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Old 06-17-2009, 06:07 AM   #1
warmerdam
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Default Can't get a "vigorous" boil

Apparently, I've got a weak kitchen stove and the wort never really gets to a vigorous, rapid boil, even when doing a partial boil. I've read a vigorous boil is needed to break down the proteins.

I'd like to attempt a full boil, but doubt my kitchen stove could handle it. Anyone have an opinion of the importance of a vigorous boil and whether a more moderate boil is good enough? Also, I live in a condo and don't have outdoor space for an outdoor burner. Are there any good indoor burners that could handle a full boil?

Thanks
--Dave

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Old 06-17-2009, 06:14 AM   #2
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everyone has an opinion, but to me a boil is a boil. Boiling water is always at the same temperature no matter how hard you boil it so I would think that it works either way. The only difference being how much water you boil off in the process. Try putting the lid on the boiling pot and it may hold in more heat and boil better. Also you can try reducing your water volume if you are using extracts. Full boils are only really needed for all grain batches. I used to boil only one gallon for each 5 gallon extract batch and always had good results.

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Old 06-17-2009, 06:28 AM   #3
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Hi Dave:

Yep. Pretty much a boil is a boil. 212 degrees F.

I would not go too far down on water quantity on the partial boil. It makes carmelization and darkening of the wort more of an issue, and also has an effect on your hop utilization, hence your IBU's. The less water volume there is, the less hop goodies can combine in your wort.

If you want to get up to boil faster or hit a stronger boil, you might try a pot large enough to span 2 burners. Another possibility is to use an electric heat stick in the pot while it is on the burner to give the heat a nice boost. It is basically an electric element that has been properly insulated to use in water. Here is a thread on them. Google for more info.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/heat-stick-diy-38489/

Cheers

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Old 06-17-2009, 06:40 AM   #4
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Zen is right, I forgot to mention that your utilization will go down greatly using only one gallon of water, however if you have to choose between doubling your hop additions or not being able to brew at all I would just spend the extra couple bucks on more hops.

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Old 06-18-2009, 04:18 AM   #5
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Thanks sunblock and Zen Brew. I guess I was concerned that the wort never foamed at all during the boil. At least I don't have to worry about boilovers. I did try putting the lid on the pot, but that quickly turned into a game of red light/green light as I had to watch it closely the whole time and lift the lid just before it started to boil over. I think I'll try and find a wider pot and use two burners to see if that helps.

Thanks again for the help and suggestions.

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Old 06-18-2009, 04:23 AM   #6
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dude just buy a turkey fry kit at walmart and a propain bottle for the cost of a batch or 2 you will be in buissness

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Old 06-18-2009, 05:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
dude just buy a turkey fry kit at walmart and a propain bottle for the cost of a batch or 2 you will be in buissness
Yeah, a turkey fryer would be the ideal solution, except the OP stated his living situation prohibits him from having an outside space to brew in.
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Old 06-18-2009, 05:13 AM   #8
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I was just listening to a podcast related to your question earlier today. Google Brew Strong DMS and give it a listen when you have a few minutes.

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Old 06-18-2009, 06:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick500 View Post
I was just listening to a podcast related to your question earlier today. Google Brew Strong DMS and give it a listen when you have a few minutes.
I just discovered the brew strong podcast minutes ago myself but hadn't listened to anything yet. I guess I'll start with the DMS podcast. Thanks!
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Old 06-18-2009, 06:23 AM   #10
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My stove doesn't give me a very vigorous boil either. The beer seems to turn out good.


Someone said something about putting the lid on the pot. It's my understanding that this isn't recommended. You can put the lid on to get the boil started, but after that you want the lid of. I don't know the chemistry behind it, but it has something to do with the DMS. Maybe someone can elaborate?

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