Today was my first brew day ever and gave the Caribou Slobber small batch kit a whirl. I went with 1.25g of water to start and ended up with around .6g of wort after a 45 minute boil. I ended up pitching the yeast anyway since I was concerned about possible contamination and dilution by topping off the carboy with tap water. What is the trick for getting the correct volume of wort post-boil?
Not boiling as hard. Turn down the temp.
And with extract, it really doesn’t matter, as long as you top off to the correct amount.
Pretty simple - add water. Eventually you get a feel for your boil off rate and learn how to more or less hit your target. But adding top off water doesn’t hurt anything. In fact to end up with the correct gravity you NEED to top up to the batch size you were planning for, otherwise your gravity will be too high.
I assume you’re doing extract and a partial boil anyway since its your first batch right? So all you have to do is adjust your top up water until your final volume is 5 gallons or whatever you’re shooting for. And don’t worry if your initial gravity reading seems off, adding top up water can lead to stratification and strange gravity readings. If you used the proper amount of extract and ended up with the proper volume of water, your gravity is exactly what it should have been. It will all work out in the end.
Should have read closer, I see now you were doing a 1 gallon kit and already pitched yeast. If you literally JUST pitched the yeast its not to late to add top up water. Make sure its room temp so you don’t shock your yeast. If fermentation has started, you probably want to leave it alone. Next time just top up to your target volume when you’re done. This time you’ll have strong beer.
I’ve topped up with bottled water straight out of the bottle before, there’s technically some risk of contamination but its low. With tap water you want to treat it to remove chlorine, boil and then cool.
Thanks for the info! I’ve already got a good bit of krausen even only after a few hours. Am I safe to top this off in an attempt to salvage this brew?
Thanks Nate. I’m going to leave it alone for now.
Yes, leave it alone if you’ve got krausen. It’ll still be beer, just a little stronger and a little less of it than you intended. The nice thing about this hobby is even when you screw up, you almost always still get beer. Who knows, double strength caribou slobber might be your new favorite brew. :cheers:
You can add water at pretty much any point. Just make sure it’s sanitary, and boiled to remove O2 if you add is post fermentation.