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Old 09-15-2009, 03:34 PM   #1
DKershner
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Default Made too much beer!

This is not my first AG, but it is the first on my new equipment. As such, the levels of liquid in the pot and evaporation rates were pretty much unknown. I had some markers on the outside of the pot, but that's about it.

Anyway, day went fairly well, like 73% efficiency, but then during the boil, not as much water evaporated and I ended up with 6.75gal, when I was shooting for 5.5. This is a barleywine, so I had a fair amount of runoff.

Now, I dumped the beer right on to a yeast cake, or it wouldn't have been a problem, just wouldve separated it from the hops and such and boiled some more. Fermentation has not started yet, however.

Is there anything I can do to reduce the batch size at this point? I had to stick it in my wine fermenter cause it's so big.

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Old 09-15-2009, 03:46 PM   #2
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did you take a gravity reading (i assume you did, as you say you got 73%)? Is it low? I would assume it is. Either way, since you have already pitched, the only way to reduce the volume is to pour off the extra.

However, it is kind of a moot point since you have already pitched....
Just make sure you have a blowoff tube set up. If you filled that fermenter to the top, you are going to have quite the blowoff when the krauzen starts to grow.....

You could always take what wouldn't fit in the fermenter and ferment in a smaller container (ie. bucket, growler, jug, anything you can sanitize and fit some sort of airlock on.)

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Old 09-15-2009, 03:46 PM   #3
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If you use a foam control product like FermCap you could probably ferment it fine in that vessel. Otherwise you can ferment a little in a small gallon jug or bucket. I often have a little left over from 6+ gallon batches that I rack to a jug or just into bottles if I'm kegging it and use carbonation drops to carb the bottles.

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Old 09-15-2009, 03:46 PM   #4
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what does your gravity look like compared to what you were expecting? A barleywine would usually have a 90 minute or even 2 hour boil to reduce the volume. If you have an extra 1.25 gallons, my guess is that you will be way off your OG and you may not be looking at a barlywine anymore.

There is nothing you could do to reduce the volume but if you are still in before fermentation or it has just started, you could boil some DME/LME is a small about of water and add it to bring your OG up.

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Old 09-15-2009, 04:03 PM   #5
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Temp adjusted hydrometer reading was 1.067 on the 6.75gal, expected was more towards 1.090 with 75% efficiency and a 5.5gal batch. Definitely weak on a barleywine scale.

I actually did have a longer boil, before I dropped hops in. Boiled down to what looked about like 7.4gal, which was my beersmith advised starting point, but it only boiled down to 6.75. I could've been a little off on the starting point too, new equipment and all.

I can actually ferment fine in my 8gal wine fermenter bucket, but I don't have a secondary that will fit it. Blow-off is attached. Could just do one fermenter... At this point, I am thinking some extract is the solution...and then I will just keg a bunch and bottle the rest. Last thing I need is to add more water to this thing though!

Calculating I need about 3.25lbs of DME in order to make up the difference. This seem right?

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Old 09-15-2009, 05:11 PM   #6
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Crank that burner up!!

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Old 09-15-2009, 11:24 PM   #7
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There's no such thing as too much beer!!!

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Old 09-15-2009, 11:36 PM   #8
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Was the lid on?
I typically have a pretty good boil using my turkey fryer, but i ran out of gas half way through my last batch and had to move indoors. Fortunately I discovered that I can get an ok boil going on my gas stove for a full batch (~6.5 gallons). With the lid off and my ceiling fan going I think I might be able to get even more boiloff indoors.
I'd definitely use some fermcap (or cheap subsitute, gas-x, etc...) if you have something that high in gravity with no head space unless you want to repaint the ceiling.

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