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Old 03-13-2010, 05:34 PM   #1
Brocster
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Default Question about beginning boil from first runnings...

I typically make 11 gallon batches between 1.048 - 1.060. I have a 15 gallon BK, 70 quart cooler - AG. Infusion/Batch Sparge Method.

I am pretty consistent with 70 - 90 minute boils, but may want to go longer for certain beers.

Here is the question:

Is there anything wrong with starting the boil RIGHT away after first runnings, or even after the kettle has a few inches of first runnings in it, keeping a rolling boil all through the sparging process? Something like 45 - 60 minutes for all runnings and sparging, then another 45 - 60 minutes of boil after the valve is shut off.

My thoughts are that this would cut down some time as well as allow me to actually boil larger volumes in a virtual sense, since evaporation would take place over the time of the first runnings and sparging. I haven't run the calcs, but I may be able to boil the equivalent of 16.5 gallons with this process.

This may allow me to utilize the mashing volumes a 70 qt cooler is capable of, especially if I am trying to get 1.060 lagers with longer boil times.

Appreciate any thoughts on this.....

Thanks,
Broc

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Old 03-13-2010, 11:02 PM   #2
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Well the minute you start to boil you start losing wort because of evaporation. I start heating my wort up as soon as the first runnings start to flow, but I dont let it come to a boil until im ready. It also wastes some propane which isnt fun

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Old 03-13-2010, 11:45 PM   #3
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You can do that. In fact, I was reading through a book today that suggests doing just that.

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Old 03-14-2010, 04:01 AM   #4
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Many suggest boiling immediately to "fix" the fermentability of the wort by stopping the conversion process. I always have.

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Old 03-15-2010, 09:12 PM   #5
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i batch sparge and do 5 gal, and i put the first runnings on low heat. i figure a little shortcut here and there to speed up the process can never hurt. that being said, the first time i did this, i put the first runnings on full heat and had a boil over while i was stirring the mash tun. that was a pretty big surprise. i had 2 hot breaks lol. you guys doing 10+ gal batches could probably run the heat on full power since you have much more thermal mass to work with. ymmv, but for me it's low heat and lid on the brew pot

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Old 03-15-2010, 10:39 PM   #6
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I batch sparge and always start the boil with the first runnings. My burner is just big enough that the kettle is approaching a boil as I run off each sparge.

You might get a little more color/caramelization.

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Old 03-15-2010, 11:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
I batch sparge and always start the boil with the first runnings. My burner is just big enough that the kettle is approaching a boil as I run off each sparge.
That sounds about ideal from a time savings standpoint - minimize the extra time spent waiting to begin the boil.

I use a banjo burner which has plenty of horsepower, so I run it at a lower setting while collecting wort - not bringing it to a boil, just getting a head start.

Beginning to boil the wort well before you start "the boil" (for lack of a better term - I'd say this is when you add bittering hops and start timing) depends on your equipment and recipe.
Do you WANT the extra boil-off, and maybe some caramelization? (a high-gravity scotch ale, perhaps?) Go for it.
With lower-gravity beers you may have to worry about boiling off too much water - if you have to add top-off water at the end, one could argue that that's probably just a straight waste of fuel.
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
I batch sparge and always start the boil with the first runnings. My burner is just big enough that the kettle is approaching a boil as I run off each sparge.

You might get a little more color/caramelization.
copy/paste what i do
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