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Old 03-23-2010, 02:01 AM   #1
smarek82
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Default Losing wort in boil

Just did an APA this past weekend and ended up boiling 6.5 gal down to 4.5 in 60 min (I have a 7 gal kettle). I have had problems with this in the past and just said screw it. It really does not seem like I am boiling too vigorously...it is just barely rolling. Any suggestions?

Is there anything that happens to hop bitterness if I top it off to 5 gallons?

Thanks,

SM

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Old 03-23-2010, 02:13 AM   #2
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Two things will reduce your ending volume. Boil off, which you are probably accounting for and expansion/contraction which you may not be accounting for. Depending on the temperature when you measure your 6.5 gallon starting volume you may loose significant volume when cooled.

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Old 03-23-2010, 12:18 PM   #3
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Interesting. Basically what I am doing is hitting the flame on after I collect approx 4 gal....just to speed things up. Am I to believe that this is expanding the wort and when I think I'm at 6.5 I stop my runoff, I'm actually much less???

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Old 03-23-2010, 12:30 PM   #4
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I had the same problem with my new burner but had other issues because of wind so I had to keep it on high the entire boil. I Started damn near the top of the kettle and ended up with maybe 5 and a half gallons before I had to stop because of the hops/cold/hot break sludge. Probably lost half a gallon to that.

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Old 03-23-2010, 01:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by smarek82 View Post
Interesting. Basically what I am doing is hitting the flame on after I collect approx 4 gal....just to speed things up. Am I to believe that this is expanding the wort and when I think I'm at 6.5 I stop my runoff, I'm actually much less???
Your wort will "shrink".

This is the same principal that makes thermometers work...

I think the kinda universally accepted number is 4% if you are going from boiling to 68f.

Depending on how hot it is when you measure your original volume, you should count on loosing a quart or so to contraction.

Most of your loss will come from evaporation and the rest would be dead space in your kettle (the amount left behind if you use a siphon tube), any left is hoses, chillers, etc.

Evaporation will vary with temperature, humidity, wind, etc... but for the most part, these losses are fairly constant. You should be able to account for it in future brews once you go through a couple brews and "calibrate" your losses.
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:14 PM   #6
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I'm following now. Basically I'm screwed because I only have a 7 gal kettle and honestly if i filled it up any more, it's going over.

Dead space isn't really an issue. I just pour my wort into primary through a strainer.

If there was only a way to control evaporation

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Old 03-23-2010, 05:31 PM   #7
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I'm following now. Basically I'm screwed because I only have a 7 gal kettle and honestly if i filled it up any more, it's going over.

Dead space isn't really an issue. I just pour my wort into primary through a strainer.

If there was only a way to control evaporation
There is a way, but you don't want it (Don't cover the kettle during the boil).

There is another option...You can add water during the boil to replace what's evaporating.

Most folks that do partials top off post chill thus adding un-sanitized water to their cooled wort (some boil their top-off water).

If through, experimentation, you know you are going to be 1/2 gallon short at the end of your boil, just add it prior to the last 15 minutes. If you dump 1/2 gallon in at one time, it will kill your boil, so I would do it gradually. Maybe even use it in the "Boil Over Fight", just add a little extra.
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:41 PM   #8
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Is there anything that happens to hop bitterness if I top it off to 5 gallons?
Getting back to one of the questions that has not yet been answered.

Diluting your wort with water dilutes everything about it (color, gravity, hop bitterness/flavor/aroma).

Since you ended up with less wort than you expected to have, this means that all of these things above are most like higher than you intended. Diluting with water will bring them all back to where you wanted them to be.
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:43 PM   #9
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Great point Ed...I do remember from that first and only extract batch I did, I ended up topping off with bottled spring water(presumably sanitized).

Will my IBUs be altered because of adding the water?

I would think NO because by having a higher OG than was anticipated actually decreases IBUs from what I orininally intended.

Sorry for the questions and you have been a huge help, but what do you suppose would happen if I were to add the extra 1/2 gallon of sanitized water to the secondary after fermentation????

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Old 03-23-2010, 05:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker View Post
Getting back to one of the questions that has not yet been answered.

Diluting your wort with water dilutes everything about it (color, gravity, hop bitterness/flavor/aroma).

Since you ended up with less wort than you expected to have, this means that all of these things above are most like higher than you intended. Diluting with water will bring them all back to where you wanted them to be.
Ding Ding Ding. We have a wiener.

If you dilute the concentrated wort back to the target gravity, you will dilute all of the beers consituents to the target levels. It similar in pricipal to pre-hopped extracts.

Dilution calulators can help crunch out the mystery.
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