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Old 06-15-2009, 11:29 PM   #1
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Default came up WAY short on volume

i decided to do a "use up your leftover ingredients" beer today and was able to utilize my new dip tube in my HLT, allowing me to drain all but a few drops out of it. i thought i'd be able to dial in my total water amount from beersmith and use that to end up with 5 gal... i ended up with somewhere between 3-4 gallons of wort. no big deal, but i'm just looking for input on how much others start with when boiling a 5 gal batch. the OG was supposed to come in around 1.049, but ended up at 1.062, i could have added more water, but thought screw it, we'll just see how it turns out.

i know beersmith can't calculate for everyone based on equipment differences, but i started with 7.6 gallons in the HLT, as BS suggested. after mashing, i had about 6-6.5 gallons preboil. i just find it hard to believe i boiled off 2+ gallons. it was a very vigorous boil and stayed foamy most of the time, never really seemed to get a hot break, but i know i did.

i guess my question is, for those of you who do 5 gallon all-grain batches, what is your normal pre-boil volume? i know we will get a wide range of numbers here, but i'd just like to know what others are doing so I can get some ideas.

thanks.

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Old 06-15-2009, 11:43 PM   #2
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i guess my question is, for those of you who do 5 gallon all-grain batches, what is your normal pre-boil volume? i know we will get a wide range of numbers here, but i'd just like to know what others are doing so I can get some ideas.

thanks.
I usually shoot for 6.5 preboil and boil it down to ~5.5 into the primary to hopefully wind up with 5 gallons of finished product
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:59 AM   #3
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I'm still working on this. I had been getting 4-4.5 gal so I tried to adjust and got 6+ (hefe with a starter... damn right I used a blowoff tube). If you had 6-6.5 gal preboil and you ended up with 4.5, then it looks like you boiled off a lot. How wide is your pot? Factors like the surface area and wind, etc, can affect boiloff rates.

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Old 06-16-2009, 04:07 AM   #4
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I start with 7 gallons if I want to end up with 5 after a 60 minute boil. I use an outdoor propane burner/keggle setup.

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Old 06-16-2009, 12:20 PM   #5
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I use an outdoor propane burner/keggle setup.
me too... and i just got a new burner/regulator, so i have one for the HLT and one for the BK. the regulator is only 5 PSI, which i didn't know when ordering it. i figured since it is less than the 10 PSI one i normally use, i should rock it... well, lesson learned, the 5 PSI has NO problem getting my full boil going and i had a boilover, which may have contributed to my volume loss, but not that much. i'll definitely try around 7 gallons next time.

is there a way in beersmith to adjust your preboil volume without changing your target volume?
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Old 06-16-2009, 12:48 PM   #6
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I had the same problem my first 2 batches. My problems were
1. Didn't expect the grains to soak up so much water (.2)
2. Didn't expect my boil off to be almost 25% (keggle and propane burner)

so i have to start with just over 7 gallons to get around 5 gallons into the primary

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Old 06-16-2009, 02:13 PM   #7
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There are a couple variables I pay attention to. First, 60min boil or 90? I lose about 1.5 gallons per hour. Don't think of boiloff as a percentage. It's a fixed amount over time for your equipment.

Second, big hop bill or small? Leaf or pellet. If I'm brewing an IPA with all leaf, I add 1/2 gallon to the batch size.

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Old 06-16-2009, 02:13 PM   #8
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Where it says "equipment" go to the right and click on details. You can check or uncheck whether to have the preboil volume calculated automatically (mine is unchecked). It tries to calculate your boil volume for you based on your equipment.

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Old 06-16-2009, 02:26 PM   #9
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For an OG 1.049 beer, I'm typically around 6.5 gallons pre-boil volume for a 5 gallon batch, 60min boil.

Did you measure your pre-boil gravity?

I agree with everyone that says you should be around 1.5 gallons per hour for most types of homebrewing AG boiling setups. It's going to be different for everyone, but should be in the ballpark.

Another thought is that I usually start with more than 7.6gallons in the HLT for a batch this size. I'm usually at least 9 gallons. Since I've been making 5.5 gallons batches, I've been using nearly 10 gallons in the HLT. It sounds like you may not have used enought water.

If I had to guess - It sounds like your pre-boil gravity was too high, and you really had less than 6 gallons pre-boil. This would imply that you didn't sparge enough.

I'm no AG veteran, but I do have many batches under my belt and I'm a strong advocate of measuring my pre-boil gravity to know when I've got enought wort. I never miss OGs by more than a point because I know my boil-off rate and can calculate the pre-boil gravity needed. I sparge until I hit the pre-boil gravity of the wort in my kettle. Works every time.

If you want to do the calculation manually:

(Grav Units 1) x (Volume 1) = (Grav Units 2) x (Volume 2)

Using your situation finishing at 1.062 OG (grav unit 2) with only 4 gallons post boil (or Volume 2).
I'm also going to assume your pre-boil volume was 5.5 gallons instead of 6 like you stated.

(Grav Units 1) x (5.5 gallons) = (62) x (4 gallons)

That would yield a pre-boil gravity of 45 gravity units or 1.045. To hit OG 1.049 on a 5 gallon beer - you'd need 6.5 gallons at 1.038.

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Old 06-16-2009, 07:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pangea View Post
Did you measure your pre-boil gravity? No, I will try this next batch.

Another thought is that I usually start with more than 7.6gallons in the HLT for a batch this size. I'm usually at least 9 gallons. Since I've been making 5.5 gallons batches, I've been using nearly 10 gallons in the HLT. It sounds like you may not have used enought water. Definitely a possibility, I need to mark my new sight gauge to see how much I'm using to sparge with.

If I had to guess - It sounds like your pre-boil gravity was too high, and you really had less than 6 gallons pre-boil. This would imply that you didn't sparge enough. I think you're right, I must have had less than 6 gal. Need a sight gauge on the keggle as well. I've got the coupling for it, just need a suitable piece of heat-resistant polycarb.
Quote:
Originally Posted by smakudwn View Post
so i have to start with just over 7 gallons to get around 5 gallons into the primary. I'll definitely shoot higher next time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
There are a couple variables I pay attention to. First, 60min boil or 90? I lose about 1.5 gallons per hour. Don't think of boiloff as a percentage. It's a fixed amount over time for your equipment.

Second, big hop bill or small? Leaf or pellet. If I'm brewing an IPA with all leaf, I add 1/2 gallon to the batch size. Really small hop bill; pellets. 1 oz.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big10Seaner View Post
Where it says "equipment" go to the right and click on details. You can check or uncheck whether to have the preboil volume calculated automatically (mine is unchecked). It tries to calculate your boil volume for you based on your equipment. Thanks for the direction.
Thanks for the replies.
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