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3 gallon boil off or absorption?

Tonight I brewed up a regular 5 gallon all grain final volume beer, but barely ended up with 3 gallons and I had to add about a gallon just to top it off. I swear I have 1 to 1 1/2 gallons of hops in the bottom of the carboy as well. I started with about 7 gallons in the pot.

Is it possible I boiled off that much and the hops sucked up the rest in a 60 minute boil? I’m pretty disappointed and amazed. I’ll try to take a picture as well to add to the fun…Now this is a 6 1/2 gal carboy and the beer was only up to that last ring and I added to get it up to where you see it in the picture.

You are not alone here. I have the same thing going on when I brew. What I found is my 15 gallon kettle has a large surface area that leads to about 3.5 gallon boil off in an hour. I have slowed down the boil. I do a gentle boil, that seems to help some. I want to end up with 5.5 gallons going into the primary, so I try to start with a pre boil volume between 7.5 and 8 gallons. I have some paint sticks with 1 gallon increments I use to measure volume during the boil.
Looks like there is a lot of hot break in the carboy. Hops will not absorb the wort to any extent. I have had a few brews that had the same thing as you have. Are you doing all grain? I bought a March pump and recirculate my mash at the end of the mash to set the grain bed before the sparge. Since I have been doing that, I see less trub (sediment) in the carboy after the boil.
Measure from the floor up 12 inches, that should be close to 5.5 gallons, at least it is on my carboy. Nothing wrong with adding water to the carboy to get to the 5.5 gallon mark. Just be sure to check the gravity so you don’t thin it down too much.

Yeah, I guess I need to turn down the heat…this is the 2nd time this has happened and yes it’s all grain. THat is all hops in there and very little hot break :slight_smile: . The sad part is with all the hops I used it smells and tastes nothing like I was expecting…that goodness for dry hopping !

Sorry I misunderstood your post. Just curious, how much hops are in there?

about 14 OZ

14 oz is a lot of hops for a 5 gallon batch, you shouldn’t be surprised that you’re getting significant absorption there.

Also, boiling too hard isn’t a big problem, you’re not losing any sugars, just water. Its totally acceptable to add water to top up to your desired volume.

14oz prior to dry hopping?

That’s kinda insane. Did you hop burst only? Or is this a 1000ibu ipa.

Would like to see your recipe on this.

[quote=“muddywater_grant”]14oz prior to dry hopping?

That’s kinda insane. Did you hop burst only? Or is this a 1000ibu ipa.

Would like to see your recipe on this.[/quote]

It’s 11 ounces prior to dry hop, so that is 11 you see in there. 4 oz at flame out alone :slight_smile: I’m sure it’s not going to come out like I want, but hope it’s OK. The dry hop is only 1.5 oz, but I may change that considering taste and aroma once it’s done fermenting. Most of the additions were late so it’s only 60 ibu’s. I will brew it again and maybe after I get it right I will share the recipe.

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