So if I have, say, a 10 litre brew bucket, how many bottles would I expect to be able to fill?

I assume that larger batches would have less waste. Interested in home brew sizes.

  • Yes I know it would depend on how big the bottle are :P Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 22:37
  • 1
    from this, and you're other question on amount of malt to make a liter of beer, it seems you're looking for brewing efficiencies - you should check out Brewhouse Efficiency, which explains where losses occur.
    – mdma
    Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 23:06

1 Answer 1


In the primary ferment you typically want at least 25% additional headroom, ideally 50%. So for a 5 gallon (ca. 20l) batch, you'll find 6.5 gallon (25l) carboys or 7.5 gallon (30l) pails in common use.

But there are losses, like the trub (sediment) left behind in the primary fermentor and wort removed for hydrometer samples, so many brewers will add 10% or more to the batch size to account for that.

I don't think larger batches have considerably less waste, at least not on the fermentation side - the amount of yeast and trub scales as the batch size grows, which is the main cause of wort loss. The one or two hydrometer samples - ca. 100ml each would be the same for larger batches, but it's a small amount compared to the volume of the trub.

So, for a 10l fermentation vessel, you could expect to ferment no more than 8l (giving 25% headspace), and you'd probably lose 10% of that as trub, so ca. 1l, giving you 7l of bottled beer. It will vary depending upon the exact nature of the equipment you're using, deadspaces in vessels etc.

  • If you dry hop, you'll lose more to hop absorption.
    – Denny Conn
    Commented Nov 21, 2013 at 20:32
  • For 1l, thats about 1/20th of a normal batch so 2g of hops corresponding to 1.5oz of hops for 5 gallons - they absorb 4-5 times their weight in water, so that's 5x2 = 10ml, or about 1%.
    – mdma
    Commented Nov 21, 2013 at 21:59

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