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Old 07-21-2010, 12:09 PM   #1
EvenOlder
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Default Amount of boil water - using an extract kit

Hello everyone,
I'm getting ready for my first batch soon,
using a 30qt polarware on my gas range, and have an immersion chiller

I've seen plenty of recommendations to do "full" boils, the american wheat kit from northernbrewers recipe directs to use 2.5 gal.

Would there be a benefit to boiling more water- say 4 gallons? Cool it down, then add water up to the 5 gal amount?

If that's better, should I add the water in the kettle or the fermenter?

Thanks,
steve

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Old 07-21-2010, 12:31 PM   #2
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The theoretical benefit to doing a full boil is better hop extraction. In mildly-hopped recipes, I doubt this means much. It really comes down to personal preference - how you feel about manipulating large amounts of hot water. Having an IC helps.

As for when and where to add the rest of the water - as long as you're sure it's sanitary, add it to the fermenter. If you have any doubts, better to add it to the boil.

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Old 07-21-2010, 12:57 PM   #3
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I'm an all grain guy but I agree with Frazier,
Hop utilization is higher when the gravity of the boil is lower. The more sugar you have in your boil the less hop utilization you'll get. (sugar to water volume). That being said:

Full boil

Pros: better hop utilization

Cons: less hop utilization, takes longer to cool wort due to the fact that your not mixing pre boiled and cooled water with hot wort. 5 gallons is pretty heavy so make sure you can lift it safely.

Think thats it.

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Old 07-21-2010, 01:57 PM   #4
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My suggestion, use 2-2.5 gallons and add the extract at the end of the boil. If you have steeping grains use the wort from that for the boil. If not I use just water. Top off with bottled/jugged water if your tap water quality is questionable.

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Old 07-21-2010, 02:21 PM   #5
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With a wheat beer you have to be more careful with boilovers... but then again, you've got a 30 qt pot so I wouldn't worry about that... you're not using much hops for wheat beers, and you'll have a harder time cooling it down... but then again, you've got an immersion chiller so I wouldn't worry about that either...

I guess it boils down to whether or not you need/want to move 5 gallons of boiling wort...

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Old 07-21-2010, 02:41 PM   #6
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I always boil 3 gallons and use two for top off. Beer turns out great!

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Old 07-21-2010, 07:01 PM   #7
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I like the simple answers- thanks SevenFields!

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