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benpen68

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Ok so I am brand new to brewing and have a question I have not been able to find an answer to in the research I have done. How much beer usually goes into bottles for a 5 gallon batch that enters primary fermentation. I plan to rack from primary to a secondary, then into bottles/kegs. Thanks in advance.
 

VikeMan

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What kind of fermenters are you using and what will you be using to rack?
 

Rish

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I use a 5 gallon plastic bucket as a fermenter and usually get around 48 twelve oz bottles of beer, 50 of cider. If I do a beer like chocolate stout I get fewer because there is more "stuff" in the bottom of the bucket.
I recommend skipping the secondary for any beer that doesn't have fruit, etc. added or that you aren't going to bulk age for an extended period of time (months).
 
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Agree with @Rish .. leave it in your bucket until bottling day. Next time ferment in your carboy (it's fun to watch) as far as losses go it will vary from style to style. I keg now, but when I bottle I clean and sanitize 52 12oz bottles for a 5 gallon batch and would have some leftover but better to have them ready. So there is no exact answer, it will depend on the style of beer and how well you can transfer clean beer without sucking up trub. When I brew something that's getting dry hopped I always brew extra to account for the loss.
 

bwible

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If you put 5 gallons exactly into your fermenter, you can’t expect to get 5 gallons of finished beer out. There is trub and waste produced by the yeast. During your boil, you get solids that fall out, called “hot break.” Then when you cool the beer from boiling to pitching temp more solids will drop out, called “cold break”. In addition to that, you add hops during the boil which also collect and fall out. Even if you whirlpool and settle you will not get all the trub. Then the yeast reproduces and settles out.

There can be a fair amount of beer loss from waste. I get around it by adding an extra half gallon to all my batches. If I brew a 5 gallon batch, then I would plan a 5.5 gallon batch in my software, plan to collect 6 gallons from the mash, boil down to 5.5 gallons and 5.5 gallons would go into my fermenter. Then if I rack to a secondary, I could get a full 5 gallons there. The losses from any settlling in a secondary will be much less than kettle losses and primary losses. You might lose one 12 oz bottle from any secondary.

I haven’t bottled a 5 gallon batch for a very long time, but I recall it was always just about 50 bottles. 128 oz in a gallon x 5 gallons = 640 oz / 12 oz bottles = 53 on paper but I found it was never that because you don’t get every drop.
 

3 Dawg Night

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When I bottled, I planned on 6 gallons in the fermenter, 5.5 gallons into my bottling bucket, and 5 gallons into the bottles. That's conservative, but it makes the math easy.

Now that I keg, I usually go about 5.5 gallons into the fermenter and 5 gallons into the keg. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less.
 

ncbrewer

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suzeQ

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I hope this isn't a hijack. Can you keep your brew in a primary bucket for 2 weeks if you can't get a good seal on the bucket? For the life of me I can't get a good seal. I always use glass and a blow of tube for this reason.
 

VikeMan

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I hope this isn't a hijack. Can you keep your brew in a primary bucket for 2 weeks if you can't get a good seal on the bucket? For the life of me I can't get a good seal.

It wouldn't be the end of world, but it's not a best practice. Anything that allows oxygen in (other than at yeast pitch) risks oxidation. And when there's not much CO2 evolving and blowing outward (such as the latter part of that 2 weeks you mentioned), the risk is more of a certainty.

The oft mentioned (and mostly mythical) "CO2 Blanket" will not be an effective barrier.
 

ncbrewer

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I hope this isn't a hijack. Can you keep your brew in a primary bucket for 2 weeks if you can't get a good seal on the bucket? For the life of me I can't get a good seal. I always use glass and a blow of tube for this reason.
There are PET carboys. I haven't used them, but I expect you can get a good seal.
 

grampamark

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For a 5 gal batch my process starts with 7 gallons to the kettle. I boil off a gallon and leave half a gallon of trub. That puts 5.5 gallons to the fermenter, a half gallon stays in the fermenter and 5 gallons goes in the keg. I weigh the kegs after filling and I’m seldom less than 4.9 gallons, sometimes as much as 5.1 (depending on the brand, most 5 gallon soda kegs hold 5.5-5.6 gallons full to the brim).

WRT plastic carboys, I use Better Bottles, and find that they seal quite well. I rig a blowoff tube for every batch as I’ve learned that a half gallon of headspace isn’t enough to trust to an airlock. :cool:
 

jtgoral

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I use BetterBottle or SS with no secondary fermentation. No difference in quality of beer. All lagers are in BetterBottle+BrewJacket.
 
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