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5-gallons ended up short

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kbelky

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I'm on my 2nd brew tonight. First time using a 5-gallon kit. After putting in the fermenter, I noticed there is only 3.8 gallons. I started out boiling 5. I knew I would lose some in the boil due to steam... and some (about a quart) when putting into the fermenter and stopping short to keep the junk out. But 1.2 gallons short?? Is that normal? Should I go ahead and bring it up to the 5-gallon mark? I like medium-strong beer... but this seems like it may end up being too strong for my taste.
 

Kephren

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That's normal. As long as you didn't leave too much behind, you should top up to about 5 gallons. The best thing to do is take a gravity reading. If it's way above 1.050, dilute it to the correct gravity depending on style of beer. I boil a whole 5 gallons at once and I have to start off w/ 7 gallons due to loss. It's not unusual for me to lose 1-2 gallons in the boil. You'll also lose some during transfer between the kettle and primary and the primary and secondary (and, for that matter, secondary to bottling). At this rate, you'll be lucky to get one bottle of beer out of it ;)
 
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kbelky

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Thanks for the advice. I went ahead and boiled an additional gallon and put it in the fermenter. I hate having to open that fermenter lid!

We'll see how it turns out (in about a month :( )
 
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