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I am keen to start Home brewing but brewing 23 litres at a time seems a bit excessive, so I'd like to halve the recipe and only use half a can of brew kit. Does anyone know if this works and how long so you store the kit once it's been opened? Thanks

  • I visited a Brewing Store today and they said it will keep for a few months in the fridge but will lose some quality. He also suggested using a whole can of light tasting beer like a lager with half water and no enhancer. – Clinton Green Nov 27 '15 at 2:23
  • Another option is Coopers have just released a 20l craft brewers kit with a series of beers specifically for that which make 8.5l. Trouble is I can't get in NZ yet. – Clinton Green Nov 27 '15 at 2:25
  • When I brewed with extract I bought it in bulk. You could get in in any quantity. They came in large barrels and the homebrew store filled up canning jars. I would keep extra in the fridge. But like others said, you might as well brew a whole batch rather than a half. It's just as much work. Some people brew even larger batches because of this. But you start to have problems with being able to handle large quantities of wort too - especially boiling wort! – Eric Deloak Nov 27 '15 at 17:28
  • Given that yeast is an expensive factor in home brewing, you may want to reuse the yeast. After the first batch is done fermenting, store the yeast slurry in the fridge and pitch it in the 2nd batch. – Robert Nov 28 '15 at 0:30
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Yes, you can make half a batch.

You can keep liquid malt extract well sealed in the fridge for a few weeks, then it will start degrading. It will loose its freshness, but shouldn't spoil. If you plan using it within 2-3 months, you should be fine.

This Post regarding LME storage, suggest that keeping it frozen is also a good option.

This BYO article mentions that you can keep opened liquid malt extract for a maximum of 3 months:

Liquid malt syrup that has been opened, or is sold in bulk plastic containers, has a much shorter shelf life [than DME]. While buying malt syrup in this form is normally less expensive, it must be used in less than 3 months, or the syrup will degrade or even grow mold. If you have malt syrup in this form, the best way to store it is in the fridge. Pick the smallest possible container to eliminate airspace and avoid oxidation. While the extremely high sugar content inhibits yeast activity and molding, over a three- to four-month time period the syrup will lose its freshness.

P.S.: Making half a batch, is as much work as making a full 23L batch. Knowing that you can store your beer for a few months, 23L isn't that much after all.

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What Clinton Green said - making a "half batch" is as much work as making a "full batch". You will also find that splitting a container of liquid is difficult. Cool storage of opened containers shouldn't be an issue for a few months. Aging is reduced in half for every 10°C cooler you can store something.

  • Very true that measuring half of the liquid malt extract can get messy... Just curious, do you have any documentation about "Aging is reduced in half for every 10°C cooler", where did you get that? – Philippe Nov 27 '15 at 21:16
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    It's from Dr. Charles Bamforth. He lists it a a rule of thumb for chemical reactions in his book Beer: Tap Into the Art and Science of Brewing. – TeeCee Nov 28 '15 at 21:56

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