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Old 07-31-2014, 03:41 AM   #1
PakDat
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Default Adding Extra Water to 5 Gallon Batch

I'm sure that this topic has been discuss before. But can't find it.

Here's the story from A to Z...

I've brewed 4 times with extract recipe kit. I follow the instructions as what they have written. I have skipped the secondary fermentation, but this time I want to do a secondary fermentation to my next batch of beer. I know people will say "don't do it" or "why" or "thats risky" and so-on.

Well, I want to learn how to do it and be diverse.

When doing a secondary fermentation. I've read that while you transfer the batch to the secondary. You leave the particles in the primary fermentor. If thats the case. When I transfer it to the secondary. I figure there would be a good amount of beer left behind for the particles, possibly half a gallon. Wouldn't it be best to add extra water to the 5 gallon wort? So when you "top-it-off" to the 5 gallon mark, just add more water. So when it is time to transfer it to the secondary it will be close to the actual 5 gallon and not be way under.

The instruction says add water to the wort so that it totals at a 5 gallon batch. But...in the end, if I follow the instructions I wouldn't get an actual 5 gallon batch. I would have lost a good amount of beer due to the transfer of the secondary.

The end...

Really, I hope you folks understand what I'm trying to explain.

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Old 07-31-2014, 04:02 AM   #2
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I get it. And I do transfer with a loss. I however don't top off. And just take the loss of about .3gals. In the end my 5 gal. Batches wind up giving me two cases. My theory is topping off will alter my abv. So I don't. My beer has always been great tasting and friends love the 1to2 beer buzz...

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Old 07-31-2014, 04:17 AM   #3
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Instead of topping off, I have been trying to find the magical number to start out with, doing a full boil brew. Right now, I think I have found the sweet spot of 6.25 gallons of starting water to end up with just over 5 gallons, that when siphoned will net me a full 5 gallons after everything has settled.

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Old 07-31-2014, 04:21 AM   #4
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Do you adjust your wort to match the desired sg?

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Old 07-31-2014, 04:22 AM   #5
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A lot of brewers shoot for 5.5 gal of wort and ferment in a 6-6.5 gal carboy, for proper headspace, then transfers to a 5 gal carboy. The extra .5 gal accounts for your loss to the trub, so your right about beer loss. You use a 5 gal carboy so you can top it up to the neck to reduce surface area and help prevent oxidation because you lose the protective layer of co2 from primary. Remember to adjust recipes to account for the extra half gallon and sanitize your secondary well.
If you've already brewed up 5 gal you can top up with distilled water only. It might be worth it to do it next brew when you can adjust so you're not diluting it. But even if you dilute its not going to bad. I'll be a bit thinner, prolly enough to be noticeable but not to much.

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