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Old 01-11-2013, 09:35 PM   #1
Nickh08215
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Ok, so I'm guessing i didn't siphon off enough beer outta my fermenters when transferring. I only wound up with 37 and a half beers bottled.

I had a full 5 gallons in my primary, racked off leaving the sludge on the bottom plus a good inch and a half of beer (not wanting to even get close to the particulate on the bottom). Then did the same web racking from secondary into the bottling bucket.

My question/comment here is, my beers in the bottle are all perfectly clear, I can drink every last drop of every bottle without worrying about any sediment that could have built up on the bottom. BUT was it really worth losing out on almost 13 beers? Could I have still had a perfectly clear beer (without adding any finnings or anything) if I had racked off and only left maybe half an inch of beer? Or better yet get down all the way to the sediment while wasting almost no beer?

This was my first ever brew(NB carabou slobber), which I'd say was a major success (other then setting my stove on fire twice, running out of PBW before I could clean my plastic carboys because I wasted it on my brew kettle, breaking a few bottles, fermenting at almost 80 degrees during peak fermentation, and only getting 37 bottles), but I wanted to know of I could maybe push it a little further, get a few more beers, and still have a crystal clear brew

 
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:41 PM   #2
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I wouldn't worry about leaving a full inch and a half of beer. I don't even secondary (heavily debated topic here) and after 2-3 weeks in the primary I just cold crash for a few days to drop the yeast out of suspension and firm up that yeast cake on the bottom of the fermenter. I get all the beer I can and dont worry if I pick up a little sediment. Either way the sediment will settle in the bottom of the bottles and you can always just leave 1/2" in the bottle when pouring and still get clear beer. Take the 1/2 of beer + sediment, swirl the bottle and drink before you even have your beer. It's got all those good B vitamins that will help to prevent a hangover!

Edit: You can also just scale up your recipes to 5.5 gallons so you can get as close to 5 gallons in the bottles as possible.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:42 PM   #3
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If you're racking to a secondary anyways then don't worry as much about the sediment in your primary. I mean don't purposefully stir and suck it up but you cans go until right on top of it. It will all settle down in your secondary but be much thinner in size. You should save a few bottles that way. Also don't expect 50 bottles all the time different beers have different cake layers hence different amounts of final product.

 
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:44 PM   #4
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This is why many (if not most) "5 gallon" recipes are actually formulated for 5.5 gallons of volume into the fermenter. If you are meticulous about racking your beer and leaving the yeast/trub behind, you'll loose a fair bit. I usually brew 5.5 gallon batches, and end up kegging about 4.75-5.0.

Still, 37 12oz bottles is very low. I would be a little less scared of the yeast when racking next time, especially with a darker/full bodied beer like this.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:47 PM   #5
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37?!?!? Try not to drink any beer on the way to the parking lot.

Sorry. couldn't help it. Old movie reference.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher21 View Post
If you're racking to a secondary anyways then don't worry as much about the sediment in your primary. I mean don't purposefully stir and suck it up but you cans go until right on top of it. It will all settle down in your secondary but be much thinner in size. You should save a few bottles that way. Also don't expect 50 bottles all the time different beers have different cake layers hence different amounts of final product.
This. I rarely use a secondary, but when I do, I go all the way down to the cake. And then when I transfer out of secondary, the cake is usually so thin that even if I siphon out every last bit I can, there's still a bit of clear beer above the cake.

And yeah, every beer is different. I shoot for 5 gallons in the primary, and less when bottling (as opposed to more in primary for a full five packaged). My thinking is that you're going to lose volume somewhere regardless, so it's just a matter of preference. But the point is that I've lost anywhere from .2 gallons to .8 gallons to the yeast cake depending on the beer. It can make calculating priming sugar a pain the in ass, but with some practice you can usually get pretty close. I usually base my priming sugar amount on 4.5 gallons, at the mid-range for co2 volumes for the style, and it usually gets me about where I want to be. I usually end up with 46-50 bottles.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fall-line View Post
37?!?!? Try not to drink any beer on the way to the parking lot.

Sorry. couldn't help it. Old movie reference.
37 beers!

In a row?
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:00 PM   #8
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37 is too light. Your being overly cautious with the trub. I try not to get into the trub but get as close as possible. You can tip your primary a little to get more out at the bottom. If youre going to bottle condition you are going to have yeast sediment in the bottom of your bottles anyways so a little bit of trub wont matter.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fall-line View Post
37?!?!? Try not to drink any beer on the way to the parking lot.

Sorry. couldn't help it. Old movie reference.

I mean, he wasn't even supposed to be there today!!!!


Sorry....

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