Back to Shopping at

First Full Boil, Slightly Too Much Wort

Howdy all,

So, I just did my first full boil today, and everything went great, save for two minor issues (at least I suspect they’re minor, but I’m asking about them just in case).

First, I forgot to keep an eye on the water level when I transferred to the carboy and went a bit over 5 gallons (about an inch above the marker). I didn’t realize this until just after I pitched. My OG clocked in at 1.052, which is right on the money, except that my hydrometer measures distilled water at around 1.001 - 1.002. So, really, it’s 1.050 - 1.051, which is a little low. My assumption is that since the OG is so close, there’s no problem, and I will just end up with slightly more and very slightly drier beer than I would have otherwise. Yes? Also, in the future, if I made this mistake and caught it pre-pitch, all other things equal, would it be worth returning to a boil to bring OG up and wort level down?

Second, I pitched US05 slurry that I harvested 2 weeks ago. I pitched some on Dry Irish Stout the day I harvested and It worked great. This time, I didn’t create a starter, and I forgot to let it warm up to room temp. Should I anticipate any problems here? Again, I’m thinking it will be OK, albeit maybe a little slower to get going.

In other news, the wort chiller and 45,000 BTU propane burner proved to be sound investments!


1: The cost to return it to a boil and cool it down again would not be worth it to me.

2: How much did you pitch?

If the yeast is less than a month old and you pitched 1/2 of the saved yeast no starter is needed IMO.

Several people “cold pitch” their yeast. You will be fine.

Cool, thanks.

I pitched a 1/2 cup of yeast (probably about 1/3 of the original harvest). This is the amount I used for the Dry Irish Stout, and was a compromise between Denny’s suggestion to use 1 cup and Mr. Malty’s calculator, which suggested 1/4 cup. Worked out perfectly in the stout.

Out of curiosity, at what point should an OG over- or under-shoot become concerning (i.e., +/- 3 points, 5 points, etc.)?

Some people brew to ABV, some to volume. I just get in the ball park :slight_smile:

For me, if I’m within 1/2 gallon is and 5 points I’m good. But as a AG brewer I’ve over shot my starting volume and didn’t want to boil forever to get the volume down. So what should have been 5 gallons of 1.060 beer ended up being 6 gallons of 1.050 beer.

Now if you are extract brewing and you are 10 points off or more and relatively close on volume, did you forget some extract or sugar?

When you get near the end of the boil, you can take out enough wort to fill the hydrometer tube. Put that in the freezer to cool and get a reading (or purchase a refractometer). If you are low you can boil longer or add some table sugar or DME (if you have some on hand).

So far, I’ve just done extract (slowly preparing to make the leap to AG, maybe after 1 or 2 more batches).

I’ve never undershot my OG when the volume was right, although I did overshoot Chinook by 8 points (Just bottled it. FG sample tasted great, and I’m a-OK with 5.6 abv).

At any rate, once I’ve really learned some of the ropes, I suspect I will be a ball park brewer, too :wink: . I’m not overly concerned with producing a beer that is exactly as intended by the recipe, and look forward to experimenting once I start making up my own. I’ve already been having fun just playing around with the pH calculators.

If you want repeat-ability hitting your numbers is important. once you have recipes on file that you really like you will want to be able to produce them exactly the same. It would be best to measure and calculate your volumes accurately. As time goes by you should get to know your system and be able to nail down your numbers. When you can consistently hit your numbers its a time to be proud b/c then you will be a true brewing veteran.

Ah, that’s a good point sonex. While I may not be concerned with hitting a recipe exactly, I will definitely want to replicate favorite outcomes.

Regarding yesterday’s brew, which led me to start this topic, this morning it is churning away, bubbling every three seconds or so, and has about an inch of kreusen. Sweet! I moved it to a closet that’s a little cooler because it was running a little warm at ~67*. The previous two uses of this round of US05 (1st time was 1st gen dry pitch, 2nd time was 2nd gen slurry, as is this round) ran at ~62* and bubbled every 5 - 7 seconds, taking about 5 days to finish. Those beers attenuated very nicely, and I’d like to achieve the same results here. We shall see!

I have one more question about this brew session:

Because of all the “new” I had going on for this brew (first full boil, new turkey fryer, new wort chiller), I was a flustered throughout and I forgot to submerge the wort chiller until there were about 8 minutes left on the boil. I let it go a little long, but probably not much more than 2 minutes, so the wort chiller was probably in the boiling water for ~10 minutes, max.

Should I be concerned that the beer will become infected? My gut says no, but my mind says yes…heh.

I wouldn’t be too concerned about the chiller, 10 min is a pretty good amount of time in the boil(I usually do 15 min) and it was most likely sitting in some very hot wort for a while longer during the early stages of the cooling. Either way can’t do much about it now but wait and see so might as well RDWHAHB

Yeah, I was thinking the water was probably pretty damn hot for at least the first 5 minutes…fingers crossed! Am I more likely to see an infection pre- or post-bottling? Or, impossible to say?

Alas, that will have to wait until tomorrow when the Chinook IPA hits 1 week in the bottles.

PS - fermentation is proceeding quite nicely. Got the temp down slightly and now it’s behaving exactly like it did the previous two times I used this batch of US-05.

Back to Shopping at