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What are some best practices for scaling a 5 gallon homebrew batch up to something bigger, be it a 10-15 gallon batch, or a full on multiple barrel commercial batch?

Efficiency goes up on some bigger systems, and not everything scales in a linear 1:1 fashion, such as hops.

What are some things to keep in mind, equations, etc?

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Good question! I've been thinking about making some sort of home brewing recipe sharing software, but don't know what would be the universal way to save and then calculate recipes (by amount you want to make). –  Simon Apr 19 '10 at 4:05
    
I know some software does this, but I'd love to see the math itself rather than just relying on a program (like promash) –  hookedonwinter Apr 19 '10 at 15:00
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2 Answers

In my experience things scale linearly in the homebrew range fairly well. Certainly, malts and sugars do. I have taken 5 gallon (even 3 gallon) recipes up to 15 gallons and done everything linearly. For my palate I couldn't taste any dramatic differences with the hops.

However on larger scales of 3bbl systems to 10+bbl systems its more of an issue it seems. And I think it is at that scale that we get such information about scaling concerns.

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Convert things to percentages

By weight

  • 70% Maris Otter
  • 20% Rye Malt
  • 5% Munich Malt
  • 3% Crystal 120L
  • 2% Special B

  • 80% Bittering Mt Hood

  • 18% Flavor Kent Goldings
  • 2% Aroma Saaz
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What things should one think about when determining the total amount? –  Simon Apr 19 '10 at 4:01
    
But the question stated that "not everything scales in a linear 1:1 fashion, such as hops". Simply converting everything to percentages is the same as scaling everything linearly. I think he's looking for other methods of scaling up recipes. –  Room3 Apr 19 '10 at 11:38
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