Over the last week or so Jackalope (who has a lot more experience brewing beer than me) and I have talked about brewing beer in batches smaller than 5 gallons, looking more at 3 or even 1 gallon carboys.
I got to say that this is much more appealing to me than the regular batches, because the smaller ones give you more room for experimentation without ending up with 5 gallons of beer (that’s about 53 12 oz. bottles, or 8 six-packs — which is a lot of beer). For example, I’d maybe like to try making a Kölsch, but it’s not a beer I’d order if there is, say, a Stone IPA on the tap next to it, so ending up with 5 gallons of Kölsch doesn’t sound good to me at all. My last batch (an IPA) took me almost 1.5 years to drink and then there’s also the storage problem (we’re in an apartment now, so no basement this time). And as I don’t have any equipment at all right now starting with this setup is as good a place to start as any. Thinking about it, with two secondary fermenters, one could even have two smaller batches going more or less at the same time, or settle into a continuous rhythm making of small batches over the year.
As far as style of beer is concerned I haven’t made up my mind yet. I gravitate towards IPAs, because that the style I enjoy the most, but I wouldn’t mind trying something else this year, as well.
The Wife is partial towards stouts and porters, so that’s an option.