Author Topic: How much beer do you get from a "5 gallon" batch?  (Read 21174 times)

Offline Triples

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How much beer do you get from a "5 gallon" batch?
« on: September 07, 2009, 08:03:37 AM »
I bottled my first batch yesterday.  It was a kit for Nut Brown Ale from Hoggetowne Ale Works, a homebrew shop in Gainesville, FL.  I think it is coming out nicely - smells good, tastes good, looks good.  However, I was disappointed that I only managed to bottle 4 gallons of beer.  I new it would yield less than 5 gallons but I didn't expect to loose an entire gallon.  (The batch was topped up to a full 5 gallons in the initial fermentor before pitching the yeast.)  I believe the major culprit was how much I left behind in the primary and secondary fermentors when I racked to the next container.  So here are my questions:

  - How much beer do experienced brewers get out of a "5 gallon" batch?

  - How do you maximize the transfer of beer and minimize the transfer of trub when racking?

Triples

Offline Wildrover

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Re: How much beer do you get from a "5 gallon" batch?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2009, 09:31:51 AM »
brew six gallons to account for the loss to trub, yeast, etc.

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: How much beer do you get from a "5 gallon" batch?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2009, 03:30:02 PM »
Yep.  I do smaller batches, so I aim for four gallons in the primary and end up with three in the secondary. 

The six gallons would be your "batch size" in BeerSmith, which means if the kit was made to deliver five gallons, you may end up light in starting gravity, bittering, etc.  Batch size drives most of the calculations in BeerSmith. 

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: How much beer do you get from a "5 gallon" batch?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2009, 12:15:43 AM »
I've tweaked my equipment setting(s) in BeerSmith and my recipes to 5.5gal to account for both drawing samples and leaving a bit behind in the primary. The past 3 batches I've gotten 5gal to bottle.
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Offline Triples

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Re: How much beer do you get from a "5 gallon" batch?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2009, 07:41:24 AM »
SleepySamSlim,

Can you explain any techniques you use when racking from the stage one fermenter to the next to get more beer and less trub or yeast?  It sounds like you're leaving a lot less beer behind in the primary and secondary than I am.  I stopped when I saw yeast in the siphon tube.  Do you gently tilt the fermenter when you get close to the bottom?  Or maybe tilt it before you start?

Triples

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: How much beer do you get from a "5 gallon" batch?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2009, 09:54:44 AM »
My batch size starts at 5.5 and I end up with about 5G. When I rack off the primary I attempt to get as much as possible. It will settle out in the secondary. When I rack-off the secondary is when I worry about picking up debris.

I just bottled the Wife's Wit this weekend and got 2 cases to the bottle.

Cheers
Preston
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Offline MaltLicker

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Re: How much beer do you get from a "5 gallon" batch?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2009, 10:20:33 AM »
Can you explain any techniques you use when racking from the stage one fermenter to the next to get more beer and less trub or yeast?  It sounds like you're leaving a lot less beer behind in the primary and secondary than I am.  I stopped when I saw yeast in the siphon tube.  Do you gently tilt the fermenter when you get close to the bottom?  Or maybe tilt it before you start?Triples

Tilting helps.  I use a large stopper under one edge, and gradually push the rack cane tip in the deep end.  Then I grab and tilt it more for the last bit.  Taking some yeast into the secondary is OK b/c you have another chance to leave it behind when you rack to bottle bucket.  I try to be cleaner going into the bucket, but by then there's  little loose yeast to worry about.

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: How much beer do you get from a "5 gallon" batch?
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2009, 12:08:41 AM »
Preston and MaltLicker pretty well summed it up. I'm going from primary bucket to carboy - when the bucket is down to 1/3 I'm holding the auto-siphon tube tightly against the side of the bucket. And via a small mark on the tube I know I'm about 2" off the bottom of the bucket. At this point I slowly start tilting the bucket --- and since the liquid is going to rise as I tilt I may raise the tube 1". But I will lower it again 1" as I'm getting down to the dregs.

