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Old 01-10-2011, 04:22 PM   #1
Seven
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Default Hitting Final Wort Volume Target

Hello!

When brewing from an extract kit, doing a full wort boil, my final target volume of cooled wort is 5.5 gals:

(sometimes the kits include grains that need steeping)

I've read elsewhere that wort and other added ingredients expands by about 4-percent when hot.

Would it be relatively safe to assume that I can simply multiply my final target volume by 4-percent, then stop my boil when it gets to this point?

For example:

5.5 multiplied by .04 = 0.22
5.5 plus 0.22 = 5.72 gals
Boil wort until it reaches 5.72 gals (or perhaps 5.75 for simplicity!)
Final amount of cooled wort should be at or near 5.5 gals

I realize the final volume can vary depending on many factors such as hops expansion / absorption / etc... but if I can get anywhere NEAR 5.5 gals with the above formula then it will be a big improvement for this brewing newbie.

Thoughts?

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Old 01-10-2011, 04:37 PM   #2
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You need to BEGIN with the end in mind and use the correct amount of water to begin with. It would be better to be forced to boil longer than an hour than less than an hour to insure proper hop bitterness. And don't be afraid to use a little top off water to hit your volume if your gravity reading permits it.

You should be more focused on hitting gravity numbers then volume. If you are hitting OG and not your volume then you are going to need more water and more fermentable sugars.

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Old 01-10-2011, 04:44 PM   #3
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When I did extract I always shot a little low on my volume, because you can always pour water into the fermenter to get up to volume.

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Old 01-10-2011, 10:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendBrewer View Post
You need to BEGIN with the end in mind and use the correct amount of water to begin with. It would be better to be forced to boil longer than an hour than less than an hour to insure proper hop bitterness. And don't be afraid to use a little top off water to hit your volume if your gravity reading permits it.
Are you saying I should begin with my final target volume of 5.5 gals of water, then boil, add ingredients, etc., until I'm back down to my final target volume again of 5.5 gals... adding top-up water if needed in order to meet the required boil time?

I understand that it's OK to boil a little longer than the recipe states in order to boil off some of the volume if needed.

I'm still contemplating the gravity numbers vs. volume statement you made too.

Sorry for the n00b questions. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this.

Thanks for the help!!!
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seven View Post
Are you saying I should begin with my final target volume of 5.5 gals of water, then boil, add ingredients, etc., until I'm back down to my final target volume again of 5.5 gals... adding top-up water if needed in order to meet the required boil time?

I understand that it's OK to boil a little longer than the recipe states in order to boil off some of the volume if needed.

I'm still contemplating the gravity numbers vs. volume statement you made too.

Sorry for the n00b questions. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this.

Thanks for the help!!!
What most people do is find out how much they boil off in an hour then start with their target amount + the expected boil off amount.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:43 PM   #6
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You are making this way too complicated. Just boil down to 5.5 gallons, cool, add to fermenter and top-up if necessary. Make any adjustments from there for the next brew.

Remember:
- the pot will expand too when hot, giving you a false volume reading.
- any evaporation after the boil will increase losses.
- Hops absorb liquid, and if strained out will reduce volume.
- Trub.
- Etc

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