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5.5 Gallons vs 5.0 Gallons

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Breck09

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When I transfered my beer from primary to secondary last week I thought that there didn't quite seem to be 5 gallons in the carboy. I just took my empty carboy and filled it was 5 gallons of water to check where exactly 5 gallons would be and it looks like I am close to a gallon off. I'm not too upset seeing how this is my first batch and still learning everything. I am thinking that I either didn't top off with exactly enough water and then the loss from primary to secondary did me in. So I guess what my question is, if I was to bump up a kit that is recomended for 5 gallon patches to say 5.5 gallon batches, what are the downfalls in doing so. Will .5 gallons more throw off the ABV and taste off that much. Will a full gallon more throw it off a lot as well. Just trying to figure out in case I want to do a bigger batch next time with a 5 gallon kit. Thanks.
 

erock2112

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A lot of people brew to end up with 5.5 gallons in the fermentor so that after trub/transfer loss you get 5 gallons of beer. An extra half-gallon of water will be noticeable in terms of taste and abv, but you can adjust the recipe accordingly.
 

guitarsophist

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I am on my third batch in True Brew buckets. My initial gravity readings were always higher than the kit predicted, so I began to think that the 5 gallon mark on the bucket might be off. I measured 5 gallons of water in using a two quart pitcher and the 5 gallon mark is actually at 4.5 gallons. I think that my next brew will be closer to the recipe. The two that are fermenting now will be ok, I think. Just less beer, more alcohol, and maybe more body.

Great forum here. I am a newbie, but I have learned a lot.

John
 
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Breck09

Breck09

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That is good to know that if I do end up topping it off to 5.5 gallons there won't be a noticable difference.

And Guitar, I have read a thread or two where the marks on the buckets were off as well, so I might have to measure those as well. My Irish Red is in its second week of secondary fermenting and looks a little darker then I had thought so that could be part of it. I also think that I may have steeped my grains in too little of water which might have made it a little darker as well.
 
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