to you.

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That's good to know! I'm really excited to try different things... that's the whole point of brewing my own (to me anyway).

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Generally the only problem with halving the recipes is storing the unused portions.

The LME portion can be left in the can, for storage. it's best to add a thin layer of cheap vodka to keep gobbies from growing on the LME.

if you're also using specialty grains, if they are pre-ground, well, they go stale after a wee bit.

so, if you have enough fermenters, do the whole batch, and get er done

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I have brewed several 5-gallon kits from MoreBeer and Northern Brewer by dividing it for the LBK.  It worked well for me, and most of it was pretty easy.  I have just scaled each of the ingredients by the ratio of 2.13 / 5 with a calculator.  Or if you have Beersmith, it will automatically scale it for your LBK volume.  Or, you could just brew half, but that will result in a stronger, hoppier beer, which often is OK.  I have found it simple to save the remaining ingredients.  I put vodka on the LME.  The only tricky part is the yeast.  Generally, you can't save yeast, even dry yeast, longer than a few days after it is opened.

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