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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Full volume boil on stovetop, help!
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:03 AM   #1
dmaraio
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Default Full volume boil on stovetop, help!

Hey Guys,

I am having trouble getting 6 gallons of wort to boil on my gas stove. I can get up to around 205 degrees. This is an 8 gallon kettle sitting across two burners. I have looked into insulating the kettle but this would be expensive and a potential fire-hazard. I am in a third floor walk-up and have limited electrical service as it is. When I use my electric tea kettle the lights dim. So I think adding additional heat with an element might not work.

Is there anything I can do to limit the heat loss from the sides of the kettle? I had been boiling with the kettle lid almost closed but I am pretty sure I was getting off flavors from DMS.

I have been doing partial mash/boil and would rather do a full boil. Does anyone have any advice on how I can get more heat in my pot?

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Old 03-02-2010, 01:10 AM   #2
Gfei
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Some reflectix insulation shouldn't be too expensive to wrap the kettle in...

Reflectix

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Old 03-02-2010, 01:28 AM   #3
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make sure that you run your fauset for a little while so you can get hotter water to add to the brew kettle when you filling it so you can get a total volume. or pre-heat water that you be adding this will hellp you a little. do what Gfei say but leave the insolation like 2-3 inches higher than a bottom of the kettle use aluminium tape to secure it good.

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Old 03-02-2010, 03:24 AM   #4
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You actually don't want to use hot tap water. Mineral deposits build up in water heaters and it can mess with your water chemistry.

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Old 03-02-2010, 02:48 PM   #5
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I am looking for another pot to do some tests with. I have a megapot from northern brewer and the pot is a bit wide. I think using a taller/narrower pot might have less heat loss.

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Old 03-02-2010, 02:58 PM   #6
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Search for "Heatstick" and build one.

If you have shyte electrical service, you might not be able to use it on the same circuit as your stove, (in fact, you probably won't be able to without tripping a breaker/blowing a fuse). In this case, figure out another circuit in your house, (kill the circuit breaker to your stove, then hunt around for an outlet that still has power), get a heavy duty extension cord, (14 gauge maximum, 12 or 10 gauge better), and use that to run your heatstick from a separate circuit from your stove.

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Old 03-02-2010, 03:00 PM   #7
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What I have done in the past is to get my first runnings on full whack and by the time I'm ready to start sparging it's usually up to the boil. I sparge pretty slowly so I gradually add the collected wort and once I get about 4-5 gallons in my brew kettle I start adding the rest of the collected wort to a second brew kettle. Once both are at a rolling boil I add the contents of the 2nd to the first and usually my stove will keep all 7 gallons at a rolling boil without having to use a lid.

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Old 03-02-2010, 04:25 PM   #8
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I have similar problems, tried a different size pot that was aluminum to conduct heat better, it didn't make much difference. I've decided to just deal with it for now. I cover the pot until it boils to get a decent hot break, also I boil for 90 min to reduce DMS with the lid half off. I'm going to buy a new stove with a 18k burner to "fix" my situation.

Take a look behind your stove, most builders put in a 240V plug in even if your stove is gas, then you can put an element directly in your kettle. Also you have a vent hood right there to pull out moisture.

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Old 03-02-2010, 04:46 PM   #9
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I am going to try out my 30quart aluminium turkey fryer pot tonight, with just water. It is 3 inches shorter in diameter and 3 inches taller. I don't want to use aluminium as it is a little higher maintenance but I am interested if the size of the pot makes much difference.

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Old 03-02-2010, 08:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmaraio View Post
Is there anything I can do to limit the heat loss from the sides of the kettle?
ROCKWOOL it is a high temp insulation for furnaces stoves stovepipes etc.

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I had been boiling with the kettle lid almost closed but I am pretty sure I was getting off flavors from DMS.
If the cover is only partially on, you should be OK.
Should being a sort of, in a way, kind of, ya know, not terribly specific expression.

Quote:
I have been doing partial mash/boil and would rather do a full boil. Does anyone have any advice on how I can get more heat in my pot?
Have you considered using more than one pot?

Most residential stoves ( especially the "builder's grade" crap that end up in apartments) don't put out very many BTUs.
Hell you can't get a toaster any more that will actually toast a slice of bread.
The safety nerds have made us all so safe from ourselves.
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