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Post fermentation top up water?

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Coppinburgh

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Looks like I may have forgot to top up my last brew to 5 1/4 gallons before sealing up my primary. Transferred yesterday and noticed I'm short. Probably a bit under 4 3/4 gallons and my ABV is heavy about .45%. Does anyone see any issues with topping off to 5 gallons with some sterile water???


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Black Island Brewer

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I've never done it. When I'm short, I just bottle it, and adjust the priming sugar for the smaller volume. BUT, if you were to top off post fermentation, you risk adding oxygen and get premature staling. You might boil the topping off water to drive off the oxygen, and use a siphon to transfer it to your bottling bucket or keg after you've racked your beer so as to not reintroduce oxygen into the water.
 

Braufessor

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Personally, I would not.
Risk: Oxidation
Risk: Infection
Reward:???????a quart of water to change your abv.... .by what? An extra beer or two in the bottle.

In my opinion there is essentially no benefit, and the potential risk is you damage/ruin/degrade your entire batch of beer.
 
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Coppinburgh

Coppinburgh

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Good advice. Thanks guys!


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InLimbo

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It can definitely be done with low risk of oxidation or contamination. I was listening to a Brewing Network podcast (Dr. Homebrew I think) and they just recently were talking about a technique where some people brew a "concentrated" beer (usually by mistake due to higher than expected OG, or possibly even FG; or possibly by limits of fermentation space), and can dilute the beer down post fermentation. Basically they described the procedure as the following:

-Brew a beer as normal, let it ferment out. When finished:
-boil the water to be added for a few minutes
-cool it (maintain sanitation practices obviously)
-bubble CO2 through it for 15-20 minutes (this will scrub the O2 from it, so you won't oxidize your beer when you mix it together). best way to do this would probably be to put the boiled and cooled water in a keg, then just stream some CO2 through it.
-once at proper temperature, mix your water and beer, then carbonate as usual.
 
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Coppinburgh

Coppinburgh

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It can definitely be done with low risk of oxidation or contamination. I was listening to a Brewing Network podcast (Dr. Homebrew I think) and they just recently were talking about a technique where some people brew a "concentrated" beer (usually by mistake due to higher than expected OG, or possibly even FG; or possibly by limits of fermentation space), and can dilute the beer down post fermentation. Basically they described the procedure as the following:

-Brew a beer as normal, let it ferment out. When finished:
-boil the water to be added for a few minutes
-cool it (maintain sanitation practices obviously)
-bubble CO2 through it for 15-20 minutes (this will scrub the O2 from it, so you won't oxidize your beer when you mix it together). best way to do this would probably be to put the boiled and cooled water in a keg, then just stream some CO2 through it.
-once at proper temperature, mix your water and beer, then carbonate as usual.

Not sure I'll risk it. We've been looking forward to this Belgian Amber for a while now. I may play with this theory in a different brew though. Especially where I only have 3 fermentation vessels and one is only a 5 gallon Caboy.
N


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