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Noob question

Noob question, when a recipe says 5gallon, does that mean the amount that goes into the fermentor or the final bottling/ keg amount?

Thanks

I think that’s a good question. Most extract kits are formulated for 5 gallons going into the fermenter, maybe a tad more to account for bottling losses. But for the most part, you should be able to top up an extract batch to 5 gallons and hit your OG exactly.

Things get a bit different with all-grain, because there you’re dealing with extract efficiencies, which vary quite a bit from brewer to brewer. You have to have a reasonable idea of your average extract efficiency, and then maybe scale the recipe a bit to match your system. I learned to be a bit flexible with AG brewing - I often come in with an OG a bit lower or higher than expected, but the beer still turns out great.

That said, a 5-gallon batch isn’t always a 5-gallon batch. For instance, I’ve been brewing a lot of the recipes in Brewing Classic Styles. I was entering their recipes into my brewing program, and things weren’t working out. Then I did some more reading of the earlier chapters, and it’s specified that the recipes are actually written to produce 6 gallons post-boil, with 5.5 going into the fermenter, and 5 gallons going into the keg or bottle. That little tidbit is tucked away at the end of one of the early chapters, so it was easy to miss. I had to rejigger all of my calculations then, and after that I started coming in more on target.

So you raised a good question, and I hope I answered at least part of it. :cheers:

[quote=“El Capitan”]I think that’s a good question. Most extract kits are formulated for 5 gallons going into the fermenter, maybe a tad more to account for bottling losses. But for the most part, you should be able to top up an extract batch to 5 gallons and hit your OG exactly.

Things get a bit different with all-grain, because there you’re dealing with extract efficiencies, which vary quite a bit from brewer to brewer. You have to have a reasonable idea of your average extract efficiency, and then maybe scale the recipe a bit to match your system. I learned to be a bit flexible with AG brewing - I often come in with an OG a bit lower or higher than expected, but the beer still turns out great.

That said, a 5-gallon batch isn’t always a 5-gallon batch. For instance, I’ve been brewing a lot of the recipes in Brewing Classic Styles. I was entering their recipes into my brewing program, and things weren’t working out. Then I did some more reading of the earlier chapters, and it’s specified that the recipes are actually written to produce 6 gallons post-boil, with 5.5 going into the fermenter, and 5 gallons going into the keg or bottle. That little tidbit is tucked away at the end of one of the early chapters, so it was easy to miss. I had to rejigger all of my calculations then, and after that I started coming in more on target.

So you raised a good question, and I hope I answered at least part of it. :cheers: [/quote]

Excellent post. One more point, wort volume shrinks by 4% when going from boiling temp to pitching temp, so there’s a difference in post-boil and fermenting volume as well. So if you’re doing a full boil and you boil down to 5 gallons, you’ll really only have 4.8 gallons by the time you cool, and you’re bound to lose about a half gallon of that to trub. I made this mistake when I first started all-grain, I ended up with just over 4 gallons in my fermenter, and I was totally confused about it at the time.

[quote]

Excellent post. One more point, wort volume shrinks by 4% when going from boiling temp to pitching temp, so there’s a difference in post-boil and fermenting volume as well. So if you’re doing a full boil and you boil down to 5 gallons, you’ll really only have 4.8 gallons by the time you cool, and you’re bound to lose about a half gallon of that to trub. I made this mistake when I first started all-grain, I ended up with just over 4 gallons in my fermenter, and I was totally confused about it at the time.[/quote]
Great thinking about the topic .

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