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Old 02-05-2011, 05:04 PM   #1
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Default Top Off in the Bottling Bucket?

I've tried searching but haven't found much on topping off in the bottling bucket to reach 5 gallons. From what I did find it sounds like when people top off in the secondary it just dilutes the beer. I'm guessing this would be the same as topping off in bottling bucket?

I have a batch that will probably be just under 4 gallons but used all of the ingredients for a 5 gallon batch so diluting it might actually get it closer to taste? It's a wit. I was planning on just boiling my priming sugar in a gallon of water to use for top off.

I'm guessing if you top off before you pitch the yeast the fermentation happens to the entire batch and you get more flavor rather than just diluting but at this point it's either a really strong flavored wit or it's slightly diluted.

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Old 02-05-2011, 05:07 PM   #2
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I would just bottle what you have and recalculate how much priming sugar to use for the 4 gallons you have. 4 gallons of good beer is way better than 5 gallons of beer that tastes like water. IMO

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Old 02-05-2011, 06:16 PM   #3
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I did that with an american wheat. The OG was a little higher than expected and the FG was a little lower too. I used a half gallon of water when I mixed the priming sugar. It worked out fine and tasted great. You don't want to water it down too much though.

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Old 02-05-2011, 08:15 PM   #4
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Yeah, that's the balance I have to try and find blindly. I'm sure the beer will taste fine without any extra water (just a little stronger) and will most likely taste fine by adding an extra gallon of topoff (just a little lighter). I definitely want to get the taste as close to what it would be if the correct amount of water was added before pitching the yeast so maybe I'll split the difference and just add a half gallon.

Since it's a wit I don't mind having it a little on the lighter side though.

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Old 02-05-2011, 09:09 PM   #5
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I have the same problem. Right at 4 gallons in the primary, it's a Hefe also. All the advise I get on here says to leave it alone, and reduce the priming sugar by about 20%.

One of us has to take the plunge man! LOL
I am still undecided what to do. More than likely I will leave it alone. I would hate to screw up my first batch ever.

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Old 02-05-2011, 10:06 PM   #6
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Here's an article which talks about adding water at bottling. It's presented as a way to brew high gravity beer, but it's the same concept (scroll down to see "diluting while bottling"):

http://www.byo.com/stories/technique...ume-techniques

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Old 02-05-2011, 10:15 PM   #7
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No reason to add water unless your gravity is significantly above what you were shooting for. If I had a 1.050 target and ended up at 1.060 I would personally just run with it.

If I (for some reason) ever wanted to add water to dilute the beer I would do it in the primary fermenter. I don't generally use a secondary, and I can't see adding water at the bottling stage. I'd just take the strong beer and deal with it, can't see it much of a problem.

JMHO

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Old 02-06-2011, 12:12 AM   #8
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If you do add water at bottling, you'll want to be sure to mix it thoroughly without over aerating the beer.

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Old 02-08-2011, 01:00 PM   #9
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I've done it, just by boiling half a gallon with my priming sugar...

I extract brew, so ingredients for 5g always go in... if there's only 4g in the fermenter, it ain't gonna make it "watery" to bring it up to 5g.

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Old 02-08-2011, 01:08 PM   #10
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I don't see why you couldn't do it, but I would make sure to rack onto the additional water, boiling extra water with your sugar is probably your best bet, and then give it some gentle stirring to mix, but not aerate. Half a gallon with your sugar will help bring it up some, without being too extreme.

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