A very basic question that I struggle with on every batch of beer is how much water to add to the wort in the primary before pitching the yeast? I’ve suspected for a while that I may be diluting the wort to the point where the OG is below what the recipe calls for, resulting in a weaker tasting final product.
Most of the malt extract kits are built around 5 gal recipes-usually starting with 3 gals in your brewpot for steeping, boiling with hops, cooling, then pouring into the primary. However, if you boil water for 1hr in the brewpot, you end up with less than 3gal (not really sure how much you lose in the process).
After cooling, I add the wort to the primary and usually fill my fermenter to the 5 gal line, but don’t check the OG during this process.
Should I be adding water, and checking the OG of the wort several times during the process to make sure it doesn’t fall below the OG specified in the recipe?
And, if that’s the case, do I stop when I’ve reached the OG of the recipe, even if the total volume in the fermenter is less than 5 gals?
Thanks for the help on this. I’m fine if you all tell me I’m overthinking this, and it’s not an issue.