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Old 03-26-2008, 08:15 AM   #1
Krisium
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Default Adding water after fermentation?

Well I have made my first homebrew and have started the secondary fermentation in a carboy. I have noticed I have lost some volume of beer due to evaporation during boiling time (i didn't use a cover) and because I left about .15 gallons or so on the bottem because I just couldn't get all of it up because of all the sediment I didn't want to get into the carboy. My guess is a No to my quest but here it is...

To get my volume back up to 5 gallons and I allowed to add water after my primary fermentation to get my volume back up?


Just if you are curious this is my first recipe I chose http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/ProdByID.aspx?ProdID=3610

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Old 03-26-2008, 10:23 AM   #2
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You can add some top-up water if you'd like, but you'll water it down slightly. If it's not that much, I'd just leave it as is. I have a batch of Russion Imperial Stout that ended up being a 4 gallon batch, but I'm going to leave it like that because I like it strong and bitter, just like my women. If you do add water, be sure to boil it first to drive off any oxygen, sanitize, and drive off any chlorine in your water.

Also, secondary fermentation is a misnomer. It's actually a clearing tank. Once the primary is done, all you're doing is letting more yeast fall out of suspension and aging it, which is a good thing.

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Old 03-26-2008, 03:44 PM   #3
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So adding a bit more than 5 gallons for a supposed 5 gallon batch would be a good idea to take in some evaporation? That won't water down my beer right?

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Old 03-26-2008, 05:02 PM   #4
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I would let it be. Adding water at this point risks 'watering it down'. It's best to have < 5 gals of good beer than to have 5 gals of 'watered down' beer.

In the future, note the OG of the recipe and use a hydrometer before you pitch the yeast. You can add water if your OG is high but try not to go lower than the target OG.

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Old 03-26-2008, 05:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wzup97
I would let it be. Adding water at this point risks 'watering it down'. It's best to have < 5 gals of good beer than to have 5 gals of 'watered down' beer.

In the future, note the OG of the recipe and use a hydrometer before you pitch the yeast. You can add water if your OG is high but try not to go lower than the target OG.
I think it depends. Adding a gallon or so won't dilute it too much. I recently had to do this with my blond, because it had way too much alcohol and it turned out just fine.
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:14 PM   #6
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I wouldn't top it off...It's better to have less than 5 gallons of beer at your correct OG then to have 5 gallons waterred down....Noone's brought it up yet, but I'm wondering if adding oxygen rich water wouldn't also perhaps cause oxygenation down the line.

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Old 03-26-2008, 05:24 PM   #7
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Personally I'd leave it as it is. Though I wish there was a different phrase than "watering it down" to describe adding a little top-up water. I've had beers in skanky disreputable pubs that has been watered down, and it was gross tasting (as well as illegal). Adding half a gallon to a 4.5 gallon batch will mean the beer is slightly weaker and may change the balance of the ingredients a little, but not necessarily in a bad way. A lot depends on the recipe and on how closely you were following it, as well as your personal preference. Put it this way - if a beer comes out at 5.3% instead of 5.6%, I can't imagine many people would turn their nose up at it.

But having said all that, I'd still leave it as it is.

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Old 03-26-2008, 05:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy
Noone's brought it up yet, but I'm wondering if adding oxygen rich water wouldn't also perhaps cause oxygenation down the line.
Yeah, you'd want to boil and cool the water before adding it.
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:26 PM   #9
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This is your first batch right?.....Brew another batch right away, it'll take your mind of worry about this one...

Brewing your second batch is the only cure for "n00b nerves!"

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Old 05-20-2009, 04:08 AM   #10
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Ok So i brewed a batch recently and I came out only have 4 gallons of beer instead of 5. At first I didnt think anything of it but my OG reading is 1.07 and my next reading was 1.18. It is a belgian wit and Im pretty sure the alcohol percentage is way to high for the estimate. And it is still very dark and too cloudy for a belgian wit, should I add more water?

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