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Old 02-18-2009, 12:52 AM   #1
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Noob question here.....I have been reading that to get a total of 5 gallons when you are finished with your beer, you should start off with 5.5 gallons in the carboy.

Is it ok to just add the extra .5 gallon of water for a total of 2.5 gallons of wort added to 3 gallons of water already in the carboy? Does the extra .5 gallon dilute the final product in any way?

Being a begiiner sometimes I over analyze things.

 
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Old 02-18-2009, 12:56 AM   #2
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Yes it dilutes... how much depends on the gravity you start with, I know Promash can calculate it for you.

As for if it's okay... sure! If you don't have a problem with the amount it dilutes, go ahead.

Make sure you boil the water before adding it, not just to sanitize, but to drive the oxygen out of it.

 
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Old 02-18-2009, 01:03 AM   #3
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If you're making your own recipes, you can scale them up to 5.5 gallons. If you're buying a kit that makes 5 gallons, though, I wouldn't add water to it. I mean, you're just watering down good beer. I'd rather have 4.75 gallons of a great beer than 5 gallons of the same stuff watered down.
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Old 02-18-2009, 01:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
If you're making your own recipes, you can scale them up to 5.5 gallons. If you're buying a kit that makes 5 gallons, though, I wouldn't add water to it. I mean, you're just watering down good beer. I'd rather have 4.75 gallons of a great beer than 5 gallons of the same stuff watered down.

Excellent point.

 
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Old 02-18-2009, 01:37 AM   #5
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Going along with what Yooper said. 5 gallons isn't a magic number.

 
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Old 02-18-2009, 03:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edcculus View Post
Going along with what Yooper said. 5 gallons isn't a magic number.
I agree. The batch I bottled last night was between 4.5 and 4.75 gallons and I still ended up with 2 cases of 12 ouncers.

Problem is I don't know how it ended up short. I use 2 - 2.5 gallon containers of store bought water when I brew (on account of we have a reverse osmosis filtration system) and I didn't have any blow off on this brew so I've no idea where the rest of the beer went to.

 
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Old 02-18-2009, 12:43 PM   #7
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When you boil for an hour, you'll get some water boiled off.
So if you start with 5 gallons exactly, you'll end up with less.

My turkey fryer pot can boil 5 gallons, if I watch it like a hawk, but 5.5 gallons can be troublesome.
I guess I"ll be the only one to say that yes, I top off with frozen boiled water when I've cooled to about 80.
I like the beer to be at exactly 5 gallon mark in primary. Which gives me slightly less than 5 gallons after I bottle.

 
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Old 02-18-2009, 12:48 PM   #8
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Before you decide if you want to top up, check your hydro reading against your target OG. You may have some wiggle room for a top up and still be on target.


 
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Old 02-18-2009, 12:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laughing_Gnome_Invisible View Post
Before you decide if you want to top up, check your hydro reading against your target SG. You may have some wiggle room for a top up and still be on target.
Very good point. More important than the exact volume is hitting the OG of the recipe. If you take the SG, and it's a little high, you can add a bit of water. I probably wouldn't bother adding more, but as the Gnome said, that would be something to consider if you're thinking of adding water to increase the volume.

Even if you have exactly five gallons in the fermenter, there will be some losses due to the trub at the bottom. Spent yeast, coagulated proteins, hop particles and other products of fermentation will fall to the bottom and compact into a thick cake on the bottom. Sometimes it's several inches thick. When you rack (siphon) the beer from the fermenter into the bottling bucket, you'll leave all of that gunk behind and just rack off the nice clear beer. That's usually where you experience the volume loss. It's not that much, though, so try not to worry about it.
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