Lost 1/2 Gal After Racking

Just racked my first 5 gallon batch from my primary to secondary fermenter. After finishing, I realized that my 5 gallon batch is now a little over 4.5 gallons in my secondary fermenter. I’m sure I left a small amount of beer in the primary with the trub, but it certainly wasn’t half a gallon.

Is this loss of volume typical?

Thanks in advance.

I always topped my primary buckets off to 5.3 gallons to end up with 5 gallons to keg or bottle

Good to know. So this loss in volume is normal then?

Yea, I am not sure about losing .5 gallon though, unless you had a ton of trub. Not sure what you used to guage your initial 5 gallons, but bucket markings may not be reliable.

I did indeed use the bucket markings, but I just compared the two buckets I used and they may not be accurate, but the markings are consistent with one another. Which tells me that I did indeed lose ~.5 Gal somewhere.

Might be worth taking a known gallon measurement and add a gallon at a time to check the markings.

How do you know where 4.5 gallons is on your secondary? In any eve t, this is how you learn. The beer will still be good.

A good example of losing a lot of volume, if you don’t plan properly (and then, even if you do), is with NB’s Surly Furious kit. The 8+ oz of dry hops just absorbs a ton of the beer; I bet I lose half a gallon or more from that alone, every time.

As 560sdl mentioned, shoot for 5.25 to 5.5 gallons in the primary, so that your final bottling/kegging volume is 4.75 to 5.0 gallons. As this answer may suggest, yes, loss in volume from transferring steps is normal and expected.

I usually come up a little short, even when I plan it out.