Author Topic: Volume Follow-Up  (Read 441 times)

Offline flbrewer

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Volume Follow-Up
« on: January 20, 2015, 07:28:44 PM »
I had some additional questions around this recipe I brewed this weekend and the volumes of water I used.
Recipe:
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/homebrew-recipe/regal-pale-ale/

Plugging in the grain numbers, I came up with a total water volume needed of about 8 gallons. I ended up using 4 for the strike, and 4 for the sparge.

First runnings came to 2.75 gallons, so I added 3.25 extra gallons of wort from the sparge giving me 6 total.

My final volume in the fermenter was smaller than expected. My question is what would have happened if I would have added another half gallon of wort to the boil kettle? Another gallon of wort was available to pour in there, but I didn't use it.

Would this have thrown off my gravity by a lot?

Perhaps I should have used Beersmith instead of an online calculator.


Offline 69franx

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Re: Volume Follow-Up
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2015, 09:34:35 PM »
When using beersmith, I have set up my system numbers (still rough) and it helps me to know what volumes to use. I almost always get exactly what I need into the kettle this way, and usually have a little left that doesn't get boiled. The answer to your question is that it depends. It depends on the gravity of those final runnings, it depends on how short you were. It depends on your boil off rate. The first 2 answers kind of answer your question, but your shortage ay only be a result of a higher boil off rate than expected or inputted into the online calculator. I am still trying to dial in my system, i almost always have the right amount into my BK, but my boil off varies due the weather changes here: 30-50° for winter time brewing like this past Sunday, and up to 100° for Summertime brewing. Every time I think I have it dialed in, it looks off to me during the boil and i try to adjust on the fly when I should just leave it alone and see what results I get. Hope this helps a little. If you were short by 1/2 gallon, those extra runnings might have gotten you your expected volume, but then your gravity would likely have been off. For your first all grain batch, or your next, it is up to you which is more important: the volume you want or the gravity you want, at least until you have solved all the variables. Someone with more AG experience than me(1 year) will add more I am sure, and am interested in hearing
Frank L.
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In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Volume Follow-Up
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2015, 09:40:19 PM »
FWIW, beersmith works well once you update your system information. my typical pre-boil volume for 5.5 gal batch is somewhere between 7.5-9gals..depending on the boil length. that leaves most trub behind in the kettle, and then about 5.5 or so in the fermenter.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Volume Follow-Up
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2015, 09:50:06 PM »
so did you leave wort behind in the mashtun because your target pre-boil volume was 6 gallons and you had 6 gallons? Until you have a good feel for your systems parameters I would always play it safe and collect a little extra. If your pre-boil gravity is a bit too low you can plan to boil longer.

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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Volume Follow-Up
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2015, 09:51:25 PM »
so did you leave wort behind in the mashtun because your target pre-boil volume was 6 gallons and you had 6 gallons? Until you have a good feel for your systems parameters I would always play it safe and collect a little extra. If your pre-boil gravity is a bit too low you can plan to boil longer.
+1 great advice
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Volume Follow-Up
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2015, 10:54:26 PM »
Yeah, it's tricky getting things dialed in. Takes EVERYBODY a few batches to get right. Obviously, you ideally drain your tun dry and you're left with your target preboil volume in the kettle. If not, that's where the accurately calibrated stick comes in - figure out exactly how much over or under you are on your preboil volume and you'll know how much extra water to add or leave out next time - I would add or subtract it from your dead space on the next batch . And accurately measuring evaporation rate/hr is big, so you can end the boil and cooling period with your target fermenter volume. You'll get there.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2015, 11:11:27 PM by HoosierBrew »
Jon H.

Offline flbrewer

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Re: Volume Follow-Up
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2015, 11:32:24 PM »
so did you leave wort behind in the mashtun because your target pre-boil volume was 6 gallons and you had 6 gallons? Until you have a good feel for your systems parameters I would always play it safe and collect a little extra. If your pre-boil gravity is a bit too low you can plan to boil longer.

That's correct. Although I should have planned on getting 6.5. Also, didn't check pre-boil gravity which I should have done. The recipe was for a 5 gallon batch so I didn't bother changing any of the malt/hop bill for a larger batch (5.5 in the fermenter perhaps).

I think I'm learning that with all grain there is a basic grain bill and the volumes are something that you decide on and adjust accordingly. Just so use to seeing "Add 3 gallons of water xxxx" in the extract recipe steps.


Offline bengelbrau

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Re: Volume Follow-Up
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2015, 12:02:24 AM »
Quote
I would always play it safe and collect a little extra. If your pre-boil gravity is a bit too low you can plan to boil longer.

If you wind up not using this extra volume, you can freeze it for use in a starter.