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When it says "top up to 23 litres".....?

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Richard2020

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Hello,

First post ever on here, and I've just started home brewing. I just wanted to ask a very simple question- I've made 4 kits now- the Woodfordes' Wherry, Young's American Amber, Festival Belgian Dubbel and a Continental Pilsner (still fermenting).

In pretty much all of them, it says chuck the contents of the two tins into the FV and then add 3 litres or so of boiling water, then stir to dissolve, then top up to 23 litres.

Does this mean I should have added a TOTAL of 23 litres of water- 3 boiling and 20 cold? Or somewhat less?

I didn't calibrate my first FV and then decided to buy another one with graduations on it.... seems I may be adding too much cold water and over-shooting the 23 litre mark! I thought the malt would not displace any water, but it seems it does so when I add 20 litres of cold, it's too much. I assume this just "waters down" the brew a bit, which may be why my ABV readings are a wee bit low.

Can anyone shed any light?

Cheers,

Richard
 

Galena

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Yes, so you would add the cold water to make the total liquid in the FV to be 23 litres
Edit, that will be total including the malt extract so total liquid in the FV not the amount of water you add
 

dad_of_jon

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top up to means add until you get to 23 litres. It does not mean add 23 litres. It's a reasonably common mistake when starting out. Also you can weigh water at approx 1kg per litre which may help with your calibrations

add too much water will dilute your beer and too little water with strengthen it. Your could always add extra sugars to boost it a bit.
 

Drunkula

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3 kg liquid extract ~ 2.1 litres so 20.9 litres of water.

A kilo of sugar takes up 600ml in solution for them sugary additionings.
 

Richard2020

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Thanks all! This is really helpful. As I suspected, I've been brewing the first few a bit "diluted".... I've put some brewing sugar in solution into the Ruby Ale so at least the alcohol will be boosted a bit in that one.

Homebrewing is great, I have really enjoyed making my first few kits; I know they're just kits, but there's a real sense of achievement in doing them, and not (totally) knackering them up.

It's nice to learn something new. And it's also lovely to know that there's the excellent support of this forum to help me along the way! Thank you.

The Woodforde's Wherry is coming along nicely in the bottles, and the American Amber I started tasting last night. it's good, but needs a bit longer I think. The Dubbel is still in our (quite warm) cellar for its bottle/mini barrel 2 weeks' secondary fermentation.

I'm looking forward to maybe making the step to extract brewing. I wanted to buy a kit for that from Lovebrewing but they've been sold out for ages. Any other ideas? I'll take a look on the forums to see if there are any recipes etc.

Richard
 

Richard2020

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Ooh thank you! I need a boiling pot- any ideas where I could get a decent one?
 

GhostShip

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Hello,

First post ever on here, and I've just started home brewing. I just wanted to ask a very simple question- I've made 4 kits now- the Woodfordes' Wherry, Young's American Amber, Festival Belgian Dubbel and a Continental Pilsner (still fermenting).

In pretty much all of them, it says chuck the contents of the two tins into the FV and then add 3 litres or so of boiling water, then stir to dissolve, then top up to 23 litres.

Does this mean I should have added a TOTAL of 23 litres of water- 3 boiling and 20 cold? Or somewhat less?

I didn't calibrate my first FV and then decided to buy another one with graduations on it.... seems I may be adding too much cold water and over-shooting the 23 litre mark! I thought the malt would not displace any water, but it seems it does so when I add 20 litres of cold, it's too much. I assume this just "waters down" the brew a bit, which may be why my ABV readings are a wee bit low.

Can anyone shed any light?

Cheers,

Richard
As others have said, 23 litres is the total you want in your FV. Personally, I don't use boiling water with the malt extract - there are some suggestions this could be one of the reasons for 'home brew twang'. I mix the boiling water with some cold in a measuring jug and then add it. I also mix the extract thoroughly with only around 5/6 litres of water in the FV. It really needs a vigourous stir to dissolve everything and to get plenty of oxygen into your beer and that's much easier to do with less volume in the FV. Once it's all mixed, I then top up with the cold water, give it another really good stir so that there's plenty of 'foam' on top, and it's done.
 

Brewzer.

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Ooh thank you! I need a boiling pot- any ideas where I could get a decent one?
Try a 30L Burco from Amazon. The price seems to have gone up a bit since I bought mine a couple of months ago, but it's been perfect for all my 23l brews.
 

terrym

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I'm looking forward to maybe making the step to extract brewing. I wanted to buy a kit for that from Lovebrewing but they've been sold out for ages. Any other ideas? I'll take a look on the forums to see if there are any recipes etc.
You don't really need to buy an extract kit although it may convenient. There are plenty of extract beer recipes out there. Any AG recipe can be converted directly provided there are no grains which require mashing* other than the base malt in the recipe. Greg Hughes book HomeBrew Beer has a number of extract recipes (and at £13/14 is not a bad buy anyway) and there are a few in here...
And remember with extract brewing, just like AG, you do not have to be geared to brewing 23 litres as for most kits, you can brew whatever capacity you choose in part governed by your pot size. But if you do go ahead I suggest you use DME rather than LME, since my experience of LME extract brewing was a bit twangy on occasion, whereas using DME I do not get that.
* Non base malt grains that require mashing typically include torrified wheat and oats.
 

kelper

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Only if there are a lot which there aren't in tap water. Now sit down and be quiet :laugh8:
 

Richard2020

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You don't really need to buy an extract kit although it may convenient. There are plenty of extract beer recipes out there. Any AG recipe can be converted directly provided there are no grains which require mashing* other than the base malt in the recipe. Greg Hughes book HomeBrew Beer has a number of extract recipes (and at £13/14 is not a bad buy anyway) and there are a few in here...
And remember with extract brewing, just like AG, you do not have to be geared to brewing 23 litres as for most kits, you can brew whatever capacity you choose in part governed by your pot size. But if you do go ahead I suggest you use DME rather than LME, since my experience of LME extract brewing was a bit twangy on occasion, whereas using DME I do not get that.
* Non base malt grains that require mashing typically include torrified wheat and oats.
Ooh thanks! That's great, I'll have a read! We actually also have a pasteuriser which we bought for pasteurising Elderflower Cordial and the like, I might be able to use that instead of a Burco (never heard of them before!)! My wife may Not Approve of the pasteuriser smelling of brew though...
 
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