Add Water During Bottling

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Dec 31, 2007
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I have heard of adding like a half gallon of water during the boiling of the priming suger to ensure you get a full five gallons when bottling. Never have tried this. Is this a good idea? Bad Idea? In either case what impact will priming for five gallons have with only say 4.5 gallons of actual beer? I guess I lose a bit during gravity testing, moving to secondary, etc... Anything that can be done to mininimize the decrease in beer volume?
I wouldn't do it. you really only want to top off with water prior to fermentation starting, because all the chemical reations haven't taken place, so the water can become part of the beer.

if you do it after primary ends, the water doesn't meld with the rest of the beer and it may indeed taste watered down.

Beer making is a process of loss. You lose some beer every time you rack, every time you take a hydrometer reading, etc.

since I brew all grain, I have the luxury if easily shooting for 5.25 to 5.5 gallons going into primary, so I ensure 5 full gallons going into the bottle/keg.
I have put bottled water into the secondary to bring it to a solid 5 gal. No horror stories, but Malkore just convinced me to not do that anymore. I never needed much- a cup or so to bring the headspace to the top...... But I think I'll just start ensuring that the primary is Really full. (5.5 or so)