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Old 01-26-2009, 02:24 AM   #1
Aug 2008
Westwood, NJ
Posts: 138

Brewed up an IPA today and everything went smoothly from mash to boil to cool down. But when it was time to siphon into my carboy, I came up over a gallon short of the desired 5.5 gallons. I use beersmith and based on my recipe and usual boil-off, I put 7.1 gallons into the kettle and boiled for 60 minutes. After siphoning, I had just over a gallon of hops and break material on the bottom of the kettle. I'm frustrated because I hate having to top off my carboy with water to get 5.5 gallons. This was also the first time using whole hops instead of pellets. So my question to all u siphoning homebrewers out there is how do you go about getting the majority of the wort out of the kettle without clogging the siphon? Do you just increase your sparge volumes to account for the lose in trub? Is a 1 gallon loss of volume to trub standard for most brewers? Thanks again guys

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Old 01-26-2009, 10:42 AM   #2
Oct 2008
Posts: 192


Try looking through this post. It may help.


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Old 01-26-2009, 03:16 PM   #3
RedIrocZ-28's Avatar
Oct 2008
Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 845
Liked 29 Times on 22 Posts

I usually give a quick stir with a Sterile or star san'd spoon so that all of the sediment will form a "mountain" in the center of the pot, thereby allowing you to siphon from the edge and get more of the Wort.

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Old 01-26-2009, 03:21 PM   #4
The Pol
Feb 2007
Posts: 11,454
Liked 96 Times on 81 Posts

When you are using WHOLE hops like this... you can put the siphon cap on the end of the siphon, and it should not plug up. I have done this when siphoning beer out of a secondary where I had a couple ounces of WHOLE hops.

In my kettle I have a ball valve and dip tube, I place a SS scrubby on the end of it to keep the hops out, and leave about 1 quart in the kettle.

If you are getting a GALLON of wort loss in the kettle, you definately have to adjust for that... there should be a place where you can put in your fluid losses in your equipment. OR, set it up to brew a 6.5 gallon batch, KNOWING that you will lose 1 gallon in the kettle. This way you hit your OG, and get your 5.5 gallons.

A 1 gallon loss with leaf hops is A LOT.

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Old 01-26-2009, 04:14 PM   #5
chumprock's Avatar
Dec 2008
Rochester, NY
Posts: 1,035
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I also know from past experience that whole hops are rather like a sponge. Some of your loss may be due to those, but probably not a whole gallon.

More evap from a higher boil maybe?

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Old 01-26-2009, 07:46 PM   #6
Dec 2008
Yankee Hill, CA
Posts: 1,541
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You could always use some sort of hop bag. I use one's made for Turkey Stuffing. I remove them right after the boil, and let them drain back into the kettle. Then, I put the bags in a bowl and press out any wort that won't come out on it's own.

Then, when I cool my wort I give it stir and try to get the trub to settle in the middle. But at this point I don't really care if suck up some of it, it will settle out in the primary anyway. I usually wind up with 1/2" or so left in the kettle, maybe 1-2qts.

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Old 01-26-2009, 10:57 PM   #7
mattmcl's Avatar
Oct 2008
Erie, CO
Posts: 731
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+1 for the hop bag.

I lose a huge amount of water in boiling. I have a pretty wide kettle, and live in Colorado. I'm figuring about 7.75 g boil volume to yield a 5 g batch.

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Old 01-26-2009, 11:10 PM   #8
Nov 2008
Quebec, Canada
Posts: 390
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

This is why i love using a plastic bucket primary, i can get all my sediments and precious additives to take part of the fermentation for at least a whole week, more flavor to me i think, then i siphon to a glass carboy for another two weeks or so.

But then, i always have to add a little water to make the level up to close to the lid for about 3 inches or so,
This way i dont have to use a 5 feet long brush to try and clean a stupid carboy when all is done.

But thats just me, the newbie from Quebec, Canada, so don't listen to any of my advices!
As long as there is some Beer left, there is Hope.

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Old 01-26-2009, 11:24 PM   #9
Senior Member
ajf's Avatar
Oct 2005
Long Island
Posts: 4,646
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Don't forget that whole hops will absorb a lot of wort. See for some measurements I made some while ago.


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Old 01-27-2009, 12:48 AM   #10
Apr 2007
Posts: 4

I usually loose 1-1.5 gal to trub and hops as well. It doesn't matter if I use pellet, plug or leaf hops... Now, I know that some people don't care what goes into their fermenter, but I like to see nice clear wort siphoning over. I feel as if the extra protein break (hot and cold) negatively affects the clarity of the final product if left in during the primary fermentation. Also, pulling over hop debris into the fermenter tends to result a vegetal or grassy flavor off-flavor.

The only way I've been able to successfully get a full 5-6 gal of clear wort is to shoot for a larger final volume in the kettle. If I shoot for 7 gal in the kettle at the end of the boil I can easily get out 5.5 gal of nice wort.

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