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Old 02-06-2008, 11:20 PM   #1
razyrsharpe
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Default Big Boils

my brother (and i ) recently cooked up an extract recipe for an ESB. the recipe called for us to boil 6-6.5 GALLONS of water! i believe that this was a mistake/typo. but it clearly said gallons.

we decided to do a 3 gallon boil, mostly because the brewpot was 4 gallons max. have any of you ever done or heard of doing a boil this large on an extract recipe?

assuming that the 6 gallon direction is valid (which i still don't)...what are the possible consequences of reducing the boil by half?

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Old 02-06-2008, 11:44 PM   #2
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A full boil is less common in extract brewing. It's not totally necessary but if you CAN do it, it can be beneficial.

The consequences of reducing the boil volume without adjusting the recipe is going to be reduced bitterness and darker colour. A method called the 'late extract addition' can help you resolve both of these issues.

Oh and the reason the boil was 6-6.5 gallons for a 5 gallon batch is that when you boil that full volume you get quite a lot of evaporation. The idea is to have your target amount in the kettle when the boil is finished, so that no topping up is necessary.

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Old 02-06-2008, 11:49 PM   #3
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i actually figured out the late extract method might be good to apply here, so we put 50% in at the start of a 60 minute boil, and 50% in with 15 minutes to go.

i can see the need for huge boil if you are boiling down to 5 gallons...but i have NEVER, and i mean NEVER heard of boiling so much wort for an extract recipe, EVER. that was new to me.

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Old 02-07-2008, 12:13 AM   #5
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I wouldn't necessarily recommend simple extract brewers try full boils, just because it's damn hard to get 6.5 gallons to boil on the stovetop. I wouldn't ever go to that trouble were I not all grain.

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Old 02-07-2008, 01:13 PM   #6
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Full boils are good practice for going to all grain. When I was getting my AG gear, the first thing I got was a turkey fryer. I did about 4 extract batches on it before I finally had all my AG gear ready to go.

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Old 02-07-2008, 03:59 PM   #7
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That's exactly why I did it. I did probably 4 extract full boils before I went all grain. It took some of the task load away because I already knew how to handle (COOL) 5 gallons of hot wort.

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Old 02-07-2008, 07:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razyrsharpe
i can see the need for huge boil if you are boiling down to 5 gallons...but i have NEVER, and i mean NEVER heard of boiling so much wort for an extract recipe, EVER. that was new to me.
What rock have you been living under? 6-6.5 gallon boils are nothing if you look around these boards people have way bigger batches than that.
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:45 PM   #9
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it's difficult to do on a stove, but if you have a propane burner, go for it! you'll also need a wort chiller or some way to really cool the wort, though.

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Old 02-07-2008, 08:23 PM   #10
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I've been doing full-volume boils for extract recipes from day 1 (~14 batches). All the kits I buy from More Beer are geared towards a full boil.

Granted, I work outside on a stand-alone burner, so I don't have the problems, or the benefits, associated with working inside.

Benefits of a full boil for extract brewing are less carmelization of the wort (which can be mitigated by late extract additions), and better utilization of hops.

I just listened to an older Brewing Network podcast where Jamil said that going to full boil is the best way to improve extract-based brewing, followed closely by fermentation temp control.

YMMV

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