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Old 08-05-2011, 09:12 PM   #1
walrusbt
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Default Doing my first batch tomorrow - question about water volume

I'm doing my first batch tomorrow (AHS Cream Ale) with a full boil. As I understand it, I need to start off with about 6 gallons though this somewhat depends on the shape/siz of pot (I think mine is fairly standard - 14.5 in diameter that came with turkey fryer). What I don't understand is what happens if I end up with less than 5 gallons after the boil (or more than 5g) - do I boil more water and add to the kettle to get up to the 5 gallon mark? What about the trub? Am I supposed to take that into account - do I shoot for 5.25 or more to account for some volume lost there, or just ignore the fact that the trub will eat up a bit of the wort?

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Old 08-05-2011, 09:50 PM   #2
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Keep it simple. Just start with 5 gallons, and then top off with water back to 5 gallons in the fermentor.

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Old 08-05-2011, 09:53 PM   #3
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For me here in Arizona, I start with 2/3 gallons over from where I want to end up. This accounts for boil off, loss of wort to trub, etc. But the more you brew the more you'll learn your system.

If you end up with less than the intended 5g you can add some purified water but it will lower your OG therefore lowering your final ABV. How much depends on how much you add. Personally though, I rarely check my numbers anymore so I wouldn't worry about it. Just brew and enjoy the experience!

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Old 08-05-2011, 10:03 PM   #4
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It depends on how high you turn the gas up as to how much boil off you'll get. On my stove,it's .25-.5G,on average.
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:05 PM   #5
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Hitting the proper gravity should be more of a concern than getting a full 5 gallons. Eventually you will learn your system and know how much water to start with but adding water afterward is asking for sub par beer... unless your gravity is really high. I always aim for 5.5 gallons at the end of the boil because I know I'm gonna leave a half gallon behind. I usually start my boils with closer to 7 gallons but it all depends on your system.

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Old 08-05-2011, 10:08 PM   #6
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I usually start the boil with 7g and end up with a bit over 5 after accounting for trub, equipment losses, and hop absorption. You probably won't need as much as 7g as each setup is different. I'd start with 6g and see how it goes. If you end up with less than you want you can top off without causing any damage. If you end up with more than you want, you could waste time and propane boiling it down to the required volume.
Having done your first brew, you will have a much better idea of what volume you need for the next brew.

Good luck,

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