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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Is increasing volume during priming a good idea?
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:01 PM   #1
BryggereitJohansson
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Default Is increasing volume during priming a good idea?

Hi All,

Just joined - I'm brewing my second batch - a stout. I have a question for someone with more experience. For my first batch I went from the brew kettle to a bucket and then to my carboy for fermentation. The bucket had gallon markers, so I could tell exactly how much volume I had. For my second batch, I decided to save myself the effort of sterilizing the bucket, and go straight from kettle to carboy.

In the midst of this process I discovered that my carboy doesn't have gallon markers, and my brew kettle is only 5 gallons. That wasn't a problem when I used the bucket, but I couldn't fill the kettle to the brim without risk of major spillage, so I may have come up a half gallon or so short on water volume. I did add some more water after I put the beer from the kettle into the carboy, but I still think I'm off on water volume.

I plan on boiling sugar with water to prime, and I thought maybe I could just replace the volume I lost at that stage by boiling the sugar in more water. Is this a good idea, or a bad one? I'm not so worried about coming out a few bottles short, but want the beer to taste as it should, and right now my hop and malt to water ratio is a little off. This is the only way I can think to restore the proper ratio at this point. Thanks in advance for the advice.

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Old 01-28-2013, 04:13 PM   #2
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Bad idea.

I assume your FG is within the range of the recipe..? If so then all is good and all your are going to be missing is a few bottles.

It is what it is now, you will have far better results bottling what you have then trying to add water at this point.

If you do add water, if not mixed will make beer watery, lower your overall ABV, risk oxidation and/or contamination, or also if the mix water too hot from boiling it, killing off yeast making the conditioning and carbonation weak, amongst other things..

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Old 01-28-2013, 04:15 PM   #3
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I don't think that being a little low on water will hurt a stout. It'll have 10% more flavor! I'd just leave it as it is and prime normally. By the way, if you only have a half-gallon headspace in that carboy, you might want to consider rigging a blowoff tube for the most active part of fermentation.

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Old 01-28-2013, 04:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BryggereitJohansson View Post
Hi All,

Just joined - I'm brewing my second batch - a stout. I have a question for someone with more experience. For my first batch I went from the brew kettle to a bucket and then to my carboy for fermentation. The bucket had gallon markers, so I could tell exactly how much volume I had. For my second batch, I decided to save myself the effort of sterilizing the bucket, and go straight from kettle to carboy.

In the midst of this process I discovered that my carboy doesn't have gallon markers, and my brew kettle is only 5 gallons. That wasn't a problem when I used the bucket, but I couldn't fill the kettle to the brim without risk of major spillage, so I may have come up a half gallon or so short on water volume. I did add some more water after I put the beer from the kettle into the carboy, but I still think I'm off on water volume.

I plan on boiling sugar with water to prime, and I thought maybe I could just replace the volume I lost at that stage by boiling the sugar in more water. Is this a good idea, or a bad one? I'm not so worried about coming out a few bottles short, but want the beer to taste as it should, and right now my hop and malt to water ratio is a little off. This is the only way I can think to restore the proper ratio at this point. Thanks in advance for the advice.
Bad idea as you will simply be diluting your finished product.

Once the carboy is empty use a 1 gallon graduated container and use it to fill your carboy with water making graduated marks at each interval with whatever works for the material of the carboy. I have seen people get stick on numbers to use with a strip of colored tape to denote the gallon marks.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:21 PM   #5
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It's a 6 gallon carboy so it has adequate headspace, or at least I thought it did. I brewed Saturday and by last night the foam was getting up into the airlock, so I switched to a blowoff tube as you suggested (and thanked my lucky stars I'd purchased a blowoff tube even though I didn't need it for my first batch).

I added a little extra malt and hops, because I couldn't buy DME in less than 1 pound amounts and the recipe called for 3 KG which is 6.6 lbs. I couldn't figure out what to do with the extra .4 lbs of extract so I threw it in. Likewise with the hops - it called for .75 Oz of Nugget, but I threw in the whole ouce, because you can't buy them in less than one ounce amounts at my brewing supply store, and it seemed a shame to waste any. So even with a full 5 gallons the beer would be a little on the strong side, but I guess probably the best course of action is to enjoy it that way and chalk this up as a lesson learned.

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Old 01-28-2013, 04:26 PM   #6
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Oh, and I broke my hydrometer (it was one of those big glass ones that come with beginner kits) so I don't know what the gravity is. I expect it's a little high given the deviations from the recipe, but that'll just make my beer more efficient.

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