Quantcast

To Top Off Or Not

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

mona

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
55
Reaction score
7
Hello all. I have a question concerning topping off. Here is the deal. I have just completed my second all grain batch. Since my first batch I have learned to compensate for grain absorption as well as loss of volume of boil. I have not yet figured out how to figure out loss from mash tun. Well anyway I hit my targets across the board. I ended up with 5.5 gals of 1.05 wort. YA ME! Well I decided to try and whirlpool and eliminate cold break and hop debris. When all said and done I ended up with just shy of 5 gals. Oh and I took my SG from the kettle before siphon into fermentation bucket. So finally the question. Should I have topped off to at least 5 gallons with clean sanitized water? It is fermenting great right now but could I do that now, day one of fermentation? Or is this a live and learn. My main concern is that when I transfer to secondary for dry hop I will have too much head space that could lead to too much oxygen exposure.
 

kombat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
5,686
Reaction score
2,185
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Don't top off, you'll water down your beer and risk oxidizing it. I also would not bother racking it to another fermenter. Just dry hop in the bucket it's already in, wait 5 days, then go straight to bottling.
 

Aristotelian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
939
Reaction score
226
When in doubt, take another gravity reading. If you are still at your target, don't top off.
 
OP
M

mona

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
55
Reaction score
7
Thank you all. I do not want to dry hop in my bucket because I want to harvest my yeast for another batch of something and hate cleaning all that hop debris out.
My SG was spot on for this recipe, 1.05 so I will just do as you all advised an just go with it.
 
OP
M

mona

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
55
Reaction score
7
Also put that in my notes for future batches. That way I know to have that extra half gallon going to be lost. This is my first time doing the whirlpool thing and I could not believe how much stuff I have been putting in my fermentation buckets.
 

ballsy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
756
Reaction score
96
Location
Raleigh
What others said, example I brewed yesterday and had more boil off than usual and ended up at about 4.75 gal and OG was way high, topped it off to almost 5.5 and OG was right on the money at 1.062. If your wort was already cool and your OG was too high then by all means top away to correct gravity reading, it will only help to aerate/oxygenate your wort which is a good thing.
 

wilserbrewer

BIAB Expert Tailor
Joined
May 25, 2007
Messages
11,248
Reaction score
2,809
Location
New Jersey
Thank you all. I do not want to dry hop in my bucket because I want to harvest my yeast for another batch of something and hate cleaning all that hop debris out.
My SG was spot on for this recipe, it.

Bag the dry hops to keep the yeast clean.
 
OP
M

mona

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
55
Reaction score
7
Bag the dry hops to keep the yeast clean.
I have done that in the past. I guess I am just anal and I like a really clear beer so I almost always go to secondary. I have so many carboys that I can do this. I primary in a bucket and secondary in a carboy. Just a preference of mine. I also like the idea that my hops are in full contact with the entire surface of my beer.
 
OP
M

mona

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
55
Reaction score
7
Numbers are for accountants. People drink volume. Wax on grasshopper.
While I agree to not get too carried away with numbers I do try and make my beer better every time I brew. In order to do that I feel the need to know numbers, water composition, yeast amounts etc...
Then while going over the numbers enjoy a previous batch of beer. Well a few of them anyway. :)
 
OP
M

mona

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
55
Reaction score
7
What others said, example I brewed yesterday and had more boil off than usual and ended up at about 4.75 gal and OG was way high, topped it off to almost 5.5 and OG was right on the money at 1.062. If your wort was already cool and your OG was too high then by all means top away to correct gravity reading, it will only help to aerate/oxygenate your wort which is a good thing.
I will make a note to check my OG after the entire batch is cooled. I forgot that the volume will decrease by about 4% when cool. Oh well next time. This time I may just have a nice strong dirty blonde ale to drink :)
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
16,698
Reaction score
6,830
Location
Pasadena, MD
I only top off if I didn't hit my targeted OG (if the OG was too high). I never adjust for volume.
What others said, example I brewed yesterday and had more boil off than usual and ended up at about 4.75 gal and OG was way high, topped it off to almost 5.5 and OG was right on the money at 1.062. If your wort was already cool and your OG was too high then by all means top away to correct gravity reading, it will only help to aerate/oxygenate your wort which is a good thing.
That ^1.
 
Top