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Old 02-03-2012, 11:05 PM   #1
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Default noobish question about extract brewing

so i've done two beers and here is my method
1 steep grains in 2.5 gallons of water
2 add extract boil 60 mins with hop additions
3 cool and then transfer to primary

so my question is I usually pour the chilled wort into the primary add 2 gallons of water and then take my OG... then I top off with enough water to bring my wort to the OG I want... is this the correct method?

I want to do a full boil when I get a megapot and I need how to figure out how to calculate OG for my full boils... which is a whole other thread I'm sure

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Old 02-03-2012, 11:11 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ziggityz View Post
so i've done two beers and here is my method
1 steep grains in 2.5 gallons of water
2 add extract boil 60 mins with hop additions
3 cool and then transfer to primary

so my question is I usually pour the chilled wort into the primary add 2 gallons of water and then take my OG... then I top off with enough water to bring my wort to the OG I want... is this the correct method?

I want to do a full boil when I get a megapot and I need how to figure out how to calculate OG for my full boils... which is a whole other thread I'm sure
Yes, if your kettle is not large enough than you are doing it correct, of course doing 3 or 4 gallons and top off will only help...and a full boil will be golden..

Not to much will change with gravity with doing a full extract boil. Hop utilization will a bit but not to much, just do late additions on your extract to elimainate or help get rid of the "twang" or caramelization...Add 1/4 to half at boil and the rest at 15 min left of boil...
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:12 PM   #3
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You're supposed to top off to the recipe's total volume. If it's a 5 gallon recipe,then you top off to 5 gallons in the fermenter. Mix really well shake,etc. Then take your OG measurement. Extract brewing is a little different than what you read for AG brewing.
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:16 PM   #4
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Almost all your sugar content in the wort is contributed by the extract, so your OG is almost a mathematical certainty. Unionrdr is correct, just top off the the proper volume and don't worry!

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Old 02-03-2012, 11:24 PM   #5
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Your method is ok BUT extract brews are notoriously difficult to get an accurate gravity reading on before fermentation because it is difficult to get the concentrated wort and top off water mixed thoroughly enough to for a uniform solution.

Your method runs the risk of adding too much or too little top off water depending on if you happen to sample a more or less concentrated bit of wort.

As the others have suggested, just top off to the volume specified in the recipe and you will be fine. The given amount of malt extract with the specified amount of water will give to gravity specified in the recipe, regardless of what the hydro says.

You're method will make beer, but introduces the potential for error I think you're trying to eliminate.

Welcome to the hobby, and the site

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Old 02-03-2012, 11:48 PM   #6
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sounds good. my second brew i ran the ingredients through some math so I'll just start reling on those calcs for a. 5 gallon batch! I was just worrying about watering down the brew too much making it a 64 calorie beer flavored water clone instead of a tasty IPA!

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Old 02-04-2012, 12:01 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
You're supposed to top off to the recipe's total volume. If it's a 5 gallon recipe,then you top off to 5 gallons in the fermenter. Mix really well shake,etc. Then take your OG measurement. Extract brewing is a little different than what you read for AG brewing.
actually, i'd go for the OG the recipe specified. when i was doing partial boils, i always used that to my advantage, topped up shy of the final vol, took a reading and then topped to the OG which was usually the right vol too, if it was an all extract brew. extract brews get 98-100% efficiency, so you'll be at the right OG if you just top up to the recipe volume.
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