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Old 12-03-2007, 01:36 AM   #1
MikeInCtown
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Default 4 gallon boil, or all 5?

Just wondering what you guys all think about the boiling process? Is it better to boil 4 gallons and have the last gallon of distilled water very cold to chill the wort faster, or is it better to just boil all 5 gallons and try to chill as fast as possible using alternative methods? I realize a wort chiller is ideal, but I'm wondering if it's really a needed expense.

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Old 12-03-2007, 04:08 PM   #2
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Default Well

In the experimenting that has gone on during our brewing process, it has become clear that there is no real need to boil four or five gallons when dealing with a five gallon batch. Three and a half gallons seems to be ideal. Enough to get hop extraction but not so much that it takes forever to boil.


As to your wort chiller question: The first two batches we did were chilled with cold water into the pot to top off and ice around the pot.

And then snow around the pot.

And cold water around the pot.

They cold prayers and thoughts around the pot. You get the idea.


It took an hour. A full hour where our precious wort was vulnerable and in "the zone" for bacterial growth and contamination. On top of that, waiting for it to cool was frustrating and irritatingly boring.


You don't strictly NEED a wort chiller. But I can tell you what, you will dance the happy dance when you get one. It gives a nice cold break and can chill your pot of wort down in 15 to 20 minutes. We got little or no cold break with the water and ice method.

Immersion chillers are simple and you can even DIY it if you want. You don't NEED one, but boy howdy is it nice to have and worth the price in time and effort saved.



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Old 12-03-2007, 06:11 PM   #3
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The true ideal is to do a full wort boil. You'll get better beer. However, you can work your way up that, since you'll need a large enough kettle, a wort chiller, and a heat source powerful enough to get your wort boiling in a reasonable time.

Without a doubt, my wort chiller was the best piece of equipment I got before I went to kegging and temperature control.


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Old 12-03-2007, 07:51 PM   #4
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I usually just cold bath my partial boils. I an get 3 gallons or so down to the mid 70s in about 30 minutes. That's with stiring the water in the bath tub, and sturing the wort in the pot every 10 minutes or so.

I'm looking to get a chiller when i step up to full boils hopefully by the spring

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Old 12-03-2007, 08:51 PM   #5
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Default Sink

We were doing ours in the kitchen sink. Much less water mass.


Interesting story, we found that having all that hot wort in the kettle and all that cold around it actually caused stress fractures in the rolled lip of our cheap-ass thin turkey fryer pot. It cracked in two places.

Not a huge deal, its a cheap pot, and we will replace it when we begin with the all-grain goodness next year some time.



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Old 12-03-2007, 10:17 PM   #6
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I'm a firm believer that full boils produce better beer.

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Old 12-03-2007, 10:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
I'm a firm believer that full boils produce better beer.
Me too! I think you get less carmelization, and better hops utilization. If you can't, you can't. But if there is any way possible, I say do it!
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
I'm a firm believer that full boils produce better beer.

There is no doubt in my mind.
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