General Category > Extract/Partial Mash Brewing

5 gallons vs. 23 liters

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brewmonk:
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?

hokerer:
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.

weithman5:
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

richardt:
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)

brewmonk:
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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