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Old 07-19-2012, 02:41 PM   #1
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Default 1st Attempt, Full Boil Question

After reading a bunch on the benefits of full boiling all 5 gallons of the wort, I attempted it (partial grain, full 5g boil right from the start). What I didn't realize is how much liquid would boil out given our dry climate.

So my questions are
1. is the beer going to be ok as I probably lost close to a gallon and
2. any reason I shouldn't make some sort of lid for my keggle to prevent this in the future?
3. Are there any other common ways to prevent this? more water added, etc?

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Old 07-19-2012, 02:51 PM   #2
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I'm a newb, but don't think you want to use a lid as that can result in off-flavors. Especially if the drops from the lid fall into your wort.

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Old 07-19-2012, 02:53 PM   #3
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Yeah what your experiencing is your boil off. The amount is different for everyone. For me I do 6 gallons to get a five gallon total at the end. What i suggest is you boil around six gallons of water for an hour and see how much you are left with. This should give you a percent that you boiled off. Most beer software like beersmith let you plug in a percent to account for this.

Also don't use a lid. Your brew needs to boil off the DMS http://www.mashspargeboil.com/home-b...-flavours-dms/.

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Old 07-19-2012, 02:54 PM   #4
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You really don't want to add a lid. Best way is to compensate and add extra water. A lot of the recipes you see will show a 6-6.5 gallon boil size for a 5-5.5 gallon batch size. This accounts for the loss to evaporation and to the trub. I believe there a re some calculators out there that can help determine what your boil-off loss could be.

For this beer, if you ended up with only 4 gallons, you should add an additional gallon from either tap water, or if you prefer bottled water from the store to get it back up to the 5. What did you get for an OG? I would think it would be higher than what your recipe called for.

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Old 07-19-2012, 02:54 PM   #5
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1. yes, this is a normal loss.
2. no, you want a full rolling open boil for beer with no lid.
3. it's all part of the game of full volume boiling. evaporation happens!

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Old 07-19-2012, 02:58 PM   #6
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1. I lose about a 1 to 1.5 gallons during the boiling of the wort. You can start with 6 gallons preboil and compensate for the loss, add water to the end of the boil or top off you fermentor with sterile water.

2. You do not typically want to cover during the boil since a good rolling boil is key to removing dimethyl sulfides (DMS) from your wort.

3. Not usually, I usual start with 6.5 gallons in my kettle, boil for 90 minutes and end up with 5 gallons. Remember that if you take a preboil hydrometer reading (which I always do), you have to compensate for the expected boil off.

reading 1.041 x 6.5 gallons/5.0 gallons = 1.053 target gravity

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Old 07-19-2012, 03:04 PM   #7
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Ah, you've come to discover why some worksheets have a pre-boil volume and a post-boil volume.

I'd be interested to see the advice you get, but this really shouldn't be a huge issue. When you boil the wort down (lose a gallon), you're basically going to be concentrating it more. You can really just leave it at that for now and not be concerned, you'll be ok. I wouldn't make a lid. Someone else can comment on why, but I believe I've seen talk that it could cause off-flavors.

If you want to get super technical, read on.

What did you calculate your OG to be? If it was (for instance) 1.040, take 40 points and multiply by 5 gallons. You'll get 200. Divide that by 4 gallons (what you have instead). That gives 50 points (1.050). You can check this math against a hydrometer reading to be sure. This at least gives you an idea of what's changed.

If you want to get back down to (for instance) 1.040, you can add some sanitized water. Just do some maths and solve for how many gallons it'll take to reach your target OG. In my example, simply adding 1 gallon of sanitized water should do that.

Some people might tell you that's a silly idea to do. I'll let them comment on that.

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Old 07-19-2012, 03:08 PM   #8
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This should help. BeerSmith 21 day trial

The beer will be fine, just could be higher gravity. You could boil some water and add it to your fermenter. Enough to get the volume you expected.

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Old 07-19-2012, 04:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetmac View Post
This should help. BeerSmith 21 day trial

The beer will be fine, just could be higher gravity. You could boil some water and add it to your fermenter. Enough to get the volume you expected.
Off the top of my head (written down at home) initial hydro reading was 1.058. I am ok just leaving it if it will be ok (dont mind the reduced volume), but my fear was the concentration would lead to a concentrated/too strong final product.

I will add water to avoid having a super concentrated/no one wants to drink batch, but if i can just get away with longer fermentation, etc and have the same final product with less volume, I am good with that.

And thats why this forum is great, on my own, I would have simply added a lid (using food cooking logic) and probably ruined batch #2.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:33 PM   #10
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If you don't add water, you will certainly get a higher ABV, so it may have more "alcohol" taste. You could ride it out and see how it tastes, could be a great beer. Did you try the some from your first hydro sample? Was it really really sweet?

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