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Old 03-11-2010, 12:51 AM   #1
kabrew
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Default 2 gallon boil or more?

The extract recipes I've been using call for steeping the grains in 2 gal water and then adding rest of ingredients and boiling for designated time.

Is there any advantage/reason for using more water for boiling wort? What happens if I do a 4 gallon boil and then just top off with whatever amount is needed to get to 5 gallons after cooling wort?

Thanks all!

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Old 03-11-2010, 12:53 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by kabrew View Post
The extract recipes I've been using call for steeping the grains in 2 gal water and then adding rest of ingredients and boiling for designated time.

Is there any advantage/reason for using more water for boiling wort? What happens if I do a 4 gallon boil and then just top off with whatever amount is needed to get to 5 gallons after cooling wort?

Thanks all!
Well, you know what we women think. Bigger is better.


Seriously, the bigger boil you can do, the better the wort in my experience. Keep in mind that means you may need to reduce some of the bittering hops (since the bigger boil increases hops utilization) but it's an easy adjustment to make.
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:53 AM   #3
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The more the better IMO. If you can do a full five gallon boil, go for it. Better hop utilization and color will be more predictabke as there will be less carmelization of the sugars in the wort.

Extract recepies often call for 2 gallon boils. I think they assume people dont have larger kettles

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Old 03-11-2010, 12:54 AM   #4
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I do 3.5 to 4 gallons on my boils and plan to just do full 5 gallons I think since my pot is 7.5 gallons.

Some kits say "2 or more" and some say "2 or so" My DVD from Midwest says more the better. That's what I know.....

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Old 03-11-2010, 12:54 AM   #5
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Seriously, the bigger boil you can do, the better the wort in my experience.
Dang. I hate getting beat to the post!
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:55 AM   #6
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Dang I was slow on the draw here got beat not once but twice

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Old 03-11-2010, 12:55 AM   #7
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Dang. I hate getting beat to the post!
dang i got beat to that too
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:20 AM   #8
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Its better to steep in smaller (1-2 gallons) volumes to keep the pH down, then fill it up after you're done steeping for a full boil if you can. If you were to add more water the pH will be higher, which could lead to tannin extraction. Also if you can do a full boil, do it, because you can thoroughly sterilize all of your brewing water. Sometimes nasties can be in straight tap water, albeit at minimum levels. Full boils also extract hop oils most effectively.

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Old 03-11-2010, 01:27 AM   #9
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I followed the BYO better extract brewing technics this past weekend and did their full boil recommendation with only 1.25 quarts of water per pound of steeping grains and it seems to have turned out really well. Good color and happy yeast in the carboy.

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Old 03-11-2010, 01:45 AM   #10
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Wow, great replies everyone and so fast! I took my dog for a walk and of course checked the board as soon as i returned and voila!

I thought i saw somewhere that doing a full boil is better but wasn't sure. I have a 7.5 gl pot so it won't be a problem for me to go bigger.

As they said a sumo wrestling show i saw last summer (long story) "Go big or go home"!

Thanks again all!!

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