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Old 07-09-2012, 12:11 PM   #1
Kruser76
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Default Low Output on 5 Gallon recipes

I've brewed 3 recipe kits now, and I've averaged 42-45 (12oz) bottles per batch. Obviously I'd like to get as many bottles as possible, which I thought was an average of 48-54 bottles on a 5 gallon kit. Why am I losing a few bottles & what stage can I add more water (without ruining the wort) so I'm averaging 48-54


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Old 07-09-2012, 12:18 PM   #2
DonMagee
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You should either size your batches to be a bit larger at bottling time (to account for loss due to trub) or if you are not hitting your target volume on the boil, adjust your boil volume so you hit your target volume.

I tend to make my batches 5.25 gallons post boil to help account for loss in the fermentor to trub.


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Old 07-09-2012, 12:19 PM   #3
SledgeH
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You can go with a 5.5 gallon batch, adding water at the beginning and not diluting later. This will ensure that the volume lost to trub wouldn't cut into your 2 cases. It will lower your ABV, but you could compensate with a bit more DME/LME.
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:24 PM   #4
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5 gallon extract kits are designed to brew a 5 gallon batch, but of that 5 gallons there is always a percentage of loss to trub from the primary (yeast and hop debris). Are you using a secondary? If so, there is potential for additional loss in the racking process as well as additional loss to absorption from dry hopping.

If you add additional water to your batch without adjusting the fermentables you will wind up with a lower gravity than intended while making up for the losses. The best thing to do is look at your racking process to be sure you are getting every bit of beer you can and be sure you are topping off to the proper level of 5 gallons. Also, when filling the bottles be sure you are consistently filling to the correct level and not over filling them.

IMO, it is better to get the beer you want than a few extra bottles of beer
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Old 07-14-2012, 07:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duboman View Post
IMO, it is better to get the beer you want than a few extra bottles of beer
Amen to that!
If you like your beer now and don't want it to change just suck it up and deal with a few bottles less.
If getting more beer is more important than keeping your beer as it is now, it's best to add the water pre-boil. If you do not have that option due to kettle size then you can add it pre-fermentation. Just don't add the water post fermentation.
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:08 PM   #6
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Are you using the graduation markings on a fermenter bucket when adding top off water? I had the same issue with my first beer. It turns out that my bucket was graduated incorrectly (markings were low). To check this, I poured 5 gallons of spring water into the fermenter , and used a sharpie marker to mark the bucket after adding each gallon. All of the graduations from the factory were off, or maybe they were metric. After correcting this problem, all of my batches have yielded 48 + bottles.
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:24 PM   #7
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I agree with the boil volume adjustment... but sometimes you just end up with less in your fermenter. My last batch done on a cool night 70 degrees or so, I ended up with exactly 4.5 galons... and the brix read 14... It was higher than i expected but was pretty happy with the result. I added 1/2 galon of water to the fermenter stired it around.. took another brix and it was 11!... that suprised me.

I was about a six pack in... and i could have taken the sample pre-mixing but i dont think so.. i'll still end up with 4.5 abv when its fermented out.


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