Adding Water to 5 Gallon Batch to Make 10 Gallon Batch

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thesinam

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Hello,
So my wedding is coming up, and I'm planning to give our guests each a bottle of my Belgian Single homebrew (titled: Belgian Single No More). I need to All-Grain brew 250 bottles on a 5 gallon hombrew system, and my plan is to create a twice as strong 5 gallon batch of wort that will be split up evenly between two fermenters, and then filling them both up with water up to the 5 gallon mark. My question is, does anyone know what kind of water to add to the fermenter? I probably don't want to use tap water unless I add a campden tablet to it. Should i use distilled water? Or Spring water?
Cheers!
 

kh54s10

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I would use tap water, I had great water where I used to live and only used a charcoal filter. For your choices I would probably use the cheapest spring water I could find.

I don't know your setup, but I would find it very difficult to brew the base beer strong enough to dilute by 50% and still have a decent OG. You might work the numbers backward from the desired finished beer to the undiluted wort to see if you could do that first before worrying about what water.
 

IslandLizard

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Don't know how much time you have, but I would test your hypothesis first by brewing a batch the regular way, and a batch the "double and diluted" way and compare them after fermentation and a quick (forced) carb. I'm curious of the outcome myself.

If your tap water is fine and not too crazy high in minerals, use fresh tap water with a Campden treatment for both the boil and dilution. Or Spring water.

On the other hand, you only need to brew 5 or 6 batches (2 cases each) on your 5 gallon system, which you could do in a day (or 2), back to back, as long as you have the space to control your fermentation temps. Without controlling ferm temps, your beer quality will suffer greatly and make the whole project moot. Getting someone to help will make it easier, especially at bottling and labeling time.

Other thoughts:
  • Borrow or brew on a friend's 10 or 15 gallon kettle/system.
  • Don't sweat it, chances are 8 or 9 out of 10 guests won't appreciate the beer anyway.
  • Keg it and serve at your party. Saves the bottling and is likely more memorable to those who do like beer.
 
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kh54s10

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Just noticed that your process would have to be repeated 2.5 times to get the number of bottles that you need. It is unlikely that you will produce the 3 different brew days the same so you will end up with 3 slightly different beers. That may be OK though.
 

chickypad

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I do this commonly topping off 3 gal to 5 gals, using tap water treated with campden. I calculate water additions for the whole batch and add to mash or sparge. I've also just added the additions for the top off water to the boil - probably only necessary if you want to reproduce a certain profile for flavor. Efficiency certainly suffers but it's doable for me for medium gravity beers, and I can't tell the difference in finished product. One options is to sparge extra and add it as the boil goes on to help a little with efficiency.
 

Dcpcooks

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I would top off with boiled water treated with Campden tablets.

You’d boil to kill any bugs that may be present. Don’t forget to account for a lower efficiency as your technically brewing a high gravity beer.
 

mirthfuldragon

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I am wondering where the bottleneck in your system is, that prevents you from doing a 10g batch. If you can mash the grain to hit 1.100 or 1.090 OG 5g batch, are you limited on boil kettle size? Then again, with a Belgian you are probably using 10% sugar (or more), so that probably helps. At least with my setup (keggle plus 10g cooler mash tun), the mash tun is the batch size limiter, at ~24# of grain.

If you are looking to get rid of chlorine, letting the water sit for a few days is all that is necessary. If you are looking to get rid of chloramine, then you would need to look to campden or a carbon filter.
 
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