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Old 04-05-2011, 10:13 PM   #1
jghbt
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Default Correcting batch volume size when using priming calculators

So in the year or so I've been brewing, I've just used Palmer's nomograph in the back of brewing classic styles to determine how much sugar to use when batch priming. I forget the exact wording off the top of my head, but it implies it is for a 5gal batch.

It occurred to me today that this might not be quite right. When I bottle, I'm not bottling exactly 5 gallons. I start w/ 5gal in the fermenter, but I lose some when transferring to the bottling bucket due to trub and I usually leave some beer at the bottom in an attempt to minimize sediment getting sucked up. I'd say that I probably end up with about 4.3 - 4.6 gallons in the bottling bucket.

Should I be accounting for this? It doesn't seem like a huge difference, and I've certainly never felt that my beers were consistently overcarbed (here and there, but it'd have to be a real trend if this were to be an issue) but at the same time if I end up with closer to 4 gallons of beer and am carbing for 5 gallons, that's nearly a 25% difference in volume of liquid.

Or perhaps calculators like Palmers take this into account - they're designed for a "5 gallon batch" with the understanding that not exactly 5 gallons will be going into bottles?

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Old 04-05-2011, 10:38 PM   #2
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Yes you should account for this, I overcarbed my doppelbock with this mistake. Use a priming sugar calculator. Also helps to calibrate your bottling bucket by pouring in 1 gallon of water at a time while marking it with a sharpie. Sometimes the bucket's markings can be way off.

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Old 04-05-2011, 10:45 PM   #3
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My bottling bucket has markings on it for volume. In fact, pretty much every vessel I use in making my homebrew has volume markings on it. If it didn't come with markings, I put some there.

My process for bottle priming has always been:

  1. Rack to the bottling bucket
  2. Determine the volume of beer in the bucket
  3. Calculate the amount of sugar I want to add, based on style, temp, and volume.
  4. Weigh the sugar and make the priming solution
  5. Gently add the solution to the beer
  6. Wait 15 minutes or so
  7. Bottle
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studmonk3y View Post
Yes you should account for this, I overcarbed my doppelbock with this mistake. Use a priming sugar calculator. Also helps to calibrate your bottling bucket by pouring in 1 gallon of water at a time while marking it with a sharpie. Sometimes the bucket's markings can be way off.

Yeah, I've done this on my fermenter as I have to do partial boils, but never really thought about it in terms of bottling until today. I'm getting to the point where I'm starting to look at the nittier & grittier things that I can work to improve on.

It seemed logical to me, but just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to end up undercarbing by doing this.
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