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First brew volume, what went wrong?

I just got the small batch starter kit for Christmas. I just brewed Irish Red Ale. Per the instructions, I started the boil with 1.25 gallons and by the time my 45 minute boil was over and I chilled the wort, I had less than one-half gallon to siphon into the fermenter. What did I miss and/or do wrong?

You didn’t miss anything with the boil. Boiling will reduce the original volume. Having only .5 gallons left from a starting volume of 1.25 gallons indicates to vigorous of a boil or a kettle with a very large diameter. You don’t need volcanoes when you boil. Just have part of the wort rolling.

Did you top off the fermentor to 1 gallon with chilled brewing water after the pour from the boil kettle into the fermentor?

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No, i didn’t know I could do that. I went ahead and added the yeast, and put the air-lock on. Should I just dump it? I was so excited, and now so disappointed…

Don’t dump it. Has fermentation started. You can still top off with sanitary water that is at the current wort temperature if fermentation hasn’t started. You can still try to add the extra water if the beer has been fermenting for only a couple of days. Better than dumping it.

I don’t think fermentation has started. Its only been a couple of hours. I will try to top it off and see what happens. Thank you for your help!

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You will be okay. Remember add the top off water near the same temperature the wort is now. Aerate the top off water very well before adding. Be sanitary.

Thanks again, I’ll let you know how it turns out.

If fermenting did not start yet add water untill you reach your full batch size

It is surprisingly hard to screw-up a batch so bad it needs to be dumped.

Ok, you can make beers that don’t taste great, but true dumpers are very rare…

I got this same batch for Christmas and will be attempting to brew soon. Hope it turns out!

I just looked up the yeast that comes with the kit. Danstar Nottingham Ale. Their site says “quick start to fermentation and can finish in four days”. In other words you may need a blow off tube assembly if your fermentation temperature is in the mid to upper range of the yeast.
http://www.danstaryeast.com/company/products/nottingham-ale-beer-yeast

Brewed Jan 3rd, fermented for 2 weeks, bottled, and just tasted. I couldn’t wait 2 more days to go 2 weeks in the bottle. It is very good! Thank you for your help and support.

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