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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Is 2gal per hour too hard of a boil?
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Old 12-21-2010, 02:54 AM   #1
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Default Is 2gal per hour too hard of a boil?

I use two electric heat sticks to boil. Since I switched from propane, I've been having trouble hitting gravities and getting weird efficiencies. I tested my system tonight and found out I'm boiling off 2gal/hour. The boil strenght seems similar to propane but apparently I'm boiling harder. What boil off rate do other get?

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Old 12-21-2010, 03:41 AM   #2
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Boil off is determined by many things like how dry it is, the ambient temperature, and so on. With that being said in Colorado I boil off 2 gallons an Hour without a problem using propane, so if I were you I would not worry about boiling off too much, just calculate how much you will need at the end of the boil.

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Old 12-21-2010, 04:19 AM   #3
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If you didn't get that kind of boil off with the heatsticks but you were getting a full rolling boil with them I would say you have an issue with your propane system. Is the boil violent? You are probably applying too much heat from the burners and you can fix it by turning them down once you reach boil.

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Old 12-21-2010, 03:00 PM   #4
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Well, not all boils are equal. The more you boil off, the more you can sparge (to a point of course) so your efficiencies will go up. Some styles are better suited to a heavy boil off than others, such as a barley wine. A light beer you may want a less intense boil. I'm assuming you are using the heat sticks for simplicity? You may want to look into some sort of control in the future. Can you maintain a boil with one heat stick? Some use two to get the boil going and then simply switch to one.

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Old 12-21-2010, 03:45 PM   #5
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amount of boil should not really be an issue for you. You simply need to account for it in your calculations and recipe formulations. I get 1.5 gal per hour boil-off using propane.

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Old 12-21-2010, 05:56 PM   #6
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The problem with having too much boil off is that you risk increasing malliard reactions from the intense heat in the bottom of the boil. That creates a darker beer and more caramel flavors. As Hermit points out, some styles benefit from those reactions but some beer styles but others are not. That much boil off could also be messing with your hop utilization.

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Old 12-21-2010, 09:50 PM   #7
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Depends on a lot of things. Air temp, humidity, surface area of wort to the air, etc. For my 8 gallon pot I can burn off about 2 gallons in an hour on low, in my 15 gallon pot (much much wider) I can burn off 3.5 gallons in an hour on the same burner.

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Old 12-21-2010, 10:28 PM   #8
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I get somewhere between 1.5 and 2 gallons on my kitchen stove - electric! Typically I collect 7.5 gallons for a 75 minute boil.

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Old 12-21-2010, 10:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReverseApacheMaster View Post
The problem with having too much boil off is that you risk increasing malliard reactions from the intense heat in the bottom of the boil. That creates a darker beer and more caramel flavors. As Hermit points out, some styles benefit from those reactions but some beer styles but others are not. That much boil off could also be messing with your hop utilization.
IIRC the rate of Maillard reactions is dependent on many factors and again IIRC the pH is one.

Didn't Kai do an experiment addressing this with respect to decoctions and found negligible differences that could be attributed to Maillard?
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:06 AM   #10
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Once you reach 212 deg F, try turning down the heat to maintain this temp. If you have things cranked up higher you're just wasting propane or electricity. I get about 1.25 gal/hour boil off using propane (I set my burners to medium after I reach temp).

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