*Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway - Enter Now!*

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Starting Water Volume: 3 gal vs. 5+ gal
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 03-02-2010, 07:01 PM   #1
johnnybrew
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
johnnybrew's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 502
Liked 12 Times on 10 Posts

Default Starting Water Volume: 3 gal vs. 5+ gal

I have been making extract recipes with steeped specialty grains. Most of the recipes I have read online or found at the local brew shop have the brewer start with approximately 3 gallons of water and then, after chilling to about 100F, bringing up the volume to 5 gallons with regular cold tap water (with an end result of getting the wort to 65-70F for pitching). This has always made me wonder a few things, and because of these unanswered questions of mine, I have been initiating my brewing with 5 - 6 gallons and then topping off my chilled wort to 5 gals with previously boiled and cooled tap water. I have a wort chiller and typically get my wort chilled to 70F in 15-20 mins. From my experience, rapid cooling is the only reason to start with a smaller volume. But, I can be wrong and hope someone here can set me straight. Here are my questions:

  1. Does the starting volume have any effect on the flavor profile or overall 'success' of the brew? One recipe I found noted that the starting volume was very important!
  2. Am I being contamination paranoid when I am not willing to toss REGULAR tap water into my cooled wort? I have great sterile technique and it makes my head spin when I read those instructions!

Thanks in advance for the input. Prost!
__________________
If you can read this, you're not drinking enough.

See my Corny Keg Chilling Insulator
johnnybrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-02-2010, 07:08 PM   #2
Walker
I use secondaries. :p
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Walker's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 11,236
Liked 86 Times on 77 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

I think you are doing the right thing by using pre-boiled tap water. I would not put straight tap water into my beer. I am not a freak about sanitation like some folks are, but I do take caution in some areas.

The starting volume can have an impact on hop utilization. (The thicker the boiled wort, the lower the utilization.)

__________________
Ground Fault Brewing Co.
Walker is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-02-2010, 07:10 PM   #3
McGarnigle
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NYS
Posts: 1,741
Liked 36 Times on 32 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

"From my experience, rapid cooling is the only reason to start with a smaller volume."

I think it's mostly that many cannot boil the full amount on their stoves.

A smaller starting volume increases caramelization and reduces hop utitization, though late extract addition can offset these effects.

I'm guessing most don't top off with ordinary tap water, but some do. Boiled and chilled works, as does bottled water. By boiling and chilling tap water, you're reducing oxygen, and you wnat O2 at this point. But that's not a deal breaker.

__________________
McGarnigle is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-02-2010, 07:19 PM   #4
Walker
I use secondaries. :p
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Walker's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 11,236
Liked 86 Times on 77 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGarnigle View Post
I think it's mostly that many cannot boil the full amount on their stoves.
That... or they don't have an 8 gallon pot. When I started brewing, the biggest pot I had available was only 4 gallons in size, so I did 2.5 gallon boils.
__________________
Ground Fault Brewing Co.
Walker is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-02-2010, 07:23 PM   #5
johnnybrew
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
johnnybrew's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 502
Liked 12 Times on 10 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker View Post
That... or they don't have an 8 gallon pot. When I started brewing, the biggest pot I had available was only 4 gallons in size, so I did 2.5 gallon boils.
Thanks guys. I have a nice 32 quart pot and a super hot jet propane burner to brew in the great out doors! Life is good. I think I need to put a little more effort in and bite the all grain bullet. I seem to be hitting a few extract walls that are hindering my current pursuit: an extract/steeped recipe for a Fuller's London Porter. Do you guys know any good recipes? Thanks again!
__________________
If you can read this, you're not drinking enough.

See my Corny Keg Chilling Insulator
johnnybrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
water volume and s.g. question whackfol All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 1 04-18-2009 04:07 AM
Sparge water volume help HoppyDaze All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 11 02-27-2009 05:29 PM
Volume of Water jimg Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 4 12-07-2007 02:05 PM
Sparge Water Volume jayhoz General Techniques 5 05-02-2007 12:57 AM
Strike water volume jpuf All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 4 09-03-2006 08:55 AM