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Old 01-04-2013, 01:26 PM   #1
Jan 2013
Posts: 56
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Hello, There doesn't seem to be much in the forum about how to determine the total volume in the bottling bucket.

I made newbie mistakes last night when bottling. After not having a full gallon to begin with, and having leftover trub after siphoning, I found myself staring inside the bottling bucket saying "..ummm I have no idea how much is in there now"

I understand all the "priming sugar per gallon" measurements and sanitizing it and everything. I'm confused on how to determine the quantity of beer in the bottling bucket. Is this just visual judgment? If so, it seems like it would be inaccurate. Couple factors come to mind:

- For example, I might have less than a full gallon, how can I know the exact volume?
- Also, once it's siphoned into the bottling bucket, some is left at the bottom, how am I taking that into account?
- If I don't know the exact volume that will end up in the bottling bucket, how the heck am I going to know how much sugar to add ahead of time?

Am I misunderstanding something? Please help a newbie out!

Thank you!

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Old 01-04-2013, 01:37 PM   #2
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Revvy's Avatar
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,945
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There are usually lines on the fermenter, secondary vessel and/or the bottling bucket that will show you how much you have. If you have a carboy for a secondary, you can simply use a sharpy and mark 1/2 and gallon increments on the carboy so you can see what's there.

I find that after a month in primary, putting 5 gallons in the fermenter nets me 5 gallons in the primary. The trub layer compacts as the yeast falls out over the month so much, that you get a near wet concrete like cake on the bottom and ALL the 5 gallons of beer sitting on top.

Some folks put 5.5 gallons into a primary to over compensate for trub loss, but I find that with extended primaries, or cold crashing AND careful racking that I have NO or little if any trub loss.

But the thing to realize is that, even if you have some trub loss, it's really NOT going to over carb your beer. If you look at carbing to style charts, you will see that every beer style has a "range of carbonation" and that the 1 oz/gallon that we use (4.5-5 ounces of corn sugar) produces between 2 and 2.5 volumes of co2, which is the average middle of the range for nearly all styles of beers. So if it works out the you have that "extra" quarter or half ounce of sugar because you only managed to rack 4.75 gallons of beer into the bottling bucket, it isn't going to be that big of a deal.....In fact most Americans, having grown up with fizzy yellow beers, actually prefers their beer slightly higher carbed than let's say the British, and we tend to be a little uncomfortable with beers that are carbed lower on the range, even with beers that are meant to be less carbonated. So more than likely you wouldn't notice it anyway.

Don't over think this....Relax.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:46 PM   #3
Apr 2011
stamford, connecticut
Posts: 160
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make yourself a measuring stick, or draw lines on your bottling bucket.

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