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Starting gravity vs. volume

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Recently I brewed a batch (a 5 gal recipe) and started w/4.25 gallons in the kettle.  After evap and leaving (probably too much) solids in the bottom, I transferred the cooled wort into the carboy and had about 3.8 gallons.  OG was meant to be 1.075, it was a bit higher so I put in some water and brough it to 1.075, but only had a total of 4.1 gallons at that point.  So question is, when going for recipe brews is it better to hit the target gravity or target volume? Or personal preference of having more of lower ABV beer?  BTW, the end brew turned out tasty, but 1.9% ABV less than the recipe said... No substitutions were made either.  Comments on any/all this appreciated!

Just my opinion, but I much prefer to hit my target gravity than have any particular volume at the end of a brew session.

That said, I try to develop my recipes so that I have a bit of extra wort at the end of the brew session. An extra quart or two of wort can always go into the fermenter, or into the freezer for later use as a starter. Too little wort, and my kegs aren't full, which just offends me for no particular reason.

Same here....I shoot for the correct OG and accept whatever volume I end up with.  Hopefully both will be correct, but life isn't perfect....

+1 - OG is more important to retain the characteristics of the recipe.  If you target volume, you'll still get a beer - but different than expected (which you might like better or worse).

Depends for me. Normally though I shoot for OG. I have had a few brews where I had lower efficiency and just brewed a more sessionable beer. I normally keep DME on hand though for this situation though. I think most believe though that your goal should be to hit your target gravity.


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