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Old 03-12-2012, 02:49 AM   #1
reno316
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Default Yield: The Right Way?

So, having some issues with the final yield or total amount of beer I'm getting out of a batch.

First, I suppose I should describe my process:

Steep/Boil using a 16 quart stock pot on the stove, using a 5-gallon kit from my local brewing supply store (I know, I know, but I haven't gotten to the point where I'm ready to try my own mix of malts and hops. I'm the paragon of n00b here, folks.)

Pour the wort into a 5 gallon bucket (the finest bucket that Home Depot sells, I should add) and top off to within an inch of the rim.) Put on the lid, into which I drilled a 1 inch hole to accept my air lock.

After X days (X is usually 3-4 days, or when vigorous bubbling slows), I siphon to a 5 gallon carboy as secondary fermentation.

I try to keep the bottom swill from the bucket OUT of the siphon... dead yeast there, no?... and the carboy typically ends up about 80% full... maybe.

Week and a couple days in carboy, and it's bottling time. Priming sugar boiled, chilled, poured into carboy, and allowed to diffuse. Then siphon into bottles using racking cane, hose, etc.

Last batch I bottled, this past Friday, was a Vanilla Coffee Stout, and in the end I had about 7 six-packs. That seems low, as I've read that a 5 gallon batch should yield about 50 bottles or so.

Input or ideas are welcome. I'd offer a couple bottles of beer for any help, but, well, I just don't HAVE a heck of a lot of home beer to offer, as you might have guessed.

Thanks and cheers,

JRB

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Old 03-12-2012, 02:57 AM   #2
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How big is the home depot bucket? 6.5 gallons?

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Old 03-12-2012, 04:56 AM   #3
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How big is the home depot bucket? 6.5 gallons?
5, per the price tag.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:15 AM   #4
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A few things to think about... Get a 6.5 gallon bucket/carboy and if you are doing a five gallon batch, make sure you are topping up to five gallons in the bucket. Also try letting your brew go longer in primary, or no secondary at all. you do not need to worry about "dead" yeast.

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Old 03-12-2012, 05:22 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ChadChaney View Post
Get a 6.5 gallon bucket/carboy and if you are doing a five gallon batch, make sure you are topping up to five gallons in the bucket. Also try letting your brew go longer in primary, or no secondary at all. you do not need to worry about "dead" yeast.
^This. Fewer times racking = less beer lost in my experience. Also check the markings on your bucket - one of mine is almost 1/2 gallon off.

Edit - I see it's not a pre-marked bucket. Still, would double check your measurements as Chad pointed out.
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:03 PM   #6
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After X days (X is usually 3-4 days, or when vigorous bubbling slows), I siphon to a 5 gallon carboy as secondary fermentation.
dont do this. you're likely losing a fair amount from transferring far too early since barely any of the trub/yeast would be settled at this point. get a bigger bucket and just leave it for 2+ weeks, a secondary is unnecessary for most ales
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:16 PM   #7
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If you start with 5 gallons in the primary, you won't get that in yield, there is loss every time you move the beer.

dcp27 is on the mark, the longer the beer sits, the more compact the trub becomes and the less loss you encounter. Once you have an idea of what your equipment losses are you can adjust your recipes to have a little more go into the fermentor, I usually shoot for about 5.5 gallons so I adjust my grain bill for that extra 1/2 gallon.

My efficiency is much better when I filter between the kettle and fermentor, but that's a pain sometimes so I only do it with certain beers. Figure an extra 1/2 gallon will lower your gravity by about .002

One pound of grain in 5 gallons is about 1.007 and one pound in 5.5 gallons is 1.006 so the difference is minimal.

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Old 03-12-2012, 05:19 PM   #8
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Def get a 6.5 gallon bucket for 5G batches. You're starting out with less than 5 gallons in those 5 gallon paint buckets. I use a 1 gallon Sunny-D jug where I used a 2C measure to mark graduations up to a gallon. That way,I know with greater accuracy how much liquid is going into primary. And 3-4 days is just about the time initial fermentation is over,& bubbling slows or stops. It'll then slowly,uneventfully ferment down to FG. Then 3-7 days after that to settle out clear or slightly misty.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:09 PM   #9
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7 day ferment only benefits the LHBW, because they sell you more ingredients. I regularly do 4 weeks primary, 4 weeks bottle ferment, 48 HRS fridge, and 20 minutes in the glass, followed by 20 years on my waistline

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Old 10-15-2012, 04:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChadChaney View Post
A few things to think about... Get a 6.5 gallon bucket/carboy and if you are doing a five gallon batch, make sure you are topping up to five gallons in the bucket. Also try letting your brew go longer in primary, or no secondary at all. you do not need to worry about "dead" yeast.
Sorry to hijack the thread here but I'm curious about the "topping off to 5 gallons" suggestion here. Yield is something I'm struggling with as well and in the past, I haven't really paid attention to the total amount of wort I end up with after boiling (I generally just went off the rule of 3-4 gallons in the boil and adding 2 additional gallons going into primary to make up for any evaporation or absorption via hops/grain). Is there any concern about diluting the beer here if you just follow a hard and fast rule of topping off to 5 gallons?
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