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epete28

Escalation speed?

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For those that started with the lbk, how long did it take each of you to move up to full sized batches?

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About 10 batches in or so, I found myself mixing in some 5 gallon batches here or there, but have settled on 3 gallon AG batches for the most part, though I still use the Mr. B fermenters for 2ish gallon AG batches a good deal.  

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I started with 2.5 gallon batches in a glass carboy. . . did about 5 or so before I started with larger kits. cost was more a factor than anything. you get more beer for your money with the 5 gallon kits... just don't be in a hurry. learn all you can. make mr beer kits. then experiment with tweeking them. do some with steeped grains and then hop boils with lme or dme.  study.. learn.. then when you are ready branch out.

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Batch size and fermenting vessel can be unrelated.  Lots of posts about people doing 5 gallon batches using two LBKs.  I've been brewing for 2 years, I only do 5 gallon batches now, and every one of them is split between two LBKs (lighter to carry, fit where I want).

More important than size is getting down a process and following it, learning, and progressing at the right speed so you're getting good results.  

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You can go to bigger batches whenever you want, but nothing says you ever need to go bigger.  LBK size has a lot of advantages:  faster heating and cooling while brewing, easy to carry, good rate of production for a healthy 2 beers per day and 3-week fermentation cycle, less loss if something goes wrong, etc. 

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2 gallons of beer is like a weekend for me. I'm not rushing, but it's inevitable that I'm going bigger at some point. I know someone who's backyard looks like an episode of "Moonshiners"! I'm not trying to get THERE, but he wasn't either! Haha

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The LBK is perfect for me for smaller batches(most of the time its just me drinking the beer aside from the occasional party).

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Same here as KLR - Two gallons at a time is fine, as it is mostly just me drinking the beer. Occasionally my wife, friend or Brother-in-law will have a glass (My two older children like the "Lite" stuff). Plus, making two gallons lets me keep a variety of beer styles going. 

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Kudos Brian. Variety is the spice of life it keeps things challenging, interesting and fun.

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I think it well said that "it depends."  Bigger is not always better if you are liking the simplicity and variety.  Once you nail down one that you like though, larger system is better.  Our Coopers kit has the extra capacity and Mr.Beer supports that.  We also have many brewers that move up to the bigger systems that come back to the smaller versions to make something that they can then test with. 

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Thanks RickZ for finally pointing out the 5 gallon kit.  Might be a good idea to reference it on the MrB website for those that dont forum.

That being said, a lot of our answers will be "it depends."  I do a lot of 5 gallon (or more) batches for those recipes Ive perfected or house beers.  But I really like the LBKs for those batches that Im not sure if I want two cases of, or for experimenting with different yeasts and hopping schedules.  Also, a lot of LHBSs will scale a recipe from 5 gallons to 2.5 gallons for you if you ask.

Another nice thing about the LBK is it allows for a quick brew day to keep the pipeline full.  I cant always devote a couple of hours to a brew day, but there is no excuse for not finding 20 minutes or so to whip up a batch.

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About a year and a half.  But I also don't drink a lot (maybe 4 beers a week).  I moved up mostly because I've started doing some BIAB.

I will say that I like the size of the LBK brews because if one doesn't turn out, or I don't like it, no big deal.  Brewing 5 gallons of something that it turns out you don't like is a big bummer.

EDIT: Welcome to the obsession, btw.

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