Oops, we measured only 1 gallon of water for the wort, what will the results be?

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TheSchwill

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My friend and I made our second batch last night, we are making 5 gallons.

We made the wort with some light grains, 1oz. cascade hops, 1oz. hallertauer (I think) hops, 6.6lbs of malt extract. After the boil was finished, we cooled the wort to about 80 degrees, but as it was cooling we noticed it thick and syrupy, unlike the last brew that had almost the viscosity of water. We both agreed that there wasn't enough water and determined that he had only put one gallon in for the boil.

We then strained it into the fermenting tank by running water through the strainer, filled up the fermenting tank, stirred it, pitched the yeast, shook up and capped.

Now, at this point we have no idea what to expect it to turn out to be. My guess is that the wort was so thick that it will simply sit in the bottom of the tank. We know that if it does actually ferment and is drinkable, it will be very thick and very dark, hopefully not to bitter. There were bubbles in the air lock today, only 18 hours after it was capped.

Anyone with some insight with what they think will happen in the fermenting tank will be appreciated. I feel like this is a huge waste if indeed, we did ruin the batch, considering that the cascade and hallertauer we used were the last at the store.
 

Professor Frink

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Did you take a gravity reading? Like Yooper said, your hop utilization will be lower, but if you topped up to 5 gallons, you should be fine. Look for some nice caramel notes in there.
 

old_townie

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Most of us that do extract brews only do partial boils; filling up the balance of the water in the fermenter.

As beginners it makes many things easier for us:
Don't need a huge pot
Able to do smaller boils on the stove
Easier to cool a smaller volume of wort

Doing full boils with extract can improve your HOP attenuation.

But, it sounds like you did everything right, as long as you sanitized your strainer. I personally don't shake my fermenter... five gallons of wort and water are heavy!

Good luck.
 
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TheSchwill

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Great! Thanks for the replies.

Strainer was sanitized, it's in the fermenting tank. Now, the first batch called for two weeks in the fermenting tank, then bottle and leave for another two weeks in the bottles. It turned out ok, a little bitter and very light. It was a blond and we used only 3.3lbs of malt extract, only 1 lbs. of grain and only 1 oz. of hops. There was also noticeable yeast deposit in each of the bottles.

I've been reading about a secondary fermenting tank to condition and clear the beer.

Should we move it to a secondary after a few days and let it finish fermenting in there? Then bottle after another 10 days in the secondary?

Or can we leave it in the fermenting tank, bottle after two weeks, let sit in the bottles for another two weeks and then drink?
 

Yooper

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If you're using a clearing tank, I think the 1-2-3 method works. That is, at least 1 week in the fermenter, 2 weeks in the clearing tank, and then 3 weeks in the bottles.

The term "secondary fermenter" is a misnomer, because all of the fermentation should be finished before it is transfered from the primary. I usually leave it about 10 days then rack it into the carboy (which is called the "bright tank" at a brewery). Then it can sit for a couple of weeks to condition and clarify some before bottling.
 
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