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Old 03-19-2009, 01:43 PM   #1
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Default Full Boil on Stovetop?

I am currently set up to do partial boils on my stove top. I have been doing partial mashes successfully - last brew was about 11lbs of grain and 3lbs of extract and was within 3 points of my OG. I have been using Deathbrewers method with my 5gal SS kettle and a co-workers 5gal SS kettle.

Anyway, I want to move to full boils to increase the quality of the beer I produce - hop utilization, etc. So I am going to buy a 8 gallon SS pot and make an immersion chiller myself. I would rather not have to use a turkey fryer as my garage is lame - no sink and full of landlords crap. Would rather keep the operation in the kitchen for now.

The Question: Has anyone had success boiling 6.5 gallons of wort on their natural gas stove top? I think mine is capable, but I can't be sure until I try obviously. Just trying to get a feel for peoples experiences with full boils on natural gas stove tops.

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Old 03-19-2009, 02:23 PM   #2
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I was concerned about the exact same thing. Luckily, I have a fellow homebrewer close by that had a large pot that I could borrow and test. I got 7.5 (at least) gallons of water boiling using one of my gas stovetop burners. It took one hour to get there, but I got there. Good luck!

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Old 03-19-2009, 02:28 PM   #3
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I just moved to an apartment with a gas stove. I manage to get my full boil going. It would probably help to insulate the pot.

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Old 03-19-2009, 02:38 PM   #4
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I can do it, but I need to keep the lid on partially to keep a nice rolling boil going. I use a 'hop bag' I made (see below)



...with that on and the lid on top it leaves enough space for the steam to exit, but captures enough heat to get the full rolling boil (see below with lid on)



I still need to take the lid off every 10 minutes or so to shake off the condensated water so it doesn't drip back into the kettle.

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Old 03-19-2009, 03:28 PM   #5
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I have no problem getting a 6.5 gallon strong boil with my propane stovetop. Natural gas should be slightly better than propane. I have the pot span a front and a rear burner. My main burner is 11,000 btu and the rear is somewhat less. When I used only one burner it was a weak boil, and aluminum foil insulation helped, but now I use both burners and don't insulate.

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Old 03-19-2009, 04:27 PM   #6
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Was able to get 7.5 gallons in a aluminum pot to a boil in 45 minutes. Needed to have the big 10g pot on two burners though.

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Old 03-19-2009, 04:32 PM   #7
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In my 32qt aluminum pot, I can't get anything more than 4.5 gallons to boil, and it's a pretty weak boil at that. This is with natural gas, even with it straddling two burners!

I'm going to insulate the pot before my next boil and run a test, hopefully that will help.

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Old 03-19-2009, 05:25 PM   #8
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I can get a full boil of six gallons of tap-temperature water in about a hour on my stovetop. I have a Wolf pseudo-commercial-style range, though... I think the burners may be a bit larger than a typical stove.

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Old 03-19-2009, 05:34 PM   #9
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When using my stovetop method, I can manage to get 6.5 gallons to a boil IF i do the following:

1. Once the mash is finished in the first pot, turn the heat to high and cover while you do your sparge.
2. Sparge at the exact moment your mash reaches the right temp and leave your heat on. Don't let it get too hot with the grains (monitor) but try to keep the heat under it.
3. Remove grains after 10 minutes or so, drain, and toss.
4. Remove original mash from heat and pour wort into boiling pot (don't burn yourself!)
5. Cover, heat on high, and keep a close eye on that pot to watch for boilover.

EDIT: Once it gets to a boil, I don't need to keep it covered. However, if you add extract it will stop the boil and it will be hard to get it back up again. I use this method for doing all-grain only. I usually do a partial boil (5 gallons max) for partial mashing, or I split between pots.

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Old 03-19-2009, 05:41 PM   #10
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I learned a few tricks about going from feeble 4 gal boils to rolling, vigorous 6.5 gal boils on the stovetop. The link is in my signature.

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