Mysterious Beer Loss at Bottling!

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Daniel777, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. Daniel777

    Daniel777 New Member

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    Hi everybody!

    This one has been baffeling me since I started brewing 1,5 years ago.

    My bottling routin:
    My beer is in a bucket with airlock and tap.
    I syphon the beer from the yeast in to a measuring pot.
    I measure the beer.
    Wash and sanitize my bucket.
    Syphone the beer back to the bucket, add corn sugar.
    Bottle with the use of the tap in half liter bottles.

    The mysterious problem: I always get less beer in bottles than I had in my measuring pot.
    Say I got in my pot 16 liters, I will get like 28 bottles (14 liters).
    If I have in my pot 14 liters, I will get like 24 bottles (12 liters).
    It seems I always get 2 liter/4 bottles less than I should.

    Now you can say, that my pot is not accurate, or my bottles are biger than I think, but please trust me that this is not the problem. I made a lot of measuring with different pots, different metodes. (I am member of the Mensa Society and had won a lot math competitions here, I know how to cross measure things)
    Heck, if I fill up 30 bottles with tap water and pour in my present pot, it say 15 liters.
    If I try to bottle the same 15 liters I just got like 26 bottles (not with the water, the water works, but with the beer)

    So I see 2 options:
    There is some kind of strange natural phenomenon here that I am unaware of.
    I am beer cursed. :(

    I don't really anticipate a solution here. I just was curious what the beer veterans think about this.:)

    Sorry for the bad english,
    Daniel
     
  2. GernBlanston

    GernBlanston New Member

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    Angels share?
     
  3. Daniel777

    Daniel777 New Member

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    I wouldn't mind that, if that was like 1 bottle but the angels get really greedy, it is like 10-15% of my beer!
     
  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    you should be brewing 21 Liters before fermentation, thats the standard to get 24 12 ounce bottles meaning at the end of your boil it should be roughly 5.5 gallons then you'll lose 1/2 gallon or so from yeast, hops or the transfer thief
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'd go with Ozarks: You're experiencing normal process losses. I leave beer in the kettle, the primary fermenter, the secondary fermenter and the bottling bucket. If all of that added up to 24 ounces in my process, I'd jump for joy! In my case, kettle volume target is 6 gallons, I generally get about 5.25 gallons of beer.
     
  6. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

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    As I understand it, the OP's "measuring pot" is just a vessel for measuring directly before his bottling bucket. A 2l. loss at that point in the process is actually quite significant! I transfer directly, primary -> bottling bucket -> bottles, and only lose about ~1l. in total. i.e. 26l. in primary = ~50 x 1/5l. bottles.
    The "~" is because some days the angels are thirstier than others.... :lol:
     
  7. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    one thing to remember all liquid lines the outside of all vessels, so in a tube or bucket the liquid wart is clinging to the sides, the bucket appears to be empty but its not
     
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'm still betting on process losses. You have a loss in siphoning the beer from the fermentor into the measuring pot. Then you lose beer again siphoning from the measuring pot into the bottling bucket. Then you lose beer again left in the bottling bucket. You're siphoning from one container to the other twice. If your losses are a half-liter each way, you've lost one just by siphoning. If you're slightly overfilling the bottles, say by 0.01 liters, that's another 0.26 liters, then if you leave a bit of wort in the bottling bucket you've hit the amount you are losing. It's easy to see where the two liters - the amount necessary to go from 30 1/2 liter bottles to 26, can get lost in moving all that liquid around.

    I'm assuming you don't use a secondary fermentor from the description of your process. To cut your losses, get a dedicated bottling bucket, calibrate it, siphon once and bottle. Reduces your chances of getting oxygen into the process as well.
     
  9. Daniel777

    Daniel777 New Member

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    Thank you for you thoughts.

    To clarify things:
    This 2 liters loss in not from fermentor to bottles. I would be happy if it were that. (My fermenter to bottles loss is like 4 liters (1 gallon) with a 20 liters (5 gallon) batch)
    I syphone from my fermenter to a meaauring pot, to measure before bottling.
    It is from the measuring pot (a sanitized pot, just to measure before the bottling bucket) to bottles.
    So I can say, it is the loss from the bottling bucket to bottles.

    I don't really leave any liquid behinde in the measuring pot, or in the bottling bucket, and if it is possible, I even underfilling my bottles a little. :) (To not have even fewer bottles)

    It might be partially what Ozarks wrote, the liquid clinging to the sides of my measuring pot and mess with the measuring.
     
  10. Hammer One Brewhouse

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    Sounds to me like it is somewhere in your process. Simplify things and se what happens. Go from primary to bottling bucket to bottle. Let is stay in the primary for an extra week or so then settle out for 24 hours in the bottling bucket before bottling. The only loss that you should have is to trub and that you can filter out an measure just for kicks.
     
  11. Hammer One Brewhouse

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    Sounds to me like it is somewhere in your process. Simplify things and se what happens. Go from primary to bottling bucket to bottle. Let is stay in the primary for an extra week or so then settle out for 24 hours in the bottling bucket before bottling. The only loss that you should have is to trub and that you can filter out an measure just for kicks.
     
  12. i drink to forget

    i drink to forget New Member

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    im sorry to be the one to tell you this but you have alcoholic ghosts. most likely its the spirit of Tommy Cooper.
     
  13. GernBlanston

    GernBlanston New Member

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    "Spoon Jar, Jar Spoon".
     
  14. Daniel777

    Daniel777 New Member

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