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mmarty1 06-24-2012 02:42 PM

Boiling Question
 
I have a basic question about boiling. While steeping my grains yesterday at 150 degrees F, I was beginning to wonder if boiling temps need to be monitored. Does the temperature of boiling wort remain constant by the very nature of a boiling liquid or should I know what the temperature is?

Vagrant 06-24-2012 02:57 PM

The main thing you want to watch in a boil is how vigorously it's boiling and the evaporation rate. Target evaporation rate is 8% for hop conversion and removing volatiles from your wort. You can also burn your wort if the temp is too high.

zakleeright 06-24-2012 03:06 PM

Hi mmarty1,
no need to worry about boiling liquid, unless you just like to see that 212F. :-)
However, I've read a few good books and some seemingly knowledgeable people on this forum state that a "roiling boil" is better than "barely boiling".
disclaimer: On my electric brew system, I do have a PID controller and temp probe, but it is operating in a "duty cycle" mode. So my heating element is at 100% duty cycle, (full on) to heat wort quick as possible. As the temp nears 212, I gradually reduce the duty cycle, ending up at around 60-68% to maintain boil. when I was using gas heat, I simply kept an eye on it and slowly lowered the flame as it began to boil.
And I never forgot to keep an eye on it...ever...I never got distracted by a conversation or football game, and got snapped back to reality by the sound of precious wort bubbling angrily about the cauldron like golden malten lava, and sizzling onto the garage floor into a sticky, semi-caramelized layer of fleeting regret ....not I.
Cheers

BrewScout 06-24-2012 03:21 PM

Not to thread jack but... I noticed on my first full boil that I boiled off 1.5 gallons during a 90 minute boil. It was in a 30 qt aluminum turkey fryer with a 45,000 BTU burner. Does this seem like a little too much?

mmarty1 06-24-2012 03:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vagrant (Post 4197663)
The main thing you want to watch in a boil is how vigorously it's boiling and the evaporation rate. Target evaporation rate is 8% for hop conversion and removing volatiles from your wort. You can also burn your wort if the temp is too high.

Thanks Vagrant, I'm going to need to find out more about burning the wort as I'm wasn't aware that was a concern. I don't know if my stove is capable of that since it's an old gas but I guess I better find out. Do you know how to tell if a wort is burned?

mmarty1 06-24-2012 03:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zakleeright (Post 4197686)
Hi mmarty1,
no need to worry about boiling liquid, unless you just like to see that 212F. :-)
However, I've read a few good books and some seemingly knowledgeable people on this forum state that a "roiling boil" is better than "barely boiling".
disclaimer: On my electric brew system, I do have a PID controller and temp probe, but it is operating in a "duty cycle" mode. So my heating element is at 100% duty cycle, (full on) to heat wort quick as possible. As the temp nears 212, I gradually reduce the duty cycle, ending up at around 60-68% to maintain boil. when I was using gas heat, I simply kept an eye on it and slowly lowered the flame as it began to boil.
And I never forgot to keep an eye on it...ever...I never got distracted by a conversation or football game, and got snapped back to reality by the sound of precious wort bubbling angrily about the cauldron like golden malten lava, and sizzling onto the garage floor into a sticky, semi-caramelized layer of fleeting regret ....not I.
Cheers

I'm really going to need to look into the electric brewing with the temp probes and controller so I an get more consistent with the heat settings. Right now on teh gas stove it's a lot of work to figure out a 150 degree grain bath and keep it there. I seem to get distracted by this website while i'm brewing, my laptop is close by but out of overflow range lol

mmarty1 06-24-2012 03:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrewScout (Post 4197723)
Not to thread jack but... I noticed on my first full boil that I boiled off 1.5 gallons during a 90 minute boil. It was in a 30 qt aluminum turkey fryer with a 45,000 BTU burner. Does this seem like a little too much?

no worries, I'm finding I'm learning so much from reading responses to others questions that I didn't even think to ask!

Vagrant 06-24-2012 03:31 PM

You'll get a burnt flavor to it and it can darken your wort. It usually isn't a large concern as long as you're not running full blast and your brew doesn't look like an angry volcano like zakleeright mentioned. You do want a vigorous enough boil that you evaporate out your volitiles (like DMS precursers/SMM) and that you get optimal hop utilization. Just watch for a rolling boil and you'll be fine!

zakleeright 06-24-2012 03:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrewScout (Post 4197723)
Not to thread jack but... I noticed on my first full boil that I boiled off 1.5 gallons during a 90 minute boil. It was in a 30 qt aluminum turkey fryer with a 45,000 BTU burner. Does this seem like a little too much?

What I've been doing is ensuring I have a "vigorous boil" and then try to accurately measure volume levels in the boil kettle. What you get is what you get - the point is to know what your system does, then just formulate your recipe's so you end up close to the quantity you want.


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