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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Losing beer after fermentation
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:09 PM   #1
BakerBrewing
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Default Losing beer after fermentation

I have been brewing a decently high gravity IPA for the past few months. I have brewed this beer in both a extract and all-grain as a process. Typically I brew a 5 gallon batch. I like the use of a Safale - US 5 dry yeast packet for this beer ( I use two packets) I found a get a better final gravity once complete. My main sticking point is I lose about 1/2 a gallon after the primary fermentation. I have a few questions as I really can't find a good answer else where.

1. Is this normal? - my thought is that it is.
2. Will adding a 1/2 gallon of water before pitching effect the final product?
3. Should I be using a air lock or blow off tube?

Any suggestions would be very helpful as this is expensive beer to brew, but I love having it on tap.

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Old 07-12-2012, 08:11 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by BakerBrewing View Post
My main sticking point is I lose about 1/2 a gallon after the primary fermentation.
What do you mean? Where is it going? Blow off? Loss to hops between the kettle and fermenter? Trub losses from primary to secondary?
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:15 PM   #3
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That is the whole thing I am confused on why I lose so much. I simply pitch the yeast and let it sit for 10 ten days. Once I transfer to my carboy I notice I have a significant loss of beer. My yeast cake is typically large and I am wondering if that is where I lose it. So if I do lose in the trub is there any way to save?

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Old 07-12-2012, 08:15 PM   #4
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1) Yes, to trub losses, hop absorption, etc.
2) Yes, it will affect the final product. It will dilute the gravity. Gravity x (5 gallons / 5.5 gallons) = new gravity. To maintain the same gravity, increase your ingredients by 5.5/5, or 10%
3) Yes. If fermentation blows a bunch of stuff out of your fermentor, blowoff. Otherwise, airlock.

EDIT: Response to post #3: Longer time in primary will compact the yeast cake some, but hops also absorb a lot if you're dry hopping. Most people just plan on the loss and adjust accordingly.

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Old 07-12-2012, 08:17 PM   #5
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You might need to drink less hydrometer samples?

1. In all seriousness, it's probably just getting absorbed in the trub. This is totally normal.

2. It's fine to add half a gallon of water before pitching, but this will dilute your beer. You might want to adjust the recipe accordingly, calling it a 5.5 gallon batch in your brewing software.

3. If you're using a blow off tube, you might be losing a bit of beer through that. You should consider a larger fermenter if this is the case. Otherwise an airlock is just fine.

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Old 07-12-2012, 08:19 PM   #6
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TyTanium, This may be a stupid question but to adjust would I adjust my grain bill to account for the loss? Just wondering how people adjust accordingly.

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Old 07-12-2012, 08:22 PM   #7
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Alright I think that sound simple enough. Adjusting the recipe from a 5 gallon to 5.5 gallon should do the trick. Thanks everyone.

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Old 07-12-2012, 08:38 PM   #8
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I always brew six gallon batches. 6 in the kettle, 5.5 to the fermenter and 5 into my cornies.

This way you account for break, trub, yeast and racking losses

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Old 07-12-2012, 09:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by bribo179 View Post
I always brew six gallon batches. 6 in the kettle, 5.5 to the fermenter and 5 into my cornies.

This way you account for break, trub, yeast and racking losses
That's exactly what I do.

6.5 (or 7 if Pils malt) gallons into kettle.
5.75 gallons after boil.
5.5 gallons into fermenter.
5 gallons in my belly!
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bribo179 View Post
I always brew six gallon batches. 6 in the kettle, 5.5 to the fermenter and 5 into my cornies.

This way you account for break, trub, yeast and racking losses
same here, easiest way to get 5 full gallons after fermentation
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