You don't want to be sucking trub but you do want to get as much as possible out of the primary .... because the yeast will settle and then when you bottle or keg you will be able to get your 5gal (and a pinch more) --- while easily leaving some behind and not sucking gunk into your final product.

But the most important part is tweaking your equipment setup and your recipes for 5.5g into the primary.
Good luck
Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
-Robert Johnson

Offline Triples

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Re: How much beer do you get from a "5 gallon" batch?
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2009, 07:36:38 AM »
Thanks for your help.  It sounds like carefully tilting the fermenter and refining my siphoning technique is the key.  I'll also tweak my recipes up to 5.5 gal.  However I would like to point out that 4 cases of 12 oz bottles is only 4.5 gallons, not 5.  (12x48/128=4.5)  So it sounds like Preston lost about 1 gal from start to bottle, since he started with 5.5 gallons. 

When you other guys say you end up with 5 gallons do you really mean 4 cases? 

Is loosing 1 gallon to racking and sampling typical even with careful tipping and refined siphoning technique?

Triples

Offline switzead

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Re: How much beer do you get from a "5 gallon" batch?
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2009, 07:59:14 AM »
The 2 most important tools (besides my autosiphon) that I us in transferring are 6 small wooden blocks to tilt my pot or carboy and a piece of nylon mesh (get the 5 gallon nylon paint strainer bags from HomeDepot and cut it up) that I wrap around the end of the autosiphon and keep in place with rubber bands.  Very little trub is drawn out of the pot and even less of the trub and yeast will come out of the primary into the secondary.  I also siphon from the secondary to the keg or to a bottling bucket using the same technique and I never have deposits.  The mesh can be cleaned in the sink and reused over and over again.

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: How much beer do you get from a "5 gallon" batch?
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2009, 01:29:42 AM »
Thanks for your help.  It sounds like carefully tilting the fermenter and refining my siphoning technique is the key.  I'll also tweak my recipes up to 5.5 gal.  However I would like to point out that 4 cases of 12 oz bottles is only 4.5 gallons, not 5.  (12x48/128=4.5)  So it sounds like Preston lost about 1 gal from start to bottle, since he started with 5.5 gallons. 

When you other guys say you end up with 5 gallons do you really mean 4 cases? 

Is loosing 1 gallon to racking and sampling typical even with careful tipping and refined siphoning technique?

Triples

So I think you are referring a metric case when you say 4 cases of 12oz bottles   ;D

If I recall correctly a case of beer is 24 bottles each 12oz - and 12oz x 24 = 2.25g.  And thus 2 cases does indeed 4.5g -- so we're really talking about getting a minimum of 2 cases per batch. So if you only brew 5g and take at least 2 gravity readings - plus beer lost in transfer you could come up short on getting 4.5g. So by boosting it up to 5.5g --- And being thrifty on samples and transfer loss -- you should be able to bottle 2 cases plus a few extra. The few extra are nice as they can be used to sample the beer at 2 weeks - 4 weeks -- etc.

More beer is always better



Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
-Robert Johnson

Offline Triples

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Re: How much beer do you get from a "5 gallon" batch?
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2009, 09:12:22 AM »
Yes, I meant 2 cases (not 4) of 12 oz bottles is 4.5 gallons.

Offline SOGOAK

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Re: How much beer do you get from a "5 gallon" batch?
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2009, 05:51:25 AM »
Tripels, S3 is right, start out with 6gal target, after trub, hot break, you put 5.5 in primary, then IF you xfer, you'll get close to 5gal finnished brew.

Yes, I have a 2" wide piece of 2X8 I use to tilt the fermentor and bottling bucket. I actually try for just a bit of yeast to make sure I get sound carb.  All the cloudy stuff has fallen out by then and if you pour the bottle right you get clear beer.
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