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Old 09-04-2012, 12:36 AM   #1
Matt3989
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Default Brewers Best Boil Volume Question.

Okay, So I've been creeping around this forum, among a few others, for a little while now. I just bought a beginner kit from a living social deal from Annapolis Home Brew and I upgraded it with a few other things (bottling bucket, thief, 6.5 gal glass carboy). I'm going to attempt my first brew, a brewers best Robust Porter kit.

Now for my question, the instructions with brewers best says to boil 2.5 gallons of water. Steep my specialty grains for about 20 mins, then add the LME to the wort. Off to the side it says "Brewers tips - the volume of wort boiled affects hop utilization. Boiling more than 2.5 gallons will increase the IBU's and they will decrease if wort volume is less than 2.5 gallons. The IBU's for this recipe are calculated for a 2.5 gallon boil."

I have the ability to do the entire 5 gallons at once (a 12 gallon stainless pot and pressure cooker we use to steam crabs), and I've read on here that the bigger the initial boil the better. But I'm assuming I should just follow the instructions so I don't throw the bitterness off too much.

Any input/tips would be much appreciated.

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Old 09-04-2012, 12:44 AM   #2
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With this being your first brew, I would just follow the instructions until you get comfortable with the process. You are right though, more water = more IBUs (for the most part). Once you get into partial/full grain then this would be different but for now, just go by the book. Besides, you dont want your porter to be too hoppy. Side note, make sure your kettle is clean..you dont want your first beer tasting like crabs

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Old 09-04-2012, 12:47 AM   #3
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Don't boil before your steeping grains. Only bring it up to 150-170F. Go ahead with the 2.5 gallon boil. That's what your hops are figured for. My advice would be to buy 6 one gallon jugs of drinking/spring water. Put 3 of them in the refrigerator the day before you are going to brew. Use the first 3 for boiling and use what you need of the last 3 to top up and chill at the same time.

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Old 09-04-2012, 12:48 AM   #4
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Don't cover the pot during the boil, I did that on my 1st batch, which was an american amber ale and it turned out more like an IPA. evidently covering keeps the bittering hop flavor in the wort.

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Old 09-04-2012, 12:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmashl View Post
Don't cover the pot during the boil, I did that on my 1st batch, which was an american amber ale and it turned out more like an IPA. evidently covering keeps the bittering hop flavor in the wort.
Right and wrong. Bittering does not boil off. Hop flavors and aromas boil off but bittering is captured in the wort. You are correct in leaving it uncovered though. There is a chemical in the wort called SMM that converts into DMS during the boil. Boiling also drives it out of the wort. Put a lid on and it condenses and drips back in. This will give you a cooked corn/creamed corn flavor.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:02 AM   #6
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Great to know, thanks for the help guys. That's what I was thinking about the beer being too hoppy with a larger boil.

I like the just buying 6 gallons of water idea, I was trying to think of a good way to accurately measure clean water (we have a well, so no chlorine, but who knows what else is in there that will affect the taste).

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Old 09-04-2012, 01:04 AM   #7
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Another simple thing that I overlooked the first time I did a brew....make sure the wort is cool (less than 80 degrees) before you pitch your yeast into your fermentor. If you find yourself lost just check out youtube...there are a ton of videos that could help you out

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Old 09-04-2012, 01:09 AM   #8
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Well water is hit or miss. It is normally cleaner than municipal water without any added chemicals, but dissolved minerals can be all over the board. As you get more into brewing you will learn that some beers taste better when brewed with certain "types" of water. Your standard drinking water will do them all ok, but some can be made better with certain mineral additions or even distilled water dilution. Don't worry, that is a ways off. It's not even something I mess with yet. If/when you start entering competitions is when it will start to matter.

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Old 09-04-2012, 02:33 AM   #9
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http://www.homebrewingvideo.com/
check this out
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