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To get an accurate volume indicator on any fermenter, take a gallon jug, fill it with water 6 times and mark that level on the fermenter. I've found that on the carboys and fermenters I have, the volume markings are simply not very accurate.
This is an excellent suggestion, as measuring by the quart using a measuring cup is likely to be inaccurate. My fermenters were marked LONG ago and the Sharpie ink is fading. Time to remark!
 

idahorevbob

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I am definitely going to measure and mark.....unfortunately, now I have to wait 6 months since my carboys are in use. I will go and check all my 1-gallon, 3-gallon, and 5-gallon carboys.

My surprise after initiating this thread is how few of us really know how much liquid we've been working with all these years. It seems like that would be higher in everyone's awareness. Note that I am not casting stones here, I brewed beer for 30 years and I have never bothered to ACCURATELY measure the volumes even though that data directly relates to calculating ABV, etc.

I think this discussion just shows the usefulness of this forum. Cheers, to all who have provided input.
 
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My surprise after initiating this thread is how few of us really know how much liquid we've been working with all these years.
When making wine from scratch, the exact volume doesn't always matter. If I have enough to fill the carboy, I'm good. I have X lbs of fruit to Y gallons of water, adding Z sugar + more if I need to up the SG.

Good quality kits are different, as a kit designed for reconstitution to 23 liters can be out of balance if the reconstitution level is off by much.
 

sour_grapes

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To get an accurate volume indicator on any fermenter, take a gallon jug, fill it with water 6 times and mark that level on the fermenter. I've found that on the carboys and fermenters I have, the volume markings are simply not very accurate.

The half-gallon carton of milk I bought this morning turned out to have a small leak. So I poured the milk into mason jars. I wound up with two full quart jars, and about a cup left over.... :?

So, while your method is a good idea, be careful even with that!
 
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The half-gallon carton of milk I bought this morning turned out to have a small leak. So I poured the milk into mason jars. I wound up with two full quart jars, and about a cup left over.
I'd question the capacity of the mason jars, not the half gallon milk jug, as the vendor loses money if the milk jug is overfilled. But your point is well taken -- distrust and verify.
 

sour_grapes

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I'd question the capacity of the mason jars, not the half gallon milk jug, as the vendor loses money if the milk jug is overfilled. But your point is well taken -- distrust and verify.

You are right, of course. Or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I was wrong.

For grins, I decided to accurately determine where the 1-quart mark on a 1-quart Mason jar was. I put the jar on a scale, and poured water until I got 946 grams (because @Swedeman is definitely correct!). I probably should have known this, but you need to fill the jar to the absolute rim, with surface tension holding the water in, to get one quart in a 1-quart Mason jar!
 

idahorevbob

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OK. Now my head officially hurts...... So, how does the atmospheric pressure effect things? We have a front moving in and the pressure is dropping here. :h
 

sour_grapes

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@sour_grapes How do you know your scale is accurate? :r

Well, as you know, the kilogram was originally defined by a Pt-Ir standard kept in France: International Prototype of the Kilogram - Wikipedia . But the SI system was redefined to eliminate this artifact, in favor of using fundamental constants: 2019 redefinition of the SI base units - Wikipedia .

So, since these 1-kg ingots of Platinum are no longer needed, they have become very cheap on the used market. I picked up a few of the original standards, which used to be kept in a controlled atmosphere in a vault, on eBay. They used to be priceless, but now they are only $100k or so (and the Pt in them is only worth ~$35k.) So I bought a few of them to calibrate my $12 scales.

:D
 

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@sour_grapes How do you know your scale is accurate? :r
Not @sourgrapes, but it's done by calibration using a set of standard weights or if that's not possible, by checking it against a know exact object (like a number of coins).

EDIT: The real @sourgrapes beat me to it!

Edit 2: You could use a 250 ml glass measuring cylinder if you have one. It's pretty accurate, the weight will be between 248-252 g at 20°C.
 
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wineview

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To get an accurate volume indicator on any fermenter, take a gallon jug, fill it with water 6 times and mark that level on the fermenter. I've found that on the carboys and fermenters I have, the volume markings are simply not very accurate.
I have found that most of my six gallon carboys are six gallons and one quart filling to within one inch of the bung.
 

wineview

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5 gal carboys are about 5.3 gallons to the neck so from now on I will be racking to a 6 gallon out of primary. Ill let sit till most sediment clears and then rack to a 5 gallon. This way, no topping up with anything but itself.
How much head space is there when you rack to the six gallon?
 
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