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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Is it ok to top off a fermenter with water for All-grain brewing?

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Old 04-04-2012, 07:04 PM   #1
Hophead04
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Default Is it ok to top off a fermenter with water for All-grain brewing?

Just wondering, in the past I have always brewed with extract, and have just topped of my fermenter to a full 5 gallons. Is it possible to do this with all grain brewing? If so I am going to need a bigger pot.

cheers!!

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Old 04-04-2012, 07:45 PM   #2
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It's possible, but it'll lead to lower mash/sparge efficiency since you'll have less water to rinse the grain with, and you'll lose all the positive effects of a full boil.

You'll want at least a 10 gallon pot to do 5 gallon AG batches, you'll most likely start with 6-7 gallons in the kettle. If that's not possible with your system, consider doing smaller batches!

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Old 04-04-2012, 08:07 PM   #3
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OK thanks! I bought a 23 liter pot thinking it would be enough for 20 liters (5 gallons) for the AG method. I guess I need a bigger pot....

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Old 04-04-2012, 08:34 PM   #4
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You can just brew 3 gallons of strong wort the top off with 2 gallons spring water - I do it all the time - just make sure you adjust your hops.

Guinness & Budweiser brew this way - no biggie

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Old 04-04-2012, 08:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hophead04
OK thanks! I bought a 23 liter pot thinking it would be enough for 20 liters (5 gallons) for the AG method. I guess I need a bigger pot....
I brew 5 gallon all grain in a pot that size - you really don't NEED one
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Old 04-05-2012, 02:55 PM   #6
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Wonderful! Great news !! I will hopefully try the 5 gallon batch this weekend and will post to the forums how it went. How would I go about making my wort extra strong? Would I let them mash for longer?

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Old 04-06-2012, 11:59 AM   #7
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I am transitioning from extract to AG. Presently have done 2 PM batches, BIAB. Still using my 7.5 gallon turkey fryer, so I don't have the ability to do a full boil. I just measure the SG and present volume of the wort at the start of the boil, then plug it into a formula that tells me what my SG will be after top off. Allows me to add extract to the part boil to account for the top off and hit my SG into the fermenter correctly.

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Old 04-06-2012, 12:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by william_shakes_beer View Post
I am transitioning from extract to AG. Presently have done 2 PM batches, BIAB. Still using my 7.5 gallon turkey fryer, so I don't have the ability to do a full boil. I just measure the SG and present volume of the wort at the start of the boil, then plug it into a formula that tells me what my SG will be after top off. Allows me to add extract to the part boil to account for the top off and hit my SG into the fermenter correctly.
Why can't you do a full boil? I do in mine. Really have to watch for a boil over at hot break and watch how high your burner is cranked so you don't boil off too much. I start with about 6 1/2 gallons and end with 5 1/2 or so.
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
Why can't you do a full boil? I do in mine. Really have to watch for a boil over at hot break and watch how high your burner is cranked so you don't boil off too much. I start with about 6 1/2 gallons and end with 5 1/2 or so.
Agreed... and Fermcap is your friend here... I haven't come close to a boilover since I started using it...
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:34 PM   #10
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A 6 to 7 1/2 gallon pot is good for AG. That's what a lot of turkey fryer pots are. 10 is nice and will give you more room to work with.

That's if you are doing typical 5 gallon batches. No rule says you have to.

You can top off in AG, but it's best to get as close as you can to your target wort quantity with actual wort. All that water you're running through the grain is how you're getting your fermentables out of the grain.

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