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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Almost ready for my first AG batch but first a question or two
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:46 AM   #1
LarryC
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Default Almost ready for my first AG batch but first a question or two

I have been gathering equipment as I could get it (meaning as I could afford it) and I'm just about ready to brew my first AG batch. For reference the recipe is the American Pale Ale recipe from Brewing Classic styles.

Because I have to work with what I could get, I have some capacity issues I'd like advice on. My MLT is 5 gallons and according to this calculator (click me) using 1.25 qt/lb I'll have a little less than 4.5 gallons of mash in my cooler. Kind of cutting it close but I can live with that.

My real issue is my brew pot. It holds 26 qts (6 1/2 gal). I haven't had boil over issues when doing extract brews or partial mash brews even if I start out just a few inches below the top of the pot (spray bottle of StarSan works great). However, from what I am reading I will have to start out with about 6 1/2 gallons of wert from my mash and boil it down to around 5 1/2 gallons for the fermentor.

To avoid boil over I was thinking of either boiling a gallon or so on my stove with the rest in the brew pot and then combining them at around 15 minutes from flame out. Would this be a good way to go? My volume should be way down by then. I am worried about hop attenuation - should I split my bittering hops proportionally between the pots?

By the way, here's my new MLT (cooler was free from a friend) and my home made mash paddle (thanks to those who posted pictures of theirs)

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Old 01-11-2011, 02:52 AM   #2
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Yes splitting the boil will be ok no need to split the hops

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Old 01-11-2011, 02:54 AM   #3
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You could boil some on your stove and add it back with 15 minutes left, but it will lower your hop utilization by a bit due to a lower volume and higher gravity in the kettle. I'd adjust your bittering addition up by ~3 IBUs to account for that. I have to do that fairly often and it works out fine.

You could also get some Fermcap from a place like Brewmaster's Warehouse. That will practically completely prevent any boilover from getting a foothold once your hop additions are in.

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Old 01-11-2011, 04:56 PM   #4
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Highly recommend the fermcap-s, been using it for about four AG batches now and never had anything close to a boil over. I have a 7.5 gallon pot and do 6.5 gallon boils.

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Old 01-11-2011, 05:29 PM   #5
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I do use fermcap, or at least baby gas drops, which are very similar, and it makes a world of difference. That said, I would not hesitate to draw 1 gallon or so off and boil separately on the stove. And I would not worry about hop utilization. Technically you going to lose a little, but it's not like you are boiling a thicker wort, there is just less of it, so the loss is not likely to be noticeable.

Having experienced boil-overs, I recommend using a split boil AND fermcap. You're going to be pretty full even without that extra gallon or so!

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Old 01-11-2011, 11:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
I do use fermcap, or at least baby gas drops, which are very similar, and it makes a world of difference. That said, I would not hesitate to draw 1 gallon or so off and boil separately on the stove. And I would not worry about hop utilization. Technically you going to lose a little, but it's not like you are boiling a thicker wort, there is just less of it, so the loss is not likely to be noticeable.
You're right in that he probably wouldn't notice the lower utilization (the human taste threshold for IBUs is +/- 5 for BJCP judges), but technically he is boiling a thicker wort unless he mixes all his runnings together in a different container before boiling. There's less sparge volume to thin out the first runnings in that case.
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Old 01-12-2011, 01:21 PM   #7
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Just set aside some of the wort and add it incrementally to the boil kettle.

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