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Old 12-05-2012, 04:40 PM   #1
mrbeer1991
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Default Water volume

I just started to ferment a batch of White House honey ale, and I was so cought up in getting everything perfect that I forgot to add water to the Wurt In the fermenter so it would be 5 gallons.
Right now it's around 4.5 gallons. Can I just add the half gallon or so to it when I prime it?

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Old 12-05-2012, 04:56 PM   #2
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Volume is much less important than gravity when it comes to the beer turning out as the recipe intended. When you add top off water after cooldown and prior to fermentation, you ideally should add well mixed water until you hit the recipe's intended OG, NOT to some arbitrary water volume.

Now that you've already fermented, you really shouldn't add water for a few reasons. First off, water straight from the tap has quite a bit of dissolved O2 in solution that will slightly contribute to oxidation. Just the act of getting the water into the beer also presents some slight oxidation issues.

Second off, you no longer know exactly how much water you need to add, since you can no longer take a OG reading. It is 0.5 gallon if the rest of your process was 100% right, but it never is, so you probably need to add slightly less than 0.5 gallons, but no telling exactly how much at this point.

I would just stick with the 4.5 gallon yield at this point. The beer will still be in the balance the recipe intended, it is just going to be a bit maltier, bit more bitter, and a bit higher ABV, but not enough to throw the whole thing out of wack. It should still be a good beer.

Good luck!

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Old 12-05-2012, 05:56 PM   #3
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Just enjoy having a slightly stronger beer. Call it the imperial white house honey

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Old 12-05-2012, 07:51 PM   #4
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Thanks this is only my second batch so I'm still working out the kinks. I'm still looking forward to the finished product thanks again for the info/advice

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Old 12-06-2012, 02:30 AM   #5
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Sure you can add more water at the end. Just make sure it's good water.
If it's from your tap, boil and cool it first, to kill any bugs. This also helps remove some of the dissolved oxygen.
And like TopherM says, avoid any splashing, add the water gently, you don't want any oxygen after fermentation if you can help it.

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