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Old 08-29-2011, 11:55 PM   #1
streetbs
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Default 6 Gallon No-Boil & 5 Gallon brew kit dilemma

I recently purchased a beginners kit to start brewing at home and along with the kit came a 5 gallon Carboy. The bucket is 6.5 gallons which I believe is pretty standard, and as far as I can tell, the carboy is not out of the norm either.

I also purchased a 1.8kg Muton's No Boil IPA Bitter kit. This is for a 6 gallon batch.

So the dilemma is having a 6 gallon no boil without the ability to do secondary fermentation in my carboy without losing a gallon of tasty beer.

I've been instructed to do either of the following by two different local vendors, but maybe folks on here can point to the better option!

1) Fill up the primary fermenter to 5 Gallons only in 6.5 bucket. Move to secondary fermenter in my 5 gallon carboy when ready. After both steps, move beer to bottling bucket and top off with a new gallon of water before adding sugar and bottling.

2) Fill up the primary fermenter to 6 gallons. When moving brew to the secondary fermenter only fill the carboy up to the 5 gallons it can hold and then continue on with the bottling process like normal.

Does one approach have advantages over the other? I'm not sure if the first option will water down the beer in a horrible way or in the desired way and i'm not sure if the 2nd option will be wasteful or even succesful...

Also I plan on adding about 2 or 3lbs of a light malt extract (not sure if DME or LME would be best). The Munton's IPA Bitter is pre-hopped, but I am also planning on adding an oz. of hops when I start the secondary fermenter to achieve a more hoppy brew. Any thoughts on these plans would be appreciated too!

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Old 08-29-2011, 11:59 PM   #2
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I propose #3- don't move the beer to a clearing tank (the carboy) at all. There is no need, and there isn't enough room anyway. Wait 2-3 weeks after pitching the yeast for the beer to finish, clear a bit, and condition, then rack to a bottling bucket and bottle!

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Old 08-30-2011, 12:02 AM   #3
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Do you have a 6.5 gallon bottling bucket? If so what I would do is skip the secondary all together. Leave it in the primary for 3 weeks, transfer to bottling bucket and bottle. A secondary is really only necessary if you are going to be aging longer than 3-4 weeks.

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Old 08-30-2011, 12:05 AM   #4
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Because I wouldn't be using a secondary, would it be a good idea to add Finnings to help keep the beer clearer? And where do I stand then with adding hops to the brew?

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Old 08-30-2011, 12:07 AM   #5
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Because I wouldn't be using a secondary, would it be a good idea to add Finnings to help keep the beer clearer? And where do I stand then with adding hops to the brew?
I never use finings (friends of mine are vegetarian, and most finings are not vegan/vegetarian) but in 3 weeks the beer still should be pretty clear. If not, you could put the fermenter someplace cold (like in a fridge) and the cold temperature should cause any floaties to fall out. That's usually not necessary either, but some people do that.

About a week before bottling day, open the fermenter and gently drop in the hops without splashing. And then close it back up.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:31 AM   #6
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Yooper, would you have any specific advice regarding an appropriate amount of malt extract (either DME or LME) for 6 gallons? The instructions are rather vague and put it in terms of preferences, though I have not yet developed these nor have i associated them with quantities of various products lol.

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Old 08-30-2011, 06:12 PM   #7
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Yooper, would you have any specific advice regarding an appropriate amount of malt extract (either DME or LME) for 6 gallons? The instructions are rather vague and put it in terms of preferences, though I have not yet developed these nor have i associated them with quantities of various products lol.
Well, for an average strength beer, say with an original gravity of 1.050, I'd use 8 pounds of liquid extract, or 6.6 pounds (two cans) plus 2 bags (two pounds) of dry extract.
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