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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > At what temp would you consider your wort to be at a good "rolling boil"
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:20 PM   #1
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Default At what temp would you consider your wort to be at a good "rolling boil"

Hey, I've made 8 batches so far and just trying to make my process better. I so far have done only extract partial boils and i want to make the best brew possible. What temperature do you boil your wort at and at what temperature do you consider it to be a "rolling boil"

I know i start to get a rolling boil at about 210 but would consider it a light rolling boil. I use a standard candy clip on thermometer when boiling my wort and it does not go very deep into my kettle. since it is only about 6" long only about 2-3" are in the boil. The kettle is a 3 gal all clad pasta pot, so i know the temps near the bottom will be higher than at the top. I do have one of the floating thermometers but don't use it since there isn't enough depth to float it in my setup.

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Old 08-02-2012, 03:21 PM   #2
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Water boils at 212F, period.

Okay, that's a half-truth. It's true for pure water at sea level. Higher elevation means lower boiling point (at 3500' where I live, it's about 209F I think). Conversely, dissolving stuff - like sugars - in water generally raises the boiling point. But when it boils, it doesn't really get any hotter except maybe in some local spots within the vessel.

The key isn't temperature, it's the boil itself. Is it rolling? Percolating doesn't count. It should be turning itself over pretty well. Here's an example:

. . . though if you're low on head space in your boil kettle that might be a bit scary for you. The real danger is at the beginning when you get the hot break, as the foam really piles up until it starts to roll and really settle in.

Anyway, don't watch the thermometer. It's not a magic temperature, it's a function of how vigorously the liquid is boiling. In Denver, that might happen at 208F, in Seattle that might be 211F.
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:22 PM   #3
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Here's a good boil temp...

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Old 08-02-2012, 03:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverZero View Post
though if you're low on head space in your boil kettle that might be a bit scary for you.
Yeah i def need a bigger boil kettle
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottab View Post
Yeah i def need a bigger boil kettle
I just got myself a 15-gallon pot yesterday. No more boil-overs for me!
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:39 PM   #6
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212 F (or lower based on elevation)

Once it gets hotter than that, it turns to steam.

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Old 08-02-2012, 04:24 PM   #7
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Some of the brewing podcasts have gone into this. (My kettle can barely fit my batches, so I paid attention)

They all seem to agree, that as long as it's turning over, that's enough. One of them even noted that commercial breweries don't have big roiling boils going. Just a gentle, bottom to top rotation, with the occasional bubble, and a good amount of steam rising. Not a direct quote, but that's what I took away from the show.

I've done hard boils, and gentle boils, and I couldn't tell any difference.

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Old 08-02-2012, 05:56 PM   #8
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I've always hoped for a 250 boil, but, alas, have been stymied by science...every...single...time!!!

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Old 08-02-2012, 06:02 PM   #9
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Boiling temp is boiling temp. Once your wort starts to boil it doesn't increase or decrease in temp according to the vigor of the boil. You can have a vigorous boil at 212 or a gentle boil, again at 212 (It's different for me because of my elevation). The amount of heat (energy) you apply to the kettle will determine the vigor of the boil. Basically the vigor of the boil is how quickly you are converting the liquid to steam. Add more energy and your get a more aggressive boil, but not a higher liquid temp.

Hope that makes sense.

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Old 08-02-2012, 06:14 PM   #10
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I live at around 5500 feet, so my wort boils at around 204 F.

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