General Category > Extract/Partial Mash Brewing

5 gallons vs. 23 liters

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I'm new to the homebrew scene and have just brewed my first batch using a Coopers Irish Stout extract kit.  The OG ended up being about 1040 which I though seemed a bit low (I expected 1050), and was wondering if it had to do with the fact that I made the batch 23 liters (as the instructions indicated) even though I've seen other people use Coopers extracts in recipes and they only made 5 gallon batches in their recipe.  I know the difference is around a gallon, so I would assume that it could make much of a difference in the OG, but would it mess up the recipe?  Since it's my first batch ever, I figured I'd better just stay simple and follow the instructions on the can (which included using 1 kg of white sugar).
Any thoughts?

Sounds about right.  Look at it this way - 5 gallons of 1.050 wort has 250 (5 * 50) "gravity points".  That same amount of gravity points in 23 liters (6+ gallons) should get you around 1.041 (250 / 6) gravity.  You're right in the ballpark.

As for the effect, your beer will just be a little lower in alcohol but there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

exactly as hokerer said. drink up.  other way of looking at it is you diluted by 20 percent (1 of 5 gallons)  so you would expect a 20 percent drop in gravity (10 of 50 points)  again. drink up. RDWHAHB  (AND SINCE THIS IS YOUR FIRST BATCH.  BORROW

You might perceive the beer to be a bit thin bodied (or watery) for what you're expecting.  But don't worry about it--you made a session-strength beer.  A lot of us like them.  In future batches, you may want to limit the water so you end up with the targeted OG and a beer that has the characteristics (body, taste, mouthfeel, etc) that you're looking for.

I often made that mistake early in my brewing days with extract kits under the mistaken belief that I could stretch a 5 gallon kit into a 6 gallon batch.  With kits, adding water to make "more beer" does not equal "better beer."  In fact, the opposite is true.

The solution is simple:  Add more sugars (increase gravity points) or Reduce the volume by boiling offf or not adding water. 

A quick fix could be a trip to the LHBS and get two pounds of DME (44-45 points per pound), dissolve it in no more than 0.8 gallons, boil it x 10 minutes, cover and cool it down to 70 F, and then transfer it aseptically into your fermenter to add more gravity to the existing volume.

SG 1.041 (250 points / 6 gallons)
SG 1.050 (250 points / 5 gallons)
SG 1.050 (300 points / 6 gallons) or (340 points / 6.8 gallons)

Thanks for the info. That puts my mind at ease. Next time I'll a little less water and see how it compares.  Guess I was too worried about my first batch to think the obvious through.


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