5 gallons or 5.5

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Oct 15, 2007
Reaction score
I saw someone post a thread a few weeks ago that talked about using 5.5 gallons of water instead of the normal 5 gallons for a extract brew. I couldn't find the thread again so wanted to know if anyone sees a problem using a half gallon more water in the wort? I wanted to add the extra half gallon so I would compensate for the loss of beer through evaporation and transferring between containers. I don't see why it'd be a problem other than it would water down the beer a small amount. Thoughts anybody? Thanks.
When I did extract brews, I cooled my wort, then poured it through a strainer into my fermenter. The strainer caught all the coagulated gunk from the hot and cold breaks, so I never lost more than a quart through sediment in the primary. Now I brew all grain and use a counter flow wort chiller. All of the cold break piles up in the bottom of my fermenter, so I usuall shoot for about 5.5 gallons post-boil.

If you have extra malt extract sitting around, you could add a few ounces of that and an extar quart of water. Really though, the loss of volume is small and doesn't affect the quality beer, so why mess with pre-formulated recipes.
Thanks for the feedback folks. I knew it wasn't a big deal to add an extra half gallon to the primary but I kinda wanted to know what everyone else does. I actually brewed last night and added a total of 5.25 gallons. Happy brewing.