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Old 04-02-2008, 04:59 PM   #1
HoosierDaddy
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Default Boiling question

Greetings and Salutations

I've rather new to the homebrew hobby and am enjoying it immensely. Have made several batches thus far and they have ranged from very good to complete disasters.

Currently I am boiling about 2 1/2 -3 gallons in a 5 gallon pot on my stove but from what I have read, ideally, I should want to do a full 5 gallon boil for best results. Problem I have is that I have a pretty basic electric stove and to be honest, my home brewing is taking a toll on the stovetop as it is and don't think it's a good idea to sit roughly 40+lbs of water on one burner for an hour.

I have a pretty big outdoor grill and was wondering if anyone has done their boil on a gas grill? My thinking is that I can get the boil up faster plus the grates are plenty sturdy to withstand a bigger kettle with a full 5 gallons.

Is boiling the wort outside risking contamination or should I just stick with boiling indoors and settling with the 2-3 gallon boil?

Thanks for any advice!

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Old 04-02-2008, 05:03 PM   #2
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Plenty of us boil the wort outside... as long as the wort is boiling, there isn't much risk of contamination. Anything that gets into > 212F water just dies...

Full boil is definitely one of the big improvements you can make to your brewing process. If you don't want to use the gas grill, which seems a little inefficient to me in that the pot probably won't cover the entire cooking surface, there are plenty of affordable "banjo burners" or "turkey frier burners" that you can utilize. Check out home depot, lowes, basspro/cabellas, or probably even wally-world sometimes...

Often the turkey frier pot can be utilized for the full boil as well (they range from 28qt to 40qt in size usually), so you don't even need to buy a new pot.

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Old 04-02-2008, 05:05 PM   #3
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Boiling outdoors is actually really nice. You will be better off getting a turkey fryer setup versus using the grill. If you go full boil then you additionally will need a way to cool the wort in a short period of time.

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Old 04-02-2008, 05:06 PM   #4
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One thing to note is when doing a full boil you do not have the luxury of adding cold water to cool it after the boil. It will take a very long time to cool 5 gallons of wort, you may also want to invest in a wort chiller.

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Old 04-02-2008, 05:07 PM   #5
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Ahh Blender beet me to it.

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Old 04-02-2008, 05:29 PM   #6
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Thanks guys. I'll have to look into the turkey fryer although I'll need to find one that has a stainless steel cooker rather than the aluminum.

I planned on getting a wort chiller this weekend as well.

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Old 04-02-2008, 06:43 PM   #7
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I became much happier once I moved outside. You will not regret it.

Keep in mind, though, that a full wort boil actually boils down to five gallons or so. That means you will probably start with at least six gallons of wort when you light the fire. You need at least a 30 quart (7.5) gallon kettle to safely boil that amount, and you are even better off with 9 or 10 gallons of capacity.

I am not trying to scare you off or talk you into buying more than you need. I just hate to see someone buy a shiny, new five gallon pot and find out that they really needed a 7.5 or 10 gallon one.


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Old 04-02-2008, 07:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexLaw
I became much happier once I moved outside. You will not regret it.

Keep in mind, though, that a full wort boil actually boils down to five gallons or so. That means you will probably start with at least six gallons of wort when you light the fire. You need at least a 30 quart (7.5) gallon kettle to safely boil that amount, and you are even better off with 9 or 10 gallons of capacity.

I am not trying to scare you off or talk you into buying more than you need. I just hate to see someone buy a shiny, new five gallon pot and find out that they really needed a 7.5 or 10 gallon one.


TL
Actually I planned on getting a much bigger pot anyway. The one I have is 5 gallons and I've had boil overs with only 3 gallons in there, especially when making wheat beers with DME. I figured a full wort boil was going to necessitate a much bigger pot!

Believe me, my wife will be thrilled once I take this outside (so to speak) because she hates the smell (heretic) and the stove is taking somewhat of a beating not to mention the grime when I missed a boil over!
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Old 04-02-2008, 07:37 PM   #9
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Oh yeah, my wife was much happier when I started to brew outdoors.

One time she'd cleaned the stove just a couple days before I brewed my first extract batch... boiled over... I was later told I was lucky I had a friend over or I would have gotten an earfull right then

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Old 04-02-2008, 08:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoosierDaddy
Thanks guys. I'll have to look into the turkey fryer although I'll need to find one that has a stainless steel cooker rather than the aluminum.

I planned on getting a wort chiller this weekend as well.
Aluminum will work just fine if you do a few pre-boils with water to oxidize the aluminum before you start using it for boiling your wort.
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