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robbeh

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I have brewed a few batches now and I am starting to get the hang of it but I had a question on volume.

My typical brew is fairly standard, start with 2.5 to 3gal of water,steep specialty grains for 20-30 min at desired temp, add LME, bring to a boil, 60 minute with hop schedule. Irish Moss 15-10 minutes out. Chill in ice bath, dump into primary bucket and top up to 5gal.

My question is, should I be topping up more? I ask because when I transferred to my secondary after 3 weeks, I only had 4.25gal since I left a lot of the trub behind. Is that normal? When I do my priming calculation, should I do it based on 4.25gal then?

Second question, when transferring from the kettle to my primary, should I rack it and leave behind the sediment/hop pellets? Right now I just dump it all in.

Thanks!
Robb
 

grampamark

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You need to adjust your water volume to put the desired amount into your bottles or kegs. To do that, start with the amount of finished beer you want and add the losses at each step in the process, working your way back to the beginning. After brewing a few batches, and keeping good notes along the way, you will be able to dial in the amounts of water to add during the brew day to equal the volume of finished beer you set out to produce.

Dumping all of your kettle trub into the fermenter is up to you. It will end up as part of your total system loss before you bottle or keg, eventually.

For your current batch, yes, you should use the actual volume that will be bottled/kegged to calculate your priming requirements.

Mark
 

Mothman

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Be aware that if you are using pre-packaged recipe kits designed to be topped up to 5 gal, , if you increase your water volume to get more packaged beer at the end, you will dilute the beer, unless you add more extract to compensate.
 

irontodd

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+1 to @Mothman. Diluting means lower than expected ABV. From my experience, extract batches don't reach as low as expected Final Gravity (FG) so you lose some potency there too. When I do extracts, I just deal with the fact that I'm only going to get say 43 to 45 bottles.
 

Lightw8

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You should average about a quart of water for every pound of grain for steeping and then sparge to get up to your boil size. Adding LME doesn't add much in the way of fermentable sugars but gives you color and body. You should be adding DME for fermentable sugars to get your gravity where you want it.
I always use muslin bags for my hop pellet additions and then strain to get out whatever else i can. The boil releases the hop oils based on how long the hops are in there. Keeping them in the wort during fermentation doesnt give you any more hop character.
Moreso having too much debris in your wort makes the chance of the airlock getting clogged during a vigorous fermentation higher and things could go wrong from there.
As far as priming sugar goes, you could totally weigh out enough to correspond with your actual batch volume if you wanted but doing a little more wont hurt as long as you dont bottle too early with too much active yeast.
 

irontodd

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You should average about a quart of water for every pound of grain for steeping and then sparge to get up to your boil size. Adding LME doesn't add much in the way of fermentable sugars but gives you color and body. You should be adding DME for fermentable sugars to get your gravity where you want it.
I always use muslin bags for my hop pellet additions and then strain to get out whatever else i can. The boil releases the hop oils based on how long the hops are in there. Keeping them in the wort during fermentation doesnt give you any more hop character.
Moreso having too much debris in your wort makes the chance of the airlock getting clogged during a vigorous fermentation higher and things could go wrong from there.
As far as priming sugar goes, you could totally weigh out enough to correspond with your actual batch volume if you wanted but doing a little more wont hurt as long as you dont bottle too early with too much active yeast.
Can you please clarify what is meant by LME doesn't add much in the way of fermentable sugars? LME, as I understood it, adds approximately 75 to 80% of an equivalent weight of DME, and basically differs in that it's still got water in it. Sure you would need more LME by weight to reach the same gravity, but it's still fermentable sugars?
I also understand that steeping grains add color but not fermentable sugar. Mix up in terminology?
 

Mothman

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Yeah I was wondering what the intended message there was too.

LME definitely adds plenty of fermentable sugar.
 

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