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Old 08-17-2011, 02:05 AM   #1
TheGrouch
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Default 5 gallon kit only nets 43 bottles?

Just bottled my first batch and I only had a bit over 4 gallons from the secondary, netting 43 bottles. I didn't lose much wort racking to secondary (tipped the carboy and autosiphoned at the deep point), so I think I didn't top off all the way to 5 gallons on brew day. I know I made the mistake of not measuring out 5 gallons and marking my primary carboy before making this first batch. Lesson learned there.

So my question is...what effect will this have?

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Old 08-17-2011, 02:11 AM   #2
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None, really. I know the difference between 43 and 53 bottles is alot, but really, it's not much when you consider 5 gallons of beer.

Next time, if you're following a 5 gallon recipe, make sure you top up to 5 gallons at the beginning. Or, follow a non-kit recipe and just scale up to 5.5 gallons so you end up with 5 gallons of finished beer.

Really, the important part is the taste and enjoyment of the beer not the exact number of bottles. If you've got a great beer, that's better than 10 more bottles of a not-so-good beer!

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Old 08-17-2011, 02:14 AM   #3
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+1 to yoopers advice.

Also, we dont know what kind of beer you made. If it was an (I)IPA that you dry hopped, the extra hops in the secondary would account for your extra volume lost.

For a great lesson in "dry hopped volume" lost, check out Yoopers DogFish Head 60 clone. I think I had like 40 beers (tops) after a 5 gallon batch. Best brew ever though.

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Old 08-17-2011, 02:46 AM   #4
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It's Jamils Evil Twin from NB. No dry hopping.

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Old 08-17-2011, 02:35 PM   #5
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I've noticed that different brews produce different amounts of trub too. That would account for some losses.
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Old 08-17-2011, 02:40 PM   #6
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I had the same experience on my first two batches. I only bought 5 gallons of water in jugs thinking "A 5 gallon batch only needs 5 gallons right?" Well after realizing our batches were closer to 4 going into the fermentor from steeping grain absorbtion and boil off, we learned to just get 6 gallons going into it to avoid having to run to the grocery store for another jug!

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Old 08-17-2011, 02:43 PM   #7
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At first it was a little difficult for me to get my head wrapped around the concepts, but now my numbers are 6, 5.25, and 5. I make beer to have a final volume of 6.0 gallons so that by the time I'm done I transfer 5.25 gallons to primary. Then if I bottle I end up transferring 5.0 gallons to my bottling bucket.

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Old 08-17-2011, 02:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
I've noticed that different brews produce different amounts of trub too. That would account for some losses.
+1

I had exactly 5 gallons at pitch time for my Glacier PA, I ended up with 50 bottles of beer which blew my mind! However, I just bottled my Friday IPA on Monday, I ended up with 42 bottles, same starting amount, higher gravity, more hops, more trub

Different types and amounts of fermentables, your yeast, the leftover hops from the boil, it all comes into consideration. I recommend starting a brew book for yourself, writing down your results after you brew a recipe, then next time you brew said recipe you can scale up if its important to you to land a particular amount of bottles per batch.

Also, definitely mark gallon levels on your carboy like you suggested, that is important information to have
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
None, really. I know the difference between 43 and 53 bottles is alot, but really, it's not much when you consider 5 gallons of beer.

Next time, if you're following a 5 gallon recipe, make sure you top up to 5 gallons at the beginning. Or, follow a non-kit recipe and just scale up to 5.5 gallons so you end up with 5 gallons of finished beer.

Really, the important part is the taste and enjoyment of the beer not the exact number of bottles. If you've got a great beer, that's better than 10 more bottles of a not-so-good beer!
Amen to that. Quantity is much less important than quality. If you're hitting close to your OG and FG numbers like you should be and you are fermenting within the right temperature range, that's all that matters.
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:02 PM   #10
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Even the size of the bottles can come into consideration.

The grolsch bottles I use in bottling hold 467ml, compared to around 350ml for a standard brown beer bottle. Understandably, I get less bottles filled...

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