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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Only 4 gallons made...
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:04 PM   #1
Stevorino
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Default Only 4 gallons made...

After my first allgrain batch sunday night I ended up only getting around 4 gallons into my glass carboy. I went ahead and added yeast and put on the airlock. Now I'm scratching my head and wondering if I could have done anything or even if I should do something NOW like add water to get it up to 5 gallons as the recipe called for. Should I leave it alone or do something to it-- I'm figuring it's too late now anyways.

Even if it's too late now-- is there anything I could've done Sunday night to correct my error in water/trub volume prediction?

Thanks guys,

Stevo

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Old 03-18-2008, 12:16 PM   #2
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Bottom line: if your planned SG is on target, leave it alone. If it's high you can add some water to dilute it a bit to get to your planned SG... doubtful, but if your planned SG is currently lower than planned... I got nothing for ya... just work with what you have.

How much wort did you start with in your boil.. sounds like you started with 5 and boiled down to 4.... I use Brewsmith to calculate how much water I need depending on my goals, but basically I start with at least 6.5 gal of wort to boil down to 5.5. I lose at least a gallon during the boil.

I shoot for a final volume of 5.5 because I lose liquid transferring from the kettle to primary, and from primary to secondary. Try to pull a little short on the transfers so I don't bring the trub along with it.

Hope this helps.

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Old 03-18-2008, 01:44 PM   #3
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I tried to start my boil around 6 to 6.5 gallons...most of my volume loss was in a bunch of crap in the bottom of my keggle that I couldn't get out.

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Old 03-18-2008, 01:53 PM   #4
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Ive had this problem a few times using brew smith software. When I follow thier volumes I end up 1/2-3/4 of a gallon short and a high SG. I probably just need to adjust my boil off rate, but instead I just add another gallon to my sparge than the dirrections call for and usually end up close to spot on.

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Old 03-18-2008, 02:02 PM   #5
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Eh. I wouldn't worry about it. Most of my runs come up about a half gallon short after all of the boiling and transferring. That is even with starting at about 6.5 gallons for the boil. If you a really worried about it and your kettle can handle it add another half gallon of strike water.

I used to try and get every last drop out of the carboys and buckets, and now I've switched to whatever comes out comes out.

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Old 03-18-2008, 02:05 PM   #6
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Old 03-18-2008, 02:54 PM   #7
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If you are losing significant volume in the kettle, then you wouldn't want to be topping off because you're losing significant fermentables, not just water, so you don't want to dilute it. You should probably either figure out a way to get more out of the kettle, or bump up your batch size to account for losing a gallon or so of wort.

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Old 03-18-2008, 03:10 PM   #8
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I collect 7.3 gallons of wort, which boils down to 6.0 gallons, 5.5 go into my fermenter. Somewhere between 5.0 and 5.5 gallons end up getting bottled, depending on how much trub is in the primary and whether or not I use a secondary.

For calculating mash/sparge water volume, I use a grain absorption rate of 0.1 gallons/lb of grain, and I have 0.25 gallons trapped in my MLT. I use the water volumes BeerSmith tells me to and I always get 7.3 gallons of wort into the boiler.

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Old 03-18-2008, 03:17 PM   #9
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All of this is helpful. Thanks guys-- it's making me feel better about it too.

Am I right in assuming that it may just be a little strong? I made a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Clone...so I'm figuring I may have just made an IPAish Sierra Nevada...

Don't shoot me (it was 1am when I STARTED to clean up), but I didn't take a SG reading in a rush to clean up and sleep....so I don't know how much water I'd add even if I wanted to.

Thanks again everyone!

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2. CYBI - Gordon's IPA Clone
3. BCS - Scottish -80
4. BCS - Specialty Saison (Gold Medal at BMO)
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1. BCS - Janet's Brown Ale (Fermenting)

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Old 03-18-2008, 03:23 PM   #10
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Boil off rates are temp/humidity/boil vigor specific. Trub loss than vary by recipe and hop types. It takes a while to get a feel for how much preboil wort you need to start with. My recommendation is to sparge a little more than you think you need and save say 2 quarts in a container. If you notice that you're boiling down a LOT, you can add that wort in with 15 minutes left to boil.

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