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Old 04-01-2010, 06:12 PM   #1
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Default Two Pot Boil Guidance

Hello All Grain Brewers,

I've been brewing all grain since day one and have four brews under my belt and think I've been doing pretty well so far. These have all been small batches by most of your standards I'm sure, they were one gallon, and I'm getting ready to start upping my output.

I just completed a MLT build and am going to step up to a 3 gallon batch for my next brew. Based on my current equipment, I will have to split the boil between two kettles to reach the volume I need (I will eventually upgrade to larger pots and a banjo-style burner, but for now this is what I'm working with).

I'm looking for advice on splitting a boil as I know that others out there are doing it. Would the recommendation be to dividing my runnings equally between both pots by going back and forth as I drain my tun (I'm planning to batch sparge) so that both boils are close to the same consistancy? Any other things to think about?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Old 04-01-2010, 07:11 PM   #2
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I have done the stove top split boil, and what I have done is to collect all the runnings in my bucket fermenter or bottling bucket, and then divide into the two boiling vessels.

Less spillage this way IME.

As for anything else, after the sparge, just treat each vessel as its own brew. I always calculated hops additions, irish moss, etc. based upon the size of the actual boil size and final volume for each vessel.

After the boil and chilling, then I would just pour both into the fermenter.

For determining how much yeast to use, use the final batch size (3gallons).

Good luck!

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Old 04-01-2010, 07:52 PM   #3
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Thanks a lot Kevin, that sounds like a reasonable approach.

I grew up and lived most of my life in Lancaster and attended PSU for my Bachelor's degree. I'd be interested in your SOS recipe for some PA pride out here in Arizona if you'd like to share.

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Old 04-01-2010, 07:58 PM   #4
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Glad to help; the approach worked for me for many batches!

I will have to consult my home computer, and will forward you the recipe!

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Old 04-01-2010, 08:12 PM   #5
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If you're not at the point where you want to spend big $$ on a good brewpot I would go to your local thrift store (ex. Salvation Army) or garage sale and pickup a cheap 5 or 10 gallon pot. You can probably get one for $10...

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Old 04-01-2010, 10:47 PM   #6
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I just put the 2 pots on the floor under the MLT, drain half into each pot, add sparge water and again drain half into each pot.

as long as your gravities are 'about the same' and you split the hops 'pretty evenly' the wort won't know that it was split boiled and combined after the fact.

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Old 04-01-2010, 11:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore View Post
I just put the 2 pots on the floor under the MLT, drain half into each pot, add sparge water and again drain half into each pot.

as long as your gravities are 'about the same' and you split the hops 'pretty evenly' the wort won't know that it was split boiled and combined after the fact.
Thanks for the reply, I think that method matches my current setup and was kinda what I was thinking I'd do: "a little wort for you...and a little for you"...repeat.

I'll get a bigger pot soon, but I'm in that beginning ramp up stage where I've been buying a bunch of brewing stuff lately and want to try to cut that back a little right now. Plus I need to do some planning on where to store all this new stuff!
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:36 AM   #8
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I had a similar issue on my first big brew day 10 gallons. I thought my keggle was up and running but found out different after my mash started. I had enough grains for 11 gallons of wort and only a 10 gallon pot as my biggest vessel that worked on my stove top. I poured my first runnings and sparge into the larger 10 gallon pot and then the rest in the smaller pot. I used the smaller pot to boil my hops in as hop utilization is better with less gravity wort. I used an ice bath to cool down the 2 gallon wort container and a immersion chiller to cool the lager container of wort. Then joined the two worts in a sanke to ferment where they have been 4 weeks now. I get to see how it comes out when I rack to bottle and keg tomorrow.

I do not see a reason you have to try to equalize the worts if they both end up in the same fermenter or you need to even use both pots to boil the hops. I think it may even benefit you to get one boiling earlier so it can cool while the other is boiling especially if you need to ice bath both.

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Old 04-02-2010, 03:34 AM   #9
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I do split boils for batches larger than 4 gallons because of the size of my brew pot. I generally hit up a 5-5.5 gallon batch split evenly between two boils.

I mix the mash and sparge together in one bucket and then split the mix half and half between the boils. I split the hops, irish moss, and anything else in half for each boil. I have to boil one at a time, so I boil one and let it cool while the second boils.

I could see situations where you could improve your hop utilization by boiling a small, hop-laden batch first and then boil the rest with fewer hops, however I would be careful taking that route (without figuring out the math behind what will happen) without mixing the runnings together. The reason is that the first runnings will have a higher OG than any of the others, so that will also affect your hop utilization (same goes in reverse with the rest of your runnings.)

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Old 04-05-2010, 10:56 PM   #10
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Whew...I did it...but it wasn't easy. I had a lot of nice fermentation going on on Saturday and I think things are well on their way. I really need to just get some bigger pots though. I ended up having to split my wort between three pots because I underestimated the size of one that I borrowed by 50%. I'd post pictures if I could figure out how!

Using my new MLT for the first time, I didn't account for the the deadspace in my water calculations either so I came up a little short on my collection volume and didn't think about it until I was scooping out the grains. I had a lot of evaporation going on during my boil too...I guess summer is almost here in Tucson! I attempted to hit 3 gallons into the carboy and I probably ended up with about 2.4. The OG was a little higher than I expected, but I'm OK with that.

Learning one brew at a time...thanks for all the advice.

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