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Old 12-16-2008, 06:00 PM   #1
mdf191
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Default water amounts for extract brews

Does anyone know if it matters how much water you use for you boil in extract brews. Most recipies normally call for somewhere around two gallons of water for the boil, and then you mix it with another 3 in the fermenter for a 5 gallon batch. If you were to do a boil with, say... 1 or 1 1/2 gallons would this change anything? Or would it be ok. Oviously you can't really dissolve 8 lbs of extract in 3 onces of water...but if you are over a gallon, will it be ok?

The reason I ask if I am trying to brew two 5 gallon batches at once and I only have one big pot. The smaller may only be a two gallon. I have made two batches before but used the smaller for making 3 gallon batches not 5. So this would be less boil liquid and more water added at the end....any problems with that...?

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Old 12-16-2008, 07:14 PM   #2
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using less liquid makes for poor hops utilization. it's not really a problem, you'll just have to use more hops. some people say that with the carmelization and other factors, you make better beer with full boils.

i'd say the main problem would be the water you top off with. i wouldn't do it with tap water.

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Old 12-16-2008, 08:43 PM   #3
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Not sure what your trying to accomplish 2 beers in 1 pot, but I do 1.5 gal boils with only 1 lb of DME and top off with filtered tap water...every batch for years now.

Adding all your malt to a small boil will greatly reduce your hop bitterness extraction because the density will be too high.

A ratio of 1 gal to 1 lb will give you a good 1.040 gravity and allow for great hop utilization.

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Old 12-16-2008, 10:37 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=homebrewer_99;1013011]Not sure what your trying to accomplish 2 beers in 1 pot, but I do 1.5 gal boils with only 1 lb of DME and top off with filtered tap water...every batch for years now.QUOTE]

Little confused..? First of all maybe I confused you. I am doing two beers in two seperate pots. Only the pot for one of my batches is only two gallons.

Are you saying that you only boil one gallon or water and one lb of dme... If so where does the other water and dme come in...?

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Old 12-16-2008, 11:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf191 View Post
Little confused..? First of all maybe I confused you. I am doing two beers in two seperate pots. Only the pot for one of my batches is only two gallons.

Are you saying that you only boil one gallon or water and one lb of dme... If so where does the other water and dme come in...?
Most people do late extract additions, so they will boil a small amount of LME/DME at the start and for the full 60 minutes. At around 10-15 minutes to go you add the rest of the extract in. This allows the hops to be fully utilized and prevents over darkening of the beer due to carmelization.

The rest of the water comes in post boil - you add cold water of your choosing in to the pot to cool the wort, and then top the fermenter up to the desired recipe volume. I personally use tap water, but we have great tap water here, so I don't have to worry about it.
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Old 12-17-2008, 06:28 AM   #6
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[quote=mdf191;1013274]

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Originally Posted by homebrewer_99 View Post
Not sure what your trying to accomplish 2 beers in 1 pot, but I do 1.5 gal boils with only 1 lb of DME and top off with filtered tap water...every batch for years now.QUOTE]

Little confused..? First of all maybe I confused you. I am doing two beers in two seperate pots. Only the pot for one of my batches is only two gallons.

Are you saying that you only boil one gallon or water and one lb of dme... If so where does the other water and dme come in...?
Yes, I boil 1.5 gals of water and 1 lb of DME for 45 mins. Adding the hops at the appropriate time for the recipe. Remove the pot from the heat and add the remaining DME to the pot and steep/let sit for 15 mins.

I place 4 - 1 gal jugs of PUR filtered tap water in the freezer for 4-5 hours prior to brewing. This is my top off (to 5.25 - 5.5 gals) water.
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Old 12-17-2008, 07:28 AM   #7
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why even add any DME at the begining of the boil?

If you can get better extraction with lower SG's, seems to me it's better just to add all your malt extract at the last 10 minutes or so. I tried this myself one time on an IPA and it worked quite well.

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Old 12-17-2008, 09:15 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by lordbeermestrength View Post
why even add any DME at the begining of the boil?

If you can get better extraction with lower SG's, seems to me it's better just to add all your malt extract at the last 10 minutes or so. I tried this myself one time on an IPA and it worked quite well.
I remember reading that boiling hops in water only is not the same. Check Papazian's Hop Utilization chapter. I am currently in Korea and can't check my library.
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