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Old 07-07-2012, 10:34 PM   #1
bmwwd6
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Jun 2012
St. Louis, Missouri
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I brewed a honey wheat extract kit today. In order to guarantee water quality and make sure my total water adds up to 5 gallons, I purchase 5 gallon jugs of spring water from the grocery store every brew. I boiled 3 gallons of wort and then poured 2 more gallons to top it off. However, the total liquid in my fermenter I got was a little over 4 gallons. The OG was 1.045 and I was getting 1.040. I am wondering if using this 5 gallon jug water technique is a good idea because I know some of the wort will evaporate. Any suggestions? I'm wondering if it is more important to have the OG or have 5 gallons of beer?

 
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:48 PM   #2
smokinj
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With extract, as long as it all makes it to the fermenter, you will get the correct OG if you get the right volume. There is little to no variation in the gravity points that extract will add, and sugars do not boil away. If your kit says it makes 5 gallons of 1.045, then thats what you have. Only exceptions to this rule would be not putting all of the extract in, or a boil-over. As far as evaporation I usually plan on losing 10% or so. In regards to the grocery store water, if the water from your tap tastes good when you drink it, the it should be fine in your beer, too.

 
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:45 PM   #3
bmwwd6
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Jun 2012
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how can I get it to 5 gallons without further diluting the gravity down? I hate to miss out on an entire gallon of beer.

 
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:08 AM   #4
kapbrew13
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Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwwd6
how can I get it to 5 gallons without further diluting the gravity down? I hate to miss out on an entire gallon of beer.
If its an extract kit, you numbers should match the directions if you make it a full 5 gallons.
Are you trying to keep the gravity high?

 
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:13 AM   #5
Yooper
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The gravity will go down when you add water- that's the way it is.

The easiest thing to do with kits is to premark your carboy (a sharpie or duct tape is fine) to 5 gallons. After you brew, add water up to that 5 gallon line. Five gallon kits are designed to have five gallons in the fermenter. If you start with a grand total of 5 gallons of water, that will not be enough. Most people boil off .5-1 gallon of wort in a one hour boil. That means starting with 6 gallons, more or less.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:16 AM   #6
Uziyahu
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Mar 2012
Chicago, IL
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I brew extract, and I start with 6 gallons of water plus whatever LME I am adding. It usually ends up around 7 gallons of wort. By the time the boil is done and I transfer to my primary, I have just about 5 gallons.

 
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:25 AM   #7
bmwwd6
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Jun 2012
St. Louis, Missouri
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Should I try and boil as much wort as possible without a boil over?

 
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:38 AM   #8
kapbrew13
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Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwwd6
Should I try and boil as much wort as possible without a boil over?
What are you trying to do? One post your worried about not diluting too much but getting to 5 gallons. Here you you want to boil more?
How much wort did you have and what was your OG?

 
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:40 AM   #9
cullen
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Jul 2011
Florence, KY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwwd6 View Post
Should I try and boil as much wort as possible without a boil over?
According to some, a full boil is preferable to a partial boil. However, I would not sweat this. If you're working from someone else's recipe (like a kit) boiling the quantity listed in the recipe will get you the expected hop utilization (bitterness). Boiling more or less will change that. Boiling less will tend to make it easier to scorch your wort as well.

I've used 2 gallons of water with an extract brew; I've used 3 gallons. My kettle is only 5 gallons, so 3 gallons of water for a batch is my upper limit. Both make good beer.

 
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