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Old 01-31-2013, 11:19 PM   #1
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Default Batch size and equipment loss question

I've been brewing BIAB, cooling with an immersion chiller, and dumping (no pump) everything from my kettle into the fermenter. After boil, my 5.5 gal batch recipe made 5.5 gals of wort, and it would all go into the fermenter. I've just recently upgraded equipment and now have a valve on my kettle, a pump, and a plate chiller. I've measured my loss to the new equipment and see that without a pickup tube or tilting the kettle I have about 1.25 gallons that don't make it into the fermenter.

Am I understanding it right that in order to get the 5.5 gals into the fermenter, I'll have to adjust up my grainbill and hops to make a 6.75 gal of wort? I started brewing 1-gallon batches and that seems like a waste of perfectly great beer! If that really is the case I need to look into not losing so much wort to the equipment!

To other people that use pumps and chillers and other fun beer making equipment, do you just live with the gallon or so loss, or do you mess with it to harvest every last drop?

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Old 01-31-2013, 11:28 PM   #2
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Well, yes...either that or get a pickup tube Which...btw, I highly recommend. Attach it into a 90 degree fitting and make it a side pickup and when you get a pump you can whirlpool. I do make 5.75G batches to yield me 5.25 in the fermenter, and then by the time I rack I'm right at 5. I use a pump too there's losses for that as well. I ferment in 6G better bottles and frequently pitch 1.5L starters, so most of the time with my 5.75G recipes, I don't have a ton of headspace..but I always use a blowoff tube. If you have a 6.5G bucket fermenter, or Carboy, this is a non issue.


First Brew was thanksgiving 2011, I'm at 84 batches and counting (as of 7/09/2014), and ran out of room in my signature to list them all.

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Old 01-31-2013, 11:29 PM   #3
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You need to install a pickup tube / dip tube so that valve on your kettle is very close to the bottom of your kettle. That'll reduce your loss to acceptable levels, like 1/8th gallon.

Of course, the lower you go into the last bit of wort the more crud is going to come along for the ride, but if you're ok with that (I am) then dip tube down AND tilt a bit to get almost every last drop!

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Old 01-31-2013, 11:42 PM   #4
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Yes, DP!

As far as the pump/plate chiller combo, I disconnect the hose from the kettle and raise everything above the fermenter,and just drain the last of it in.

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