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When can make up water be added?

My first batch, NB’s Bavarian Hefeweizen. Started full boil with 5.25 gallons, ingredients were not added at proper time but forum members assure me that all is fine.
Two weeks of steady fermentation in 6 gallon carboy with nasty brown looking krausen. Never saw a single bubble exit the airlock maybe because I had so much head space. Very dark and not very appealing looking, with about an inch of whitish sediment on bottom. I just measured 5 gallons in my new 6 gallon carboy and placed the two carboys side by side and I have exactly 4 gallons of beer.
Can I, or should I add one more gallon to make 5 gallons? I plan to rack into a corny keg and force carbonate.
The beer is supposed to be ready in 4 weeks, this Sunday.
Thanks for your help. I tried to upload pictures but was told it was an invalid file.

It will look darker in the carboy than it actually is. The layer on the bottom is yeast and cold break, totally normal so nothing to worry about.

Sounds like you when you boiled you had too much boil off and didn’t transfer a full 5 gallons into the carboy. If you are doing full boils it will take you a couple batches to get your boil nailed down so that you end with 5 gallons. Next time back off on the boil or start with a little more wort. There is NO reason you have to have five gallons (well other than having more beer :smiley: ). Personally I wouldn’t add any water and just go with what you have.

Without out the water you’ll have a higher alcohol, darker, stronger tasting beer then the recipe intended, which might not even be a bad thing. But personally I would boil and cool a gallon of water and add it

From the few times I’ve added water post fermentation it makes the beer taste watered down. The beer isn’t bad but just not as good as it should be. Yes the current beer will be darker and stronger, but for me that’s better than watered down beer.
Also I find it throws the balance off. It won’t hurt the beer but it will change it. I would give it a taste and let your pallet make the decision.

Thanks for the replies. I think I will leave it alone.
While this post is still fresh, I’ve read that at this stage of the beer, oxygen should be avoided if possible. Is there a method to filter the beer while racking into the corny keg without adding oxygen?
I still have 5 days to go but the beer doesn’t look very clear.

I’m a little perplexed as to why you never had any bubbling through the air lock, there should have been… I regularly ferment 5 gallon batches in a 6-1/2 gallon carboy and it bubbles like crazy at the start and slows down after a few days.

[quote=“bsk116”]Thanks for the replies. I think I will leave it alone.
While this post is still fresh, I’ve read that at this stage of the beer, oxygen should be avoided if possible. Is there a method to filter the beer while racking into the corny keg without adding oxygen?
I still have 5 days to go but the beer doesn’t look very clear.[/quote]

No need to filter. The beer will clear as it ages, and it will look clearer and lighter in color in a glass vs in the carboy. Cold crash before transferring will help a lot. You can search the forum for fining agents, but it’s nothing time can’t take care of. I’ve never used any fining agents of any kind, and I can only honestly think of a couple brews that weren’t clear, and those were wheats or ryes which probably shouldn’t be clear anyway.

Since you brewed a Hefe it is going to very tough to clear. Traditionally Hefes are cloudy beers. Just let it sit long enough for a bulk of the yeast settles out. You will still get some in the keg, after it is all carbed just dump the first pint and you will be good to go.

Yeah, me too. The krausen thickness started at the 4 gallon beer mark to the 5 gallon beer mark so it was very active, and for exactly two weeks!

I brewed the baviarian Hefe all grain. That fermentation went gangbusters and required a blow-off set up. Typical with Hefe’s or any brew with lots of wheat from what I’ve read.

Its supposed to be a cloudy beer by design. Not sure how it wouldnt produce any bubbles in the airlock. Did you forget to put liduid in there or maybe level was so low co2 could escape without bubbling?

[quote=“Kgetch”]I brewed the baviarian Hefe all grain. That fermentation went gangbusters and required a blow-off set up. Typical with Hefe’s or any brew with lots of wheat from what I’ve read.

Its supposed to be a cloudy beer by design. Not sure how it wouldnt produce any bubbles in the airlock. Did you forget to put liduid in there or maybe level was so low co2 could escape without bubbling?[/quote]
Yeah I’m aware hefe beer is cloudy. Most of the reviews I read re: the hefe kit, said it was a very active fermentation. Yeah I filled the airlock half full of starsan mix. I think there was so much headspace it didn’t need the airlock.

Is the airlock a 3 piece? Still got starsan in it?

Only reason I ask, is I recently popped an airlock in, was SURE I put in the liquid, but a few mins later…empty.

Airlock had a tiny crack at the base of the “bowl” and all fluid leaked into the beer.

[quote=“Kgetch”]Is the airlock a 3 piece? Still got starsan in it?

Only reason I ask, is I recently popped an airlock in, was SURE I put in the liquid, but a few mins later…empty.

Airlock had a tiny crack at the base of the “bowl” and all fluid leaked into the beer.[/quote]

Yes, the level dropped over 4 weeks probably due to evaporation, but still plenty.
Mystery solved.
Boy do I feel stupid :shock:
Even without the cover on I can’t see how any contaminants could get in, or at least I hope not.
Can’t believe I overlooked something so simple!

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