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Old 06-17-2010, 08:25 PM   #1
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Default Ale Pail Accuracy

I thought I would post this for all of the other NOOBs, like myself

I recently racked my Bourbon Old Ale to a secondary, a 5-gal carboy, and was a bit upset over all the space left at the top. My other secondary has had 5 gallons of Apfelwein which came all the way up to the neck of the carboy.

I read that these plastic buckets can be off, so now that my primary Ale Pail was free, thought I would test it. I used a 1-gallon milk jug and marked the side with the actual volume as I added a gallon at a time to get to five.

This picture shows the result, I was really surprised it was this far off. I then siphoned off the water to the measuring cup to see just how much it was off. 700 ml or 24 oz; nearly a quart or even worse, TWO BEERS!

Suggest you do the same with your new equipment; measure and mark the actual and don't believe what is printed on the outside.

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Old 06-17-2010, 08:27 PM   #2
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Yeah, I brewed for nearly a year and didn't realize this! I used my ail pale to calibrated stick I used in my boil pot, used it to catch runnings, etc...

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Old 06-17-2010, 08:32 PM   #3
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I did a similar thing with my kettle. I used a straight piece of wood, about 1" X 1" X 30" and marked along it the level of water from each gallon jug addition. I was tempted to take only 2 or 3 measurements, and then infer the rest.. .but it was not linear. The sides of the kettle are not perfectly straight and each gallon addition placed the next line a little closer to the one before it.

To measure my boil for proper concentration, I simply use it like a dip stick. actually, that is exactly what it is.

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Old 06-17-2010, 08:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malintent View Post
I did a similar thing with my kettle. I used a straight piece of wood, about 1" X 1" X 30" and marked along it the level of water from each gallon jug addition. I was tempted to take only 2 or 3 measurements, and then infer the rest.. .but it was not linear. The sides of the kettle are not perfectly straight and each gallon addition placed the next line a little closer to the one before it.

To measure my boil for proper concentration, I simply use it like a dip stick. actually, that is exactly what it is.
Great suggestion, it's great to be able to pick up tips like this on the forum. Is it ok to use wood? Any concern that the wood may have been treated with chemicals, or not to worry?
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_bell View Post
Great suggestion, it's great to be able to pick up tips like this on the forum. Is it ok to use wood? Any concern that the wood may have been treated with chemicals, or not to worry?
Don't buy a pressure treated stick Or one with stain already on it
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:50 PM   #6
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Great suggestion, it's great to be able to pick up tips like this on the forum. Is it ok to use wood? Any concern that the wood may have been treated with chemicals, or not to worry?
uh oh.

heh.. not worried.. I happen to have used a piece of scrap from another project... so I know where it came from. who needs oak chips when you have the Malintent measuring Stick!
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Old 06-18-2010, 03:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceportBP View Post
I read that these plastic buckets can be off, so now that my primary Ale Pail was free, thought I would test it. I used a 1-gallon milk jug and marked the side with the actual volume as I added a gallon at a time to get to five. This picture shows the result
I have 4 buckets different from yours and one bucket with markings and shape just like yours in the picture. I've measured them all more accurately now, and the 4 of one model were all off but to my surprise the one that looks like yours was dead on! Lucky me. That means the earliest beers in my brewing career were more accurate and most of the later ones were watered down
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:08 PM   #8
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Made Graff last night. I measured my Wort (1 gal) in a pyrex measuring cup then added 4 gals of bottled apple juice and it was off by about the same amount. I should have known better and checked it day 1.

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Old 06-18-2010, 12:48 PM   #9
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If you want to get really accurate...measure 1 gal with a measuring cup as you add it to your gallon jug and draw a fill line. I've found most gallon jugs to be closer to 1.25 if filled all the way up.

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Old 06-18-2010, 01:01 PM   #10
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If you have a scale, you can measure by weight, taring the container weight out first of course. Stop at every 1/4 gallon or whatever, and mark your bucket or stick.

I found a 2 foot SS rule online for just over $10. That's going to be my measuring stick. I can generate a table that shows the inches of liquid for each container I own. It's a small project that I keep forgetting to do.

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