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Top It Off!

Was wondering if anyone brings their top off water up to 5.25 gallons or so to help account for trub and end up closer to a full finished 5 gallons? My common sense assumption is that this can be done and any end result affect would be unnoticable.

I formulate my recipes to get 5.5g into the fermenter. I would not add more water if the extra volume was not accounted for in the recipe, that would lower your final intended gravity and lower the IBU’s. It would probably be less noticeable in a big beer vs a session beer, but I still would not bother for the small difference in volume.

If I’m using a 5 gallon recipe I have 5 gallons in the fermentor. Occasionally I’ll pitch a 1 liter starter. The fermentor volume would then be 5.25 gallons.
I’ve gotten better at straining out hop debris so I’ll often end up with 4.75 gallons in the bottle. Some beer is left in the fermentor to cover the yeast until harvest and some is lost as overflow during bottling.

I’m with Flars. I started out topping off to about 5 gal with my extract batches. Then I thought, I’ll top off to about 5.5 and get more beer–actually get about 5 gals in bottles. What I got was more, watery beer. I’ve since gone back to just 5 gals in fermentor. Much better.


When formulating recipes I use 6 gallons as the target. I leave 1/2 gallon in the kettle to account for hops and break material. That leaves 5-1/2 gallons going into the fermentor of which usually 1/2 gallon or so will settle out as trub.

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