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Old 12-29-2011, 01:15 AM   #1
Apulver
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Default Worried about my boil kettle build... would love your thoughts

Hello All

So I'm finally moving to full 6 gallon boils (extract only for now). I have had a plan on how to set up my boil kettle based upon gifts I got from Christmas, but I'm having some serious second-thoughts.

Here's what I've got:

(1) 10 Gallon SS Boil Kettle (15 inches diameter x 12 inches high)

(2) False bottom that sits 2.5 inches from bottom of kettle

(3) I'm planning on installing a thermometer and ball valve. The ball valve will be entirely underneath the false bottom, as there is no hole for a dip tube and the FB is 2.5 inches above the bottom of the pot.

(4) For chilling the wort, I will be using an immersion chiller (either 3/8 inch x 50 feet or 1/2 inch by 50 feet)

Initially my theory was that the false bottom would be easy way to filter out whole-leaf hops (I never use pellets) and the hot/cold break without worrying about clogs. I could just tip the kettle to get the remaining liquid when I drained to the fermenter.

Here's my dilemma: when I fill the kettle to 6 gallons (the goal wort volume after boil) there is only 4.5 inches of liquid. Now, never having done a full boil before, this seems to be problematic for a few reasons:

(1) This leaves very little room for hops to move, meaning there might be a serious hit to hop utilization

(2) I have only 4.5 inches of height to use my IC with (because that is the only room upwards from the false bottom), meaning things will be REALLY tight, even if 3/8 diameter copper tubing is used... and I'd much prefer the 1/2 inch diameter.

(3) With there being so much room above the false bottom, there might be a concern of cold-break below the false bottom (???)... I really have no idea about this one, but thought I'd throw it out there.

Am I overreacting here? Is the false bottom killing me here because of it's height? Should I ditch the false bottom and get a hop stopper / hop taco?

Money is tight, and I want to make sure I get this one right...

You guys have any thoughts?

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Old 12-29-2011, 01:28 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apulver
Hello All

So I'm finally moving to full 6 gallon boils (extract only for now). I have had a plan on how to set up my boil kettle based upon gifts I got from Christmas, but I'm having some serious second-thoughts.

Here's what I've got:

(1) 10 Gallon SS Boil Kettle (15 inches diameter x 12 inches high)

(2) False bottom that sits 2.5 inches from bottom of kettle

(3) I'm planning on installing a thermometer and ball valve. The ball valve will be entirely underneath the false bottom, as there is no hole for a dip tube and the FB is 2.5 inches above the bottom of the pot.

(4) For chilling the wort, I will be using an immersion chiller (either 3/8 inch x 50 feet or 1/2 inch by 50 feet)

Initially my theory was that the false bottom would be easy way to filter out whole-leaf hops (I never use pellets) and the hot/cold break without worrying about clogs. I could just tip the kettle to get the remaining liquid when I drained to the fermenter.

Here's my dilemma: when I fill the kettle to 6 gallons (the goal wort volume after boil) there is only 4.5 inches of liquid. Now, never having done a full boil before, this seems to be problematic for a few reasons:

(1) This leaves very little room for hops to move, meaning there might be a serious hit to hop utilization

(2) I have only 4.5 inches of height to use my IC with (because that is the only room upwards from the false bottom), meaning things will be REALLY tight, even if 3/8 diameter copper tubing is used... and I'd much prefer the 1/2 inch diameter.

(3) With there being so much room above the false bottom, there might be a concern of cold-break below the false bottom (???)... I really have no idea about this one, but thought I'd throw it out there.

Am I overreacting here? Is the false bottom killing me here because of it's height? Should I ditch the false bottom and get a hop stopper / hop taco?

Money is tight, and I want to make sure I get this one right...

You guys have any thoughts?
You might want to remeasure. If you've got 6 gallons in a 10 gallon pot that is 12 inches high, you should have roughly 7.5 inches full. Or make sure it's a 10 gallon pot. My math might be off, but that seems like a fairly straightforward equation. If its 10 gallons, 12 inches high, seems like each gallon would be 1.20 ish inches. it would make sense if that were the measurement for the false bottom.

To be honest, I've only seen false bottoms used in keggles. I'm sure people do it in pots all the time, I just don't have any experience. If I were you, I'd leave the kettle alone for ease of chilling. If you don't want trub, use an autosyphon to get the beer in the fermentor. I'd save the false bottom for either your eventual mash tun, or keggles
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:39 AM   #3
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your thought process is very refined, but i must say your looking little to far into things when it comes to your process and equipment, the hop utlilzation should not suffer, i use a grain bag to keep my wort clean as possible and i brew 10 gallon batches at once and have had no hop issues,also your false bottom should also pose no issue, the batch is to small to cause any type of stratification to create any issues you have pondered on, happy brewing hope this helps.

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Old 12-29-2011, 03:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by motleybrews View Post
You might want to remeasure. If you've got 6 gallons in a 10 gallon pot that is 12 inches high, you should have roughly 7.5 inches full.
Looks like I might not have been clear... The 6 gallons sits 4.5 inches above the false bottom. The false bottom is 2.5 inches above the bottom of the pot. So you are right, there is about 7 inches of total liquid, but only 4.5 inches x 15 inches diameter is available for hops (as this is the area above the false bottom)

Hope this clarifies
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:16 PM   #5
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your thought process is very refined, but i must say your looking little to far into things when it comes to your process and equipment, the hop utlilzation should not suffer, i use a grain bag to keep my wort clean as possible and i brew 10 gallon batches at once and have had no hop issues,also your false bottom should also pose no issue, the batch is to small to cause any type of stratification to create any issues you have pondered on, happy brewing hope this helps.
thanks for the response... but could you tell me what stratification means?

I did some math on the volume of water that the hops will have to travel in... here is what I came up with:

Height above false bottom: 4.5 Inches
Diameter of kettle: 15 Inches

So... Volume of water above boil kettle = (pi x radius squared) x height

(3.1416 x 56.25) x 4.5 = 795.21 cubic inches

1 Gallon = 231 Cubic Inches

795.22 / 231 = 3.44 gallons of water above the false bottom

...doesn't seem like a whole lot of room does it?
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:43 PM   #6
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Sorry for the multiple posts but here is another concern that crossed my mind...

What about wort scorching? Will the false bottom encourage scorching/darkening of the wort because it acts as sort of an insulating layer?

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Old 12-29-2011, 03:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Apulver View Post
Sorry for the multiple posts but here is another concern that crossed my mind...

What about wort scorching? Will the false bottom encourage scorching/darkening of the wort because it acts as sort of an insulating layer?
You're reading in to this way to much. You'll be fine, your hop utilization won't suffer, and if you stir while chilling you'll chill down plenty fast enough.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:26 PM   #8
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Stratification means that a mixture of liquids that dont mix/homoginize ,much like a black and tan beer dark beer on top light beer on the bottom perfect example of stratification

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