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Old 08-15-2009, 11:21 PM   #1
LaneStreet
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Default First All-Grain is Finished. Need some questions answered

Hi, first of all All-Grain rocks!

Today was a blast. Although I had several problems.

First of all my IC chiller sprang a leak and shot tap water into the beer. So I took it out fixed it and boiled again for 5 minutes. Is this OK?

Then when I finished chilling and transferring I realized that I boiled down from 7 gallons to 3 gallons!! Is that really possible in 90 minutes.

Anyway I added 2 gallons of bottled water to the finished product and my OG was 1.044. So that was really close to the projection.

Was adding bottled water OK??

Thanks for the help!

Lane

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Old 08-15-2009, 11:50 PM   #2
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Would have been better to add pre-boiled and chilled water but yes, adding top up water to the planned batch size is ok.

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Old 08-16-2009, 01:03 AM   #3
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I agree with albannach on this one. However losing 4 gallons of water in 90 minutes is pretty amazing. Ive never been to Texas but is it really that dry there. Here in SC I lose about a gallon every 60 minutes but it's outrageously humid. How big is your boiling kettle and what kind of propane burner? Ive heard ideas on this forum and elsewhere that humidity and climate arnt the only reasons for a fast evaporation rate. People in my brew group here in sc swear that the size of the kettle has a large effect on it. Hope this helps

Cheers

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Old 08-16-2009, 01:10 AM   #4
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Is your pot really wide? I have a wide 15 gallon pot and get a loss of 1.5 gallons per hour. So for a 5.5 gallon batch my pre boil volume is 7 gallons.

Keep track of your numbers so you can adjust for next time. If you know your pre boil volume and your final volume, you can up it on your next batch to compensate for boil off. Also, a sight tube really helps. One of the best gadgets i've bought for my brewery. Got mine from Bobby_M on the board. Other vendors sell them as well. That way you know all through the boil what your volume is.

Maybe you had the burner cranked? I've toned my boil down to just a nice rolling boil, no need to exceed that.

Congrats on your first AG!

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Old 08-16-2009, 01:31 AM   #5
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Bottled water is just fine. I would just add tap water, if your tap water is good enough to drink of course.
What kind of burner did you use to have so much boil-off?
Anyways, congrats on your first AG!

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Old 08-16-2009, 01:49 AM   #6
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Boiling again for 5 min. was fine to kill anything. I also live here in TX and have an extremely high boiloff rate. It's common for me to get just over 20% boiloff rate. As previously mentioned, learn & adjust. You'll be fine with the top off water.

On a side note: My preference is to hit the gravity before the volume. Better to me to have 4 gallons of the right gravity than 5 gallons of slightly thinner beer. But as I stated...that is "my" preference.

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Old 08-16-2009, 02:08 AM   #7
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Thanks for all of the replies. I just bought a Bayou Classic SP-10. Also, a pretty wide Aluminum 10 gal stock pot. I did have the burner cranked pretty high. This was my first use of the pot and burner so I probably had the burner to high. I didn't realize that I could boil off too mych with the burner too high, live and learn.

I feel better, now that the beer is in the temp controlled freezer and I have airlock activity.

This is my first AG beer and my first to ferment in the new freezer, so fingers crossed that it comes out OK.

Thanks, Lane

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Old 08-16-2009, 02:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soperbrew View Post
On a side note: My preference is to hit the gravity before the volume. Better to me to have 4 gallons of the right gravity than 5 gallons of slightly thinner beer. But as I stated...that is "my" preference.
I did actually check the gravity before adding the water and it was 1.064. The recipe was calling for 1.040. The beer is Biermunchers "Cream of three crops ale." So the OG was wayyyy off. After adding the water I was at 1.044. So I felt OK after adding the water.

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Old 08-16-2009, 03:00 AM   #9
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I doubt you could boil down from 7 gallons to 3 gallons in 90 minutes even in Texas.
I suspect you lost some volume to dead space, or trapped in equipment. If I boil 7g for 90 minutes, I get about 5g into the fermenter if I tip the kettle, or about 3.5g if I don't
(I have a spigot on the kettle, which leaves well over a gallon if I don't tip the kettle when draining.)

-a.

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Old 08-16-2009, 04:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf View Post
I doubt you could boil down from 7 gallons to 3 gallons in 90 minutes even in Texas.
I suspect you lost some volume to dead space, or trapped in equipment. If I boil 7g for 90 minutes, I get about 5g into the fermenter if I tip the kettle, or about 3.5g if I don't
(I have a spigot on the kettle, which leaves well over a gallon if I don't tip the kettle when draining.)

-a.
I did leave a little behind in the boil kettle, although I don't think it was quite a gallon. Either way if it was a gallon then I still lost 3 gallons in 90 minutes!

Will this be corrected by turning down the gas to the burner?

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