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Adding Water


Master Brewer
Jan 27, 2016
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Hi folks
In each of the brews I have made, the recipe suggests adding water at various stages to achieve the required volume. At no time do the recipes indicate the temperature of the water to be added. Adding water after the mash does not worry me as the this will be boiled with the rest of the wort. What puzzles me is this sequence when adding water later:

"Cool wort to fermentation temperature",
"Transfer wort to fermenter",
"Add water if needed to achieve final volume"

This confuses me a bit. Am I adding water which has been boiled and cooled to fementation temperature.

Thanks in advance
The last step of adding water is completely optional and is added also in the pre-boil and post boil steps.  It is there as a way to correct for minor variations in grain absorption, boil-off rate, or excess trub to reach the targeted volumes at each stage.  It is completely up to you to make these corrections or not.  I pretty much ignore these steps.

If I were going to add some water to reach target volumes, I would add straight water (I have a well) for pre-boil and boiled/chilled water to any post-boil additions.

Thanks for that Oginme.
Like you I have a well and also like you I have to date ignored these steps.
That being said I am pretty fed up with losing volume from boil off, cooler, trub etc so I was going to try adding water to my next batch to bring the volume back.
Does this water addition have any notable effect on the Gravity readings?

The addition of water will lower your gravity. 

If you are consistently coming up short on volumes, you probably need to take another look at your settings for boil-off rate, process losses, and grain absorption.  I had described the process I use to dial in my system in http://www.beersmith.com/forum/index.php/topic,14362.msg56361.html#msg56361. 

Thanks again Oginme.

One of my biggest losses is with the filter between the  boil kettle and the plate cooler. I consistently lose around 2.5 to 3 liters with this damned thing including the line to it. Not only that with some big beers the filter inside clogs up and has to be cleaned during the process. I am about to install bazookas in my kettles which should help, and would like to do away with the inline filter altogether.
The other losses I can deal with using your method.