Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > New (larger) brewkettle contributing to lower OGs?
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-03-2013, 02:57 AM   #1
saxman1036
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Posts: 52
Likes Given: 1

Default New (larger) brewkettle contributing to lower OGs?

I recently upgraded my brewkettle from a plain stainless steel 5 gal pot to an 8-gallon polarware. It makes brewing a lot easier, however my stove is having a tougher time getting 6 gallons to a boil than I expected. In fact, unless I leave the lid on for at least 5 minutes (bad idea), I can never reach nor maintain much more than a strong simmer. I didn't think much of this until I also noticed that my switch to a larger pot also correlated with consistently under-shooting my target OG... usually by 5-10 points (I've replaced my hydrometer, so that's not an issue). So my questions...

1) will the inability to maintain a strong boil for extended time reduce the amount of sugars that dissolve in the wort?

2) can extending my "boil" time to 70 or 80 minutes help to mitigate any negative side effects of not coming to a true boil for 60 minutes?

3) is it possible for sugars to coagulate with other solids during the cold break, such that if draining from a spigot they get left behind in the brewkettle?

I'm already taking steps to address these two of these (I just bought an outdoor propane burner for easier boiling, and I plan to strain the wort just to see if that gives me a little bit of an OG bump), but I'm interested if any of you out there have any thoughts on how not maintaining a boil can affect gravity readings.
Thanks!

__________________
saxman1036 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-03-2013, 03:34 PM   #2
wyzazz
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Atwater, OH
Posts: 4,266
Liked 41 Times on 40 Posts
Likes Given: 49

Default

1) will the inability to maintain a strong boil for extended time reduce the amount of sugars that dissolve in the wort? Check your post-boil volume, if it's higher than you typically get than that is the issue.

2) can extending my "boil" time to 70 or 80 minutes help to mitigate any negative side effects of not coming to a true boil for 60 minutes? You need to get a boil going to push DMS precursors out of the wort if you are doing All-Grain brewing, maybe look in to a heatstick for helping out the stove? Boiling for longer will however help your evaporation and get you back down to your original volume thus increasing your OG.

3) is it possible for sugars to coagulate with other solids during the cold break, such that if draining from a spigot they get left behind in the brewkettle? Nope, not unless you didn't mix them well enough to dissolve. They should be dissolved in to the liquid wort by the end of a 60minute boil.

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)
wyzazz is offline
wilceaser Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-03-2013, 09:26 PM   #3
TopherM
Vinz Clortho - the Keymaster of Gozer the Gozerian
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
TopherM's Avatar
Brew Setups
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Posts: 3,912
Liked 428 Times on 338 Posts
Likes Given: 22

Default

I think you really just need to invest in a propane burner and move outside. Home Depot/Lowes even typically discounts their burners right after Christmas, as they consider them a seasonal item. A decent burner will only set you back about $30-40. You can probably even find one used on Craigslist for more like $10-15.

__________________

Primary #1 - Midnight Ryeder (Midnight Wheat and Rye)
Primary #2 - Mango Habenero Berliner Weisse
Primary #3 - EMPTY!
Secondary #1 - Downtown Flanders Brown (brewed August 2012)
Keg #1 - Oktoberfest
Keg #2 - Chamomile Honey Wheat
Keg #3 - Pumpkin Ale
Bottled - NONE!

TopherM is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-04-2013, 02:41 AM   #4
saxman1036
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Posts: 52
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by wyzazz
1) will the inability to maintain a strong boil for extended time reduce the amount of sugars that dissolve in the wort? Check your post-boil volume, if it's higher than you typically get than that is the issue.

2) can extending my "boil" time to 70 or 80 minutes help to mitigate any negative side effects of not coming to a true boil for 60 minutes? You need to get a boil going to push DMS precursors out of the wort if you are doing All-Grain brewing, maybe look in to a heatstick for helping out the stove? Boiling for longer will however help your evaporation and get you back down to your original volume thus increasing your OG.

3) is it possible for sugars to coagulate with other solids during the cold break, such that if draining from a spigot they get left behind in the brewkettle? Nope, not unless you didn't mix them well enough to dissolve. They should be dissolved in to the liquid wort by the end of a 60minute boil.
Thanks for the response! I have a few follow-up questions...

1) does the post boil volume matter if it only means that I supplement with less water added to the primary? I would think that the same amount of sugar ends up in the carboy, so it shouldn't matter if the extra water is added at the end when topping off or if it's in the kettle during the "boil".

3) What about late sugar additions? Typically corn sugar or dme gets added pretty late... I make an effort to stir them in well, but could they not have enough time to dissolve?
__________________
saxman1036 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-04-2013, 12:10 PM   #5
wyzazz
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Atwater, OH
Posts: 4,266
Liked 41 Times on 40 Posts
Likes Given: 49

Default

Sure thing, let me give these a shot.

