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Old 04-05-2013, 08:13 PM   #1
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Default Is putting a 6 gal can kit into a 4 gal fermenter a good or bad idea?

I've read a few posts saying that doubling up kits (such as Mr Beer / brew demon) makes for a fuller beer. I'm looking at getting a 6 gallon kit (Brew Canada or Coopers red ale) but I only have a 4 gallon fermenter.

Is putting the 6 gallon kit into the 4 gallon fermenter going to ruin it? Or improve it by boosting the amount of extract per gallon?

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Old 04-05-2013, 08:32 PM   #2
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I am a beginner but here is my guess... Most 5 gal kits have 5 to 7 lbs of malt extract. The big heavy belgium type ales have 9 or 10. So you will make a very heavy, very high abv brew, and it may take much longer to finish fermenting. Do the experts agree or disagree?

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Old 04-05-2013, 08:38 PM   #3
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yeah it'll basically just bump up the alcohol content

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Old 04-05-2013, 08:44 PM   #4
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I would think that at only 2/3 of capacity, it would do much more than simply bump up the alcohol content. You'll likely end up with flavor differences due to the lack of diluting factors, as well. Still, it will end as beer. Try it . . .

Also, be advised, if your FERMENTER is only 4 gallons, and you use 4 gallons, you will absolutely need a blow off hose . . .

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Old 04-05-2013, 09:32 PM   #5
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The reason people will double up on Mr. Beer kits is that the standard refills are really weak.

If you have a 4-gallon fermenter, you'll need to make a 3.5 gallon batch. A 5-gallon recipe in 3.5 gallons of water may not turn out so well unless it's a really low gravity recipe.

Why not spend the very modest amount of $$ it takes to buy a 6.5 gallon fermenter bucket and do it right?
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFloyd View Post
The reason people will double up on Mr. Beer kits is that the standard refills are really weak.

If you have a 4-gallon fermenter, you'll need to make a 3.5 gallon batch. A 5-gallon recipe in 3.5 gallons of water may not turn out so well unless it's a really low gravity recipe.

Why not spend the very modest amount of $$ it takes to buy a 6.5 gallon fermenter bucket and do it right?
Yeah, at my LHBS you can get a 6.5 gallon Ale Pail for like $12.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:17 PM   #7
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I'd think the balance of sweetness, bitterness and everything else in the final product will be way off.


Expect to large portion of your beer to be lost when fermentation begins due to the small fermentor. (a gallon or more, depending on temperature and yeast). Plan on a blow off and a tub to catch all the krausen that is created.

bosco

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