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To save time, I top off my brew to 5 gallons just before bottling (with water that has been boiled and cooled, of course). I'll be adding the priming sugar at this stage anyway, so I just bump up the amount of water used to dissolve the priming sugar enough to top off my brew.


When racking from a primary fermenter to a secondary vessel, you will leave behind a non-trivial amount of "stuff" so the volume in the secondary will be less than the volume in the primary. If you start with five gallons in the fermenter you won't have five gallons left to bottle, but it isn't any more concentrated than when you started. If your OG and FG ...


You can top up if you want, but you don't have to. Boiling the water and cooling is necessary, since boiling both sanitizes and releases dissolved oxygen, which would prematurely stale the beer.


What you describe in your comments sounds like trub (pronounced "troob"). It's mostly yeast, proteins, fats, and sometimes hop material. It's totally normal for that stuff to settle to the bottom of the vessel after fermentation is complete. You don't filter it; you just let it settle and then carefully siphon the beer off while picking up as little of the ...


Probably no need for a secondary vessel step with this. Depending on your fermentation temps up to this point you may not need to diacetyl rest this beer. California Lager yeast is generally fermented higher than standard lagers so the yeast may have cleaned that up by the time its done. I'd taste a sample of it to be sure. If you want to truly lager this ...


I very much disagree with Denny Conn. I always do a secondary fermentation unless I forget or am lazy. It's good to get the beer off the sediment to reduce off flavors and have an opportunity to taste the beer and take a hydrometer reading. I also usually do the primary in a plastic bucket which I don't like to leave my beer fermenting in for long periods of ...

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