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Old 08-24-2007, 10:54 PM   #1
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I am getting ready to start my second batch, since my first is in the secondary fermenter and about a week away from bottling. I noticed on my first batch that though I started out with 5 gallons of water in my full boil, I ended up with considerably less.

My question is whether I should be starting with 5 gallons of water or planning ahead so that I will end up with 5 gallons.

I'm not worried at the fact that I will end up with less bottles of beer. I am worried because when I racked it to the secondary, there was a significant amount of airspace left in the carboy.

I appreciate everyone's help. Although this is my first post, I have been soaking in so much from this site for the past month. You guys have been invaluable.

-Andy

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Old 08-24-2007, 10:56 PM   #2
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If you do full boils for 60 minutes, you will evaporate on average 1 gallon. Try to start with 6.25 gallons before you boil. Then you will finish with 5 gallons.

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Old 08-25-2007, 02:31 AM   #3
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I think 6.25 might be a BIT too much. I usually start with 5.75 or 6 and after a 60 minute boil I still end up with a bit more than 5 gallons.

But to answer your question, YES, you need to start out with a bit more than 5 gallons.

You always CAN add water to get it back up to 5, but that is not advised and might mess with your temperature.

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Old 08-25-2007, 03:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heertsy
I think 6.25 might be a BIT too much. I usually start with 5.75 or 6 and after a 60 minute boil I still end up with a bit more than 5 gallons.
Yeah but you haven't seen EdWorts Banjo burner.

Start with 6+ gallons of preboil.

Adjust your boil intensity to get to 5.25 gallons of wort in the fermenter.

Plan on losing .25 +/- to trub and hydrometer samples.
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Old 08-25-2007, 03:40 AM   #5
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their is no such thing as a stupid NOOB, but there are stupid questions (this isn't one)

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Old 08-25-2007, 04:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by libs
their is no such thing as a stupid NOOB, but there are stupid questions (this isn't one)
I was thinking the same thing.

BTW, Welcome to the forum.
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Old 08-25-2007, 01:49 PM   #7
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I've been able to boil off as little as 1/2 gal and as much as 1.5 gal starting from 6 gal by varying how vigorously I let it boil. If you keep it so it's just barely turning the surface over (have to stir it more with this method), you can keep the evaporation rate down to about 5%. But if you do a full-blown vigorous boil (my understanding is vigorous = better), you can push 15% evap rate. Beersmith software defaults to a 9% evap rate. Hope that helps.

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Old 08-25-2007, 07:18 PM   #8
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I don't think 6.25 is too much I usually boil 7 gallons+ to get 5.5 gallons, its all trial and error, your system and elements are different than everyone else's, after a few more you'll dial it in. Good luck.

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Old 03-26-2009, 06:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thalon View Post
I've been able to boil off as little as 1/2 gal and as much as 1.5 gal starting from 6 gal by varying how vigorously I let it boil. If you keep it so it's just barely turning the surface over (have to stir it more with this method), you can keep the evaporation rate down to about 5%. But if you do a full-blown vigorous boil (my understanding is vigorous = better), you can push 15% evap rate. Beersmith software defaults to a 9% evap rate. Hope that helps.
I've been doing a bit of reading in George Fix's "Principles of Brewing Science," and it seems as though the real sweet spot in boiling is where you're boiling off around 7%. I don't know if that was 7%/hour or what, but i remember 7%
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:03 PM   #10
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I just finished my all electric rig and I "dialed" it in so that I'm burning off about 1.25 gal/hour. I'd start off with at least 6.25 gallons, back when I was using propane I was starting with 6.5 gallons to get a final 5 gallon batch.

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