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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Can someone explain the pros/cons of boil size and time?
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:40 PM   #1
damdaman
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Default Can someone explain the pros/cons of boil size and time?

Partial boil vs. full boil? 90 minute boil vs. 60 minute boil? I've gathered (I think) that full boil and longer boil utilize hop bitterness more? Can you do a 90 minute partial boil? If doing a full boil do you have to start with more than 5gal to account for evaporation during the boil? I assume cooling a full boil is much more difficult?

TIA!

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Old 01-06-2010, 10:50 PM   #2
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90 minute boils are usually done to drive off DMS when using a lot of pilsner malt (all grain brewing).
you would get some additional hop utilization from a longer boil as well but I don't think too many people are doing that.

A full boil has better hop utilization due to not having a wickedly high gravity wort. You can do exactly the same thing in a partial boil by following the late extract addition method.

Yes, you need extra wort to end up with 5gallons after the boil. I can lose up to 2 gallons an hour if I use my KAB5 burner.

And you do pretty much need a chiller of some type to deal with 5 gallons of 200 degree wort, although several people have tried 'no chill' brewing with success.

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Old 01-06-2010, 11:03 PM   #3
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Are you doing extract or all grain brewing? The consensus here is full boils generally taste better in the final product. For extract brewing full boils mean you don't have to mess around with late extract additions (adding majority of extract towards end of boil to reduce caramelization/darkening) as well.

90 min boils are preferred by some when using pilsner malts (to give extra time to drive off DMS) or if you make a big beer that requires a lot of sparging and gives you a large pre-boil volume. Then you need to boil longer to evaporate down to the appropriate volume.

A full boil does give better hops utilization (although using late extract additions in partial boils can do the same thing) and more hop oils are extracted during a longer boil. I would rather change my hop schedule or add a little bit more hops rather than spend more money on propane though.

With a full boil you do need to adjust for evaporation rate, usually something like 6.5 gallons for 5 gals of final product. Although evaporation rate depends on a lot of factors such as surface area of wort (pot size/shape), if there's air flow over the top of the pot, humidity, intensity of boil, etc. Best thing to do is do a couple of batches and keep a detailed log recording temperatures, times, and volumes at every step. Then when you get an idea of what your equipment is like, you can plug the numbers into beersmith and have it automatically adjust for your equipment.

Chilling a greater volume of boiling wort is more difficult. An ice bath is not going to cut it. You can either invest in some sort of chiller or do no chill brewing which is what I do. Read more on the newbie section and especially the thread "This vs that pro/con analysis"

*EDIT- damn beat to it and all the same answers too...

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Old 01-07-2010, 01:15 AM   #4
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Thanks for the explanations... so much to learn.

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