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"Top Off" Concern

Hi All -

I’m due to have my sister-in-law in town for a month, with her husband coming in town for 2 weeks during that time, due to my wife bearing twins in the next month or so.

With this in mind, I brewed an original recipe that she (and my wife) both loved the last time I brewed it.

The only issue – I came up a half-gallon short on the target (4.5 gallons instead of 5). I was perusing the message boards earlier, and then I decided to go ahead and top it off…after the fact…3-4 hours after pitching…

It didn’t hit me until after I replugged the fermenter…did I just screw this up?

I did put a half-gallon of RO water, that I collected in clean and sanitized gallon container.

I do understand that adding this half-gallon will lower the IBU’s of the beer (which is okay, since it came out a bit too hoppy from my original plan)…but will it otherwise be an issue?

Thanks for the help!

Was the OG high too? If your dilution brought the gravity down to your target range then all should be well, if the dilution dropped the OG below the range then you’ll end up with weaker beer. The beer style and your personal taste will say if that’s acceptable or not. Since you mention it was hoppier than plan, it sounds like boil off, and the sugars were likely concentrated too. Maybe?

The other question is what was the water temp like when you diluted? There may be side-effects of too hot or too cold water being dumped in.

Are you more worried about infection? Or are you worried about the taste and if that is what you messed up?

The temperature of the RO water was room temperature (around 68 deg F).

The OG was off by a few points (Measured at 1.0526 - recipe should have been around 1.046).

I am worried about infection and a different taste … I only put in about a half-gallon after sanitizing I then swirled it around quite a bit in the primary…so I hope it doesn’t mess up the taste too much.

IMO this should be absolutely No Problemo. I routinely top off with chilled tap(well) water if I don’t meet my planned volume. Never (knock on wood) had an infection.
And if the dilution got you what your recipe had called for, then your flavor should be as expected. If you hadn’t diluted up to 5 G , Then your flavor may have been not exactly what you expected.
So, you done good sir!

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