Author Topic: Water Addition Question  (Read 3572 times)

Offline mbg-bs

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Water Addition Question
« on: November 03, 2012, 08:55:21 PM »
I made an all grain brown ale today after not brewing for about 3 years. I think I was a gallon short on the mash in water because my mash was only 147 deg & target was 152 (usually I'm spot on). I then added 1-1/2 quarts of boiling water trying to bring temp up but only got to 149 and didn't want to add too much extra water. After looking at my data I usually calculate about 1 gal of water being absorbed by the grain but it was 2 gallons today. I was short of wort in the fermentor too. Playing with the mash adjustment tool I'm almost convinced I missed a gallon of water.

OK - my question is when is it too late to add water to the fermenter. Or maybe I shouldn't since I hit my recipe gravity with the lower volume. The fermentor has about 4.8 gal and it should have been around 5.5.

Thanks,

Mike

Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Water Addition Question
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2012, 10:41:11 PM »
Depends on your goal.  My goal is to make the recipe I started out to make.  So, I'd rather hit my target OG into the fermenter.   Volume is only of moderate interest. 

If your goal is to have 5.0 gallons of beer, and a slightly thinner beer is okay....then you can add sterile water at any time.  Its best to add it at packaging, rather than in the midst of fermentation.  There's nothing magic about having the water there while the yeast are working.  It makes no difference. 

The key word above is STERILE (or at least sanitary).  Preboil and cool the water before using it.  Boil a gallon the night before on the kitchen stove, and let it cool with the lid on overnight.  Then you can use it to top up your bottling bucket (or keg). 

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Offline mbg-bs

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Re: Water Addition Question
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2012, 07:05:24 AM »
Depends on your goal.  My goal is to make the recipe I started out to make.  So, I'd rather hit my target OG into the fermenter.   Volume is only of moderate interest. 

If your goal is to have 5.0 gallons of beer, and a slightly thinner beer is okay....then you can add sterile water at any time.  Its best to add it at packaging, rather than in the midst of fermentation.  There's nothing magic about having the water there while the yeast are working.  It makes no difference. 

The key word above is STERILE (or at least sanitary).  Preboil and cool the water before using it.  Boil a gallon the night before on the kitchen stove, and let it cool with the lid on overnight.  Then you can use it to top up your bottling bucket (or keg).

Thanks - I didn't feel comfortable adding water anyway. The fermentor has a nice foam head on it right now.

Mike