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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Why is my yield so low?
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:36 PM   #1
dirtylarry
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Default Why is my yield so low?

I just bottled my 2nd 5 gallon batch (Schlenkerla's Quaffable Irish Red) and I only ended up with 36 12oz bottles. It didn't seem like I left a lot of usable beer in the primary, and there was only a few drops left in the bottling bucket. What gives?

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Old 01-07-2011, 11:49 PM   #2
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That sounds like a lot of wasted beer. Are you sure your volume measurements are right? Did you really start with 5 gallons? Did you let it sit for a few days after fermentation to let the yeast sediment settle and compact? Are you racking from the primary to the bottling bucket, or trying to pour carefully?

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Old 01-07-2011, 11:52 PM   #3
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I'm sure I started with 5 gallons. Primary went for 3 weeks. All the sediment was pretty well compacted. Racked from primary to bottling bucket.

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Old 01-07-2011, 11:59 PM   #4
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I assume since this is your 2nd batch that it was extract right?

Did you whirlpool the wort after the boil, and pour the clarified worth through a strainer to remove hops before it went into the primary?

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Old 01-08-2011, 12:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thisjrp4 View Post
I assume since this is your 2nd batch that it was extract right?

Did you whirlpool the wort after the boil, and pour the clarified worth through a strainer to remove hops before it went into the primary?
Not at all.
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Old 01-08-2011, 12:14 AM   #6
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Are you going by the 5 gallon mark on a primary bucket? They are notoriously off.

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Old 01-08-2011, 12:15 AM   #7
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Calibrate your buckets, carboys, fermentors whatever. If you are relying on some factory marking on a large volume container to tell you the truth, there is an excellent chance you are way off.

If you do not have an accurate gallon measure, buy a gallon of milk, mark the level of the milk with a sharpie, and this will be your reference gallon. Fill your buckets, carboys, whatever, with water a gallon at a time, and mark them. Do the same with your brewpot, fill a gallon at a time and make a dipstick out of a piece of wooden dowel.

You are bottling 3.8 gallons of beer. Pretty hard to "lose" a gallon of wort/beer. But a 5 gallon original wort could easily "shrink" that much due to trub, racking loss, bottling loss, gravity readings/taste testings, and incorrect volume measurements using large containers.

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Old 01-08-2011, 12:22 AM   #8
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I think that is your problem. I'll assume you are boiling in a pot without a drain valve, and no wort chiller. When you are done boiling set your pot in a sink full of ice water to cool down. Use a sanitized spoon and give it a good spin to draw all the trub (spent hops) to the bottom. Keep the lid on while the wort cools. When the wort is cool, carefully pour the clarified wort through a strainer - a wire mesh strainer works well - into your primary fermenter. You can add any top-up water at this time to get to the 5 gallon mark. Proceed as usual, and you should get 48 - 52 bottles.

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Old 01-08-2011, 12:34 AM   #9
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Just realized another potential problem: Am I gonna have bottle bombs on this batch? I carbed with 5 oz corn sugar :/

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Old 01-08-2011, 02:41 AM   #10
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here's the deal.. you're probably going to lose some each time you rack. According to Papizan (sp?) 5.5 gal in the fermenter = a 5 gal batch. I've found this to be pretty true. I now shoot for 6 gal after boil which pretty much guarantees 5.5 gal in the fermenter (I loose a little in the kettle 'cause I want to leave the hops etc behind.) A couple extra pounds of grain isn't that much and worth getting your full batch.

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