Doing my first batch tomorrow - question about water volume - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Doing my first batch tomorrow - question about water volume

Thread Tools
Old 08-05-2011, 09:12 PM   #1
Jun 2011
Plano, TX
Posts: 47

I'm doing my first batch tomorrow (AHS Cream Ale) with a full boil. As I understand it, I need to start off with about 6 gallons though this somewhat depends on the shape/siz of pot (I think mine is fairly standard - 14.5 in diameter that came with turkey fryer). What I don't understand is what happens if I end up with less than 5 gallons after the boil (or more than 5g) - do I boil more water and add to the kettle to get up to the 5 gallon mark? What about the trub? Am I supposed to take that into account - do I shoot for 5.25 or more to account for some volume lost there, or just ignore the fact that the trub will eat up a bit of the wort?

Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 09:50 PM   #2
Jun 2011
Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 532
Liked 58 Times on 43 Posts

Keep it simple. Just start with 5 gallons, and then top off with water back to 5 gallons in the fermentor.

Trash Paper Brew Werks

Shirts and stuff

Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 09:53 PM   #3
Whut's Avatar
Mar 2009
Peoria, AZ
Posts: 9,361
Liked 1884 Times on 1724 Posts

For me here in Arizona, I start with 2/3 gallons over from where I want to end up. This accounts for boil off, loss of wort to trub, etc. But the more you brew the more you'll learn your system.

If you end up with less than the intended 5g you can add some purified water but it will lower your OG therefore lowering your final ABV. How much depends on how much you add. Personally though, I rarely check my numbers anymore so I wouldn't worry about it. Just brew and enjoy the experience!
May Whut see him safely through the Pearly Gates half an hour before Crash knows he's dead. - hunter_la5

Whut is a very logical person. Just ask him. Fedora

Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 10:03 PM   #4
Heavyweight homebrewing author & air gun shooter
unionrdr's Avatar
Feb 2011
Sheffield, Ohio
Posts: 38,990
Liked 3711 Times on 3183 Posts

It depends on how high you turn the gas up as to how much boil off you'll get. On my stove,it's .25-.5G,on average.
NEW books on amazon/Kindle! Check it out now...
Home Brewing-
Distopian Sci-Fi-
New! John Henry-

Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 10:05 PM   #5
Mar 2011
Charlotte, NC
Posts: 257
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Hitting the proper gravity should be more of a concern than getting a full 5 gallons. Eventually you will learn your system and know how much water to start with but adding water afterward is asking for sub par beer... unless your gravity is really high. I always aim for 5.5 gallons at the end of the boil because I know I'm gonna leave a half gallon behind. I usually start my boils with closer to 7 gallons but it all depends on your system.
Cecile's Secret IPA
Midnight Blackout Dark IPA

Highland Oatmeal Porter Clone
Jungle Love APA

Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 10:08 PM   #6
Senior Member
ajf's Avatar
Oct 2005
Long Island
Posts: 4,646
Liked 105 Times on 99 Posts

I usually start the boil with 7g and end up with a bit over 5 after accounting for trub, equipment losses, and hop absorption. You probably won't need as much as 7g as each setup is different. I'd start with 6g and see how it goes. If you end up with less than you want you can top off without causing any damage. If you end up with more than you want, you could waste time and propane boiling it down to the required volume.
Having done your first brew, you will have a much better idea of what volume you need for the next brew.

Good luck,

There are only 10 types of people in this world. Those that understand binary, and those that don't.

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
4th Batch Tomorrow inkman15 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 06-12-2011 03:54 AM
Water Volume Question b33risGOOD Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 10-20-2010 02:48 PM
All Grain water volume question? vegas20s Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 08-20-2010 12:05 PM
pre-boil volume/water addition question thughes Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 04-17-2010 04:27 PM
Boil Water Volume Question NCastle Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 01-11-2007 07:20 PM

Forum Jump