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Old 12-07-2007, 01:16 AM   #1
jimg
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Default Volume of Water

Forgive the newbie question I have first batch ever in secondary. I found interesting that the experts are EXTREMELY precise on fermentation temps, mashing temps, hop amount and timing, etc., but they don't seem to talk much about water volume. Isn't this as or more important than almost anything.

So assume I have a 5 gal. recipe and I will boil for 60 minutes. How much water do I start with? What happens if you after your boil you rack to primary and only have 4 gallons. What do you do. Same question after racking to secondary you only have 4.3 gallons, what then. My current batch is in secondary and looks like about 4 gal. Its gravity was about 0018 when racked about 1 week ago, I haven't checked it since. It should finish at about 0059. Should I do anything but wait another week and bottle.

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Old 12-07-2007, 01:22 AM   #2
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www.howtobrew.com is a great place to start off. Volume with extract is really not much of an issue hence the lack of talk. 5 gallons is 5 gallons. Only place you should be topping off with extract is the primary before fermentation. You WILL lose some volume to a transfer to secondary. That is part of the game. If your OG is too high, you can dilute it own a bit with water. As for what to start with, read the aforementioned site. There are a few schools of thought on this one.
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:31 AM   #3
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If my beer is short a half gallon or so in secondary, should I expect maybe a little sweeter of higher alcohol. Not necessarily a bad thing. Next time a will top up in primary before fermenting.

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Old 12-07-2007, 01:34 PM   #4
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Extract recipes can start with 1-6 gallons, it's just a matter of adjusting the bittering hops. Generally, a full boil for an extract 5 gallon batch only needs to allow for an hour's boil-off. That's about a gallon.

Since you only have 4 gallons, your final gravity will be higher than the target. Extract, PM, AG, I just top off to 5.25 gallons in the fermenter.

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Old 12-07-2007, 02:05 PM   #5
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Most extract recipes call for a 1.5 gallon boil. You can alter this amount as long as you adjust your hops accordingly as larger boils will have higher hop utilization. For a new brewer, I highly recommend following the instructions on whichever recipe you are following.

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