View Full Version : scaleing down recipe batch size question

09-22-2007, 09:30 PM
I have some honey (various types) that I want to use in some small batches of mead. I'm thinking about 1 gallons or slightly less. I'm trying to figure out quantities I'm suppose to be using. I'm much more fimular with scaling 5 gallon recipes down to what ever size I need but can the same be done with mead recipes? Thank you for the help-b.

09-22-2007, 11:53 PM
Yup - Mead recipes scale well. Take anything that you may be interested in that is currently 5 gallons, divide the amounts of ingredients by 5, and you'll have a one gallon recipe. The only exception that may be to the linear scaling is herbs & spices. Typically their flavors seem to be more prominent in smaller batches, so I'd use a little less than 1/5 of that specified for a 5 gal batch. But that's just my preference. YMMV.

09-23-2007, 01:02 AM
thats what i was thinking...thanks!

09-23-2007, 11:47 AM
Also, from what I've read here you don't want to try to scale down the yeast required. Just use 5g.

09-23-2007, 02:16 PM
most certainly

09-24-2007, 03:54 AM
The only time ive ever heard of scaling a recipie not working was in very large to very small from like 20 gallons of ranch dressing into a half gallon. Note im just talking about scaling in general not specific to mead, but I think that the same rules would apply.

12-03-2007, 02:38 AM
Also, from what I've read here you don't want to try to scale down the yeast required. Just use 5g.

Forgive me for the necromancy, but this was actually what I've been trying to figure out. I'm new to this site, new to mead, and new to brewing in general. Right now i have a five gallon traditional mead that i'll be putting into secondary within the next week or so, in addition to a one gallon dark ale that will be ready to be bottled this week.

Why not scale down the yeast? With my one gal. ale I scaled down, and when it came time to put that into its secondary jug I was surprised at just how much of the lil guys there were sitting at the bottom of the jug. It was close to a quarter of the way full with dead yeast. I can only imagine what would have happened with a full packet. Would it be different with honey? Or was it that the smaller space = less area for the yeast to spread out, making it look to be a lot more?


12-03-2007, 03:35 AM
It could be a time period thing. For example you start a 1 gallon with the same ratio of yeast per gallons as a 5 gallon and ferment under the exact same conditions. Your yeast may reach a higher density faster in the smaller batch because there is less volume for your yeast to chew threw. The point im trying to make is that if your recipe for the ale came with a time scale and it was for a 5 gallon batch you would probably have to scale back the time scale as well.

Also its a living creature every variable has to be weighed to understand why. So to figure out why your ale yeast reproduced so well we need an in depth recipe. The idea behind over pitching though is that your yeast are your soldiers in the war and it never hurts to have a few more soldiers to loot sugar city. Keep in mind too the yeast can only eat the amount of sugar that it can eat before it craps out. If you had made a 5 gallon batch of the same ale chances are you would have had exactly the same ratio of yeast to ale in the carboy.

There is a tone of missing science on how yeast act and why they act the way they do.

If you concern is the cost of the yeast then I suggest you do a search on yeast recycling. Ive posted a few times on keeping yeast in stasis and why if you invest a little up front you dont have to buy yeast again and again. If you cant find the post ill type it up again.


12-03-2007, 01:26 PM
That makes sense. Thanks. It was more I thought overpitching would be overkill, but I will look for those recycling posts.

I know I added a lot more of one of the grains than was called for, which would have translated into a lot of extra sugar, so that is what would have caused the population boom.