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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Water Loss During Brew Process
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:02 PM   #1
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Default Water Loss During Brew Process

I figured i'd attempt my first brew by doing the Brooklyn Brew Shop Everyday IPA Kit. It's an All-Grain Kit, so i know there is much more risk and margin for error than starting out with extracts, however i'm determined to learn All-Grain first.

I ended up with MUCH less wort than was expected, a little bit more than half.

The kit says that ending up short after the boil is okay, and just to top off with tap water, but i'm sure they don't mean THAT much water!

I followed the instructions and added the water to top off. The final product looked great in color and smelled great as well.

I'm looking back now and trying to figure out where i lost that quart or so of water. Was my boil too hot? maybe i left too much in the grain bed during sparge? hmm

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Old 01-28-2014, 02:09 PM   #2
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Default Water Loss During Brew Process

Did you calculate how much water you needed? There are online calculators to assist. I do mine by hand before each batch so I know I'm right. Here are the ways you lose water:

Grain absorption, boil off, heat expansion (hot water is less dense and takes up more volume than cool water, and contracts/condenses when cooled), dead space losses, hop absorption (cones), trub losses and transfer losses. Calculate those and you will be set.

Here is a section of my brew sheet (YMMV):

Batch Size:
Trub and hop loss; add: (how much do you expect to lose to trub and hops?)
Final boil volume: (batch size + trub and hop loss)
Shrinkage; divide by 0.96: (constant)
Evaporation; divide by 0.86: (this is my boil off rate, you need to calculate yours)
Equipment losses; add: (water lost in hoses, dead spaces, spillings, etc.)
Spent grain loss; add (0.13 gallon/lb of grain): (grain absorbtion, constant)

Total water needed:

Source is Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels.

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Old 01-28-2014, 02:53 PM   #3
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Since this kit had it all measured out for you, this time there was no need to do any calculations. Shouldve been right on. I'm guessing it was a combonation of transfer losses and grain absorption... learning to be more efficient will come in time i'm sure.

Do you think my beer will still turn out alright?

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Old 01-28-2014, 02:56 PM   #4
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Since this kit had it all measured out for you, this time there was no need to do any calculations. Shouldve been right on. I'm guessing it was a combonation of transfer losses and grain absorption... learning to be more efficient will come in time i'm sure.

Do you think my beer will still turn out alright?
No, you still have to figure your water loss by evaporation (boil off). It's not always the same as someone else's. I boil off two gallons an hour of liquid during the boil as I have a relatively wide pot. Some boil off 1.25 gallons per hour. That's alot!

So if you wanted to end up with a finished 1 gallon of wort, you probably needed to have 2.5-3 gallons or so in the pot.
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:08 PM   #5
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Hmm. The Brooklyn Brew Shop kit made it seem like it would be the same for everyone pretty much. They said in the instructions that you would lost about a quart during the boil and that you would want to start with around 5 quarts to end up with 1 gallon post boil... seems as if they are generalizing quite a bit then. Learning experience i suppose, hopefully it still comes out drinkable

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Old 01-28-2014, 03:10 PM   #6
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wow! 2 gallons boiled off per hour Yoop?! dang that is a lot. It's super dry here right now, I'm guessing I lost a lot more during the boil than the kit expected

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Old 01-28-2014, 03:11 PM   #7
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I'm sure it will turn out fine!

Just keep good fermentation practice and keep an eye on sanitation.

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Old 01-28-2014, 03:14 PM   #8
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wow! 2 gallons boiled off per hour Yoop?! dang that is a lot. It's super dry here right now, I'm guessing I lost a lot more during the boil than the kit expected
Yes, I live in a pretty dry place and my pot is wide (which has a bigger boil off).

It's probably most common for people to boil off 1-1.5 gallons per hour, in general.

There are lots of 1 gallon brewers on this site, and it would be helpful to peruse those posts to get a general idea of their boil offs as well, and how much wort to start with, but if BBS told you that a 1 quart boil off was expected, you wouldn't have much of a boil over the course of an hour. You want a nice rolling boil for your wort, and even on my dinky stovetop I'd boil off over 1.25 gallon per hour.
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:23 PM   #9
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yeah, not sure why they would expect so low of a boil off

probably why they included the line about adding water to top off to the gallon mark. i guess we'll see in a couple weeks haha.

sanitation shouldnt ever be an issue for me. used to grow oyster mushrooms, had to be completely sterile for that procedure. My cleanliness practices are good.

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Old 01-29-2014, 04:15 PM   #10
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Quick Update!

The beer seems to be looking plenty healthy. Formed a nice thick krausen and has been bubbling away for the last 36 hours. starting to calm down now. Outlook is looking much more positive

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