1) does the post boil volume matter if it only means that I supplement with less water added to the primary? I would think that the same amount of sugar ends up in the carboy, so it shouldn't matter if the extra water is added at the end when topping off or if it's in the kettle during the "boil". If you are topping up after the boil then it should not matter.

3) What about late sugar additions? Typically corn sugar or dme gets added pretty late... I make an effort to stir them in well, but could they not have enough time to dissolve? Late sugar additions shouldn't matter, however topping up does. If you're not mixing your wort up with something akin to a paint mixer on a drill for around 5 minutes after topping up, than you are likely not getting a proper OG reading. If you're making a kit then they are usually pretty spot on as far as OG is concerned, if you aren't you can use some simple math or brewing software to calculate your OG. As long as your finishing volume is correct and you added the correct amount of sugar (DME/LME/ETC...), things should match up.

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)
wyzazz is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-05-2013, 03:27 AM   #6
saxman1036
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Posts: 52
Likes Given: 1

Default

I feel as though I aerate the fairly well, but I will admit I don't do it for 5 minutes. What methods do you use for aeration? That seems as though it may be the simplest solution to my problems.

On a related note (at least to earlier comments of mine), the propane burner arrived today! Super pumped to put that to use.

__________________
saxman1036 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-05-2013, 03:34 AM   #7
jdub1782
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Aurora, IL
Posts: 96
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

How do you aerate?

I fill up my fermenters (plastic buckets), then dump into another sanitized bucket, and then back into the fermetor- takes about 15 seconds.


I am sure that others have different methods but this has worked for me.

__________________
jdub1782 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-05-2013, 11:24 AM   #8
wyzazz
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Atwater, OH
Posts: 4,266
Liked 41 Times on 40 Posts
Likes Given: 49

Default

While you can certainly use a Mix-Stir for aerating and mixing your top up water after a partial boil, if your pot is big enough and you now have a propane burner I would start doing full boils.

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)
wyzazz is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-05-2013, 12:32 PM   #9
cluckk
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
cluckk's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 1,599
Liked 353 Times on 227 Posts
Likes Given: 47

Default

Keep in mind that the gravity is not simply a measure of how much sugar you have but what ratio os sugar to water. Because of this if all else is the same but you have a different final volume you will have a different gravity. A major part of the rolling boil is getting rid of water to concentrate the same amount of sugar into a smaller amount of water. The thing about topping off is that if you boil off 2 gallons then add back in 2 gallons you have just taken your gravity back to it's preboil level.
To see this mathematically drop the "1.0" off your gravity multiply that by your initial gravity. Divide this amount by your new volume and you have your new gravity.

Example: 1.030 wort of five gallons boiled down to four gallons would be:

(5x30)/4= 4375, so the new gravity is 1.043.

1.040 wort of four gallons topped off to five gallons would be:

(4x40)/5= 32, so the new gravity is 1.032.

You really NEED a burner to get a strong boil.

__________________

"So you say you just brewed your first batch of beer. Welcome to the obsession." --me, to every first time brewer I ever meet.

cluckk is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-05-2013, 01:05 PM   #10
helibrewer
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
helibrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 3,570
Liked 260 Times on 226 Posts
Likes Given: 70

Default

It sounds like you are doing partial boil extract recipes. The boil has nothing to do with sugar conversion and you cannot change the amount of sugar in the wort, that is determined by the amount of extract you are using.

If your OG is lower there are three possible reaons; 1) you didn't use the amount of extract/sugar the recipe called for or 2) your volume is different from what the recipe called for, or 3) your water addition is not thoroughly mixed if 1 and 2 are correct.

It would help if we knew what volume you were boiling, what your post boil volume was, and what volume you are topping off to.

__________________
Something is always fermenting....
"It's Bahl Hornin'"

Primary:
Brite Tank/Lagering:
Kegged: Sour Saison, Pale Ale, Aggie Ale
Bottled: Belgian Quad (Grand Reserve), Derangement (Belgian Dark Strong)
On Deck: Firestone DBA, De Koninck Blonde
My Site: www.restlesscellars.com
helibrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Propain brewkettle CSRT-8 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 07-13-2012 01:00 PM
Iodine contributing to off-taste? boswell3000 Equipment/Sanitation 6 03-26-2011 04:57 PM
Cheapest Brewkettle? jacko623 Equipment/Sanitation 13 02-17-2011 06:48 PM
Chocolate contributing to higher O.G. reading? chriscam All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 2 08-11-2010 04:49 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS