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Only 4.2 Gallons of beer for a 5 Gallon recipe...Will it taste bad?

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jining

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Hey guys! Well I brewed my first batch of beer yesterday with my friend. As we were boiling the wort, we had an unfortunate accident where we contaminated about 2 gallons of water that was sitting in the primary... so we tried to boil/cool water as fast as we could before the wort finished boiling.

We ended up only getting about 4.2 gallons total of beer, and I used a recipe intended for 5 gallons. We did manage to cool the wort in good time using a water bath, took about 25 minutes to get it to 75f. How should this effect the beer since its more concentrated? (Its a light wheat ale) Hopefully it wont taste horrible :(

I am happy to report that it is fermenting, bubbles frequently coming out of the air lock.

Thank you for the help!
 

tedski

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It will be fine. .8 gal difference in volume isn't a huge deal at all. Obviously, you won't get as many bottles out of this batch, but, that's not a big deal.

In the future, you can just top off the fermenter before pitching your yeast. If the fermenter sits, covered, for a half hour to an hour while you boil/cool water to put in there, no big deal at all. Also, remember, you can use store bought spring water.
 

Neomich

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You can still top up with sanitized water. Just add it in. Most would just add it in when bottling. You'll be glad you did when you get a few extra beers out of your batch.
 
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jining

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Oh, adding the rest of the water in while bottling will be ok? I plan to transfer to a secondary maybe in 5 days or so, should it be ok to add the rest of the water then?

Thanks for the help!
 

Bert

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As long as the water is sanitized you can add it at either point.
 

Dennis1979

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I would do what Neomich said and and it in now, let it mix in for a while during the fermentation. If you have to add water the earlier in the process the better. To add it when bottling will just water down your beer.

Let it go longer than 5 days in the primary (which I would recommend under any condition). I give mine at least 3 weeks in primary. If you can't wait that long, let your's go at least 2 weeks.

Also, you need to know that the trub takes up a good bit of volume and will deceive you as to how much liquid you really have in the bucket. What I do is top my primary, if necessary, up to about the 5 1/2 to 5 3/4 gallon mark.

Dennis
 

Rhymenoceros

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I don't sanitize my water. I live where I get pretty good tap water, tap water is held to higher standards of cleanliness than bottled water (though sometimes it can have non-beer-friendly chemicals). But regardless your beer will taste fine either way.
 

Zenman

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yeah just top it off with sanitized water at any point, I did this with one of my batches, I poured in the extra water while the krausen was going the 2nd day it was in the fermentor, and there were no ill effects, it is just water :)
 

Bert

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The concern I would have with using non-sanitized water post-fermentation would be that tap water contains a lot of dissolved oxygen which could cause some oxidation of your beer.

That being said, I've topped off a light ale with an extra gallon of tap water at bottling with no apparent problems. I thought of the oxidation issue the next day.
 

culaslucas

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In addition to removing dissolved oxygen, boiling will also also remove chlorine & you won't have to worry about bacteria & the like screwing with your beer. I'd say it's well worth the extra 30 min to boil & cool top off water. Be sure you're adding water that is the same temp as the beer or you could shock your yeasties.
 

JoeCap09

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I came up short on my first batch too and didn't realize I could top it up either. I figured it would mess up the projected gravity and then the abv or something. But now that I think of it I guess the water boils off and the sugars stay.
 

Mutilated1

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If you're going to add water - the ideal time to do it would be before you chill the wort

cold water will chill it quicker

I've heard people say you shouldn't add water after the wort is chilled, but I'm not sure. I did it once when I came up short and right as I finished pouring the water in I realized I really shouldn't have done that according to brewing canon - but it turned out just fine anyway.

I wouldn't add the water after fermentation - I'd just drink a little stronger beer and get it right next time.
 
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