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Old 01-16-2013, 06:49 PM   #1
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Default Full Boil Question - Pot Size

So, I adopted a pot from a relative, that looks to be about 3 gallons. I'll measure it in a bit, and update this post.

I have read on many different directions (including the one that came with my extract brewing kit). They say you can use a 3 gallon, 5 gallon, and even a 7.5 gallon brew pot.

I don't have the extra money right now to buy a bigger pot, SWMBO would be VERY upset if I spend more money, and have no beers to show for it yet.

If I use this 3 gallon pot, how should I go about this? Do half, cool, pour into carboy, do the other half, cool, pour on top of whats in the carboy?

It's a 5 gallon batch I purchased from MoreBeer (American Wheat).

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Old 01-16-2013, 07:18 PM   #2
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3 gallons likely won't be able to do a 2½ gallon boil. you need to account for what you will boil off and the probability of a boil over.

do 1/2 cool pour x2 not a good idea. you would have to do ⅓ ⅓ ⅓ and that sounds like a worse idea. from what i remember reading, you would only do the final batch with the hops and, if you're doing extract, that would mean boiling only water, just to cool it down? you might as well just do ⅓ boil and top off to 5 gallons

I got a cheap stainless 20 quart at Wally World for $16. did 3¼ gallon boils down to 2½ and top off to 5

that is, until I got the 30 quart with the propane burner. full boils!

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Old 01-16-2013, 07:35 PM   #3
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Just measured it out, it will hold 4 gallons 48 oz (ish) when filled to the rim.

(So that makes mine just a tad bit over 20qts if I remember my math)

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Old 01-16-2013, 07:35 PM   #4
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On a similar note: would there be a difference between doing a boil with a lid on the pot (less water evaporating off) and adding no/less top off water vs. boiling without a lid and adding more top off water?

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Old 01-16-2013, 07:50 PM   #5
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For extract batches, many of them are designed to be used with smaller stove-top pots, and do not require a full boil. In many cases you only need to have about 2.5 gallons of water when you are boiling the extract and adding hops. After the batch is complete, you would then pour 2.5 gallons of water into your fermenter, add what you have boiled in your pot, then top off with however much more water you need to bring it to 5 gallons.

As always, you should check your recipe for specifics because the numbers will vary. Looking at the recipe you gave, it looks like these are your instructions. It mentions you can use 2-3 gallons. Based on what you said about your pot, I would shoot for the middle...2.5 gallons and follow the instructions on doing a partial-boil.

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Old 01-16-2013, 07:54 PM   #6
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You do not want to boil your wort with the lid on!
Ok to heat your water that way but take the lid off for your boil!

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Old 01-16-2013, 08:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by govner1 View Post
You do not want to boil your wort with the lid on!
Ok to heat your water that way but take the lid off for your boil!
Explain.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:15 PM   #8
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20 qts is what I had and worked for me. my pre-boil was 3¼ gallons and boil-off rate was about 3 quarts per hour

part of the reason for the boil is for hop alpha acid release, but another part is to get rid of DMS – Dimethyl Sulfide

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Old 01-16-2013, 08:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmanzorro View Post
On a similar note: would there be a difference between doing a boil with a lid on the pot (less water evaporating off) and adding no/less top off water vs. boiling without a lid and adding more top off water?
When he says do not boil with the lid on, he's talking about the full wort boiling. If you need to heat waterfor grain steeping or all-grain batches or just boil water to top off your wort, that's fine; in those cases, you'll want the lid on to speed up the boiling process and retain heat. But in wort boiling, you actually want water to boil off. along with that water, you're getting rid of other small organic molecules that you ideally want to be rid of. It's not as big of a deal with extract brewing, but if you ever use grains, boil that wort!

As far as how to go about your brew, I think you had the right idea in a sense; use half the water for the extract, but all of the ingredients. Top up to the 5 gallons with boiled/cooled water and pitch your yeast. Be sure to not boil too hard, however; your wort will be far more viscous, and with twice the concentration of sugars, you'll get a bit more carmelization in the boil.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonLiguori View Post

When he says do not boil with the lid on, he's talking about the full wort boiling. If you need to heat waterfor grain steeping or all-grain batches or just boil water to top off your wort, that's fine; in those cases, you'll want the lid on to speed up the boiling process and retain heat. But in wort boiling, you actually want water to boil off. along with that water, you're getting rid of other small organic molecules that you ideally want to be rid of. It's not as big of a deal with extract brewing, but if you ever use grains, boil that wort!

As far as how to go about your brew, I think you had the right idea in a sense; use half the water for the extract, but all of the ingredients. Top up to the 5 gallons with boiled/cooled water and pitch your yeast. Be sure to not boil too hard, however; your wort will be far more viscous, and with twice the concentration of sugars, you'll get a bit more carmelization in the boil.
Thanks. I did my specialty grains with no lid, but my full boil with mostly extract with a lid. Sounds like I should be fine, but I'll remove the lid for future brews.
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