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Newbie Question

I just got my all-grain kit and watched the DVD & am ready to brew this weekend. My question is this: if I am making a five-gallon batch, but the total amound of wort I will be boiling is going to be over six gallons according to the video, am I actually brewing a batch larger than 5 gallons or do I just discard the extra wort?

You start with a larger volume because you will lose some due to evaporation during the boil.

Also, your boil off rate is determined by the width of your kettle, the larger it is the more you lose to evaporation. I used to boil in a converted keg with a 12" opening and would lose about a gallon over the course of an hour boil. My new pot is 15" and my boil off rate has increased to around 1.2 gallons an hour.

This is one of those things when you’re first starting that will take a few batches to get dialed in. Don’t sweat it though, if you come up short on volume you can add some water, kind of like topping off your extract batches. If you overshoot you just boil longer to reduce it, it will affect your bitterness some, but it’ll still be beer!


Let me continue on that train of thought and give you an example of my personal situation, as said above YRMV. I start with 7.5g in the kettle, boil off 1 gallon, this would technically leave the batch at 6.5 at this point though you will then lose around 4% due to loss during chilling mine equates to .25 g typically, so I am left with 6.25g. Which is my calculated batch size for every beer and when making “kits” I make up with a little base grain etc…as kits are calculated for 5.25g

This is not the end of the story though, you would ask why 6.25 if doing a 5.25 batch in the fermentor? Even though I have a good pickup tube and whirlpool my cooled wort. No matter my hop load I will lose approximately .75-1.25 gallons to trub(protein residues) and hop particles in the bottom of the kettle and will end up with 5.5-5.0 gallons of clear wort to the fermentor.

One of the best things you can do on your first batch is account for some of this stuff if you can and measure everything anyway to be able to troubleshoot what you need to do next time.
IE: Preboil amount, directly after boiling but before cooling amount, post cooling amount, amount into fermentor before you start picking up trub/ hop residue etc…(the amount of wort lost at the end here too can be corrected with a dip tube of sorts if you even need one time will tell on a few of these things.)

Thank you guys… I appreciate it! Can’t wait. My starter is doing its thing now & going to give it a whirl on Saturday!

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