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Old 10-15-2008, 12:03 AM   #1
Quikfeet509
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Default Comparing and contrasting wort volumes

The first batch I brewed instructed me to boil 5 gallons of water, add all the necessary ingredients, then cool it down to 70 degrees F. My second batch instructed me to boil 2 gallons of water, add all the ingredients, then add pure water to reach 5 gallons, then cool to 70 degrees F.


Obviously the second batch cooled much quicker [about 25 minutes compared 90 minutes for the first batch], so I was wondering if I should use a smaller boil volume for my future batches to ensure that the wort cools quickly enough.


The only drawback I can see is that with the lesser boil volume of 2 gallons, in theory less solute can be drawn into solution...wait, since the malt is dissolved into the water, this shouldn't be an issue.


Help please.

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Old 10-15-2008, 01:23 AM   #2
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The two main issues with boil volumes are Hops utilization and caramalization of the Wort. Your best bet is to follow the instructions, as the amount of Hops should be based on the boil volume indicated. To cool your Wort more quickly, pick up a Wort Chiller.

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Old 10-15-2008, 02:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reno Homebrewer View Post
The two main issues with boil volumes are Hops utilization and caramalization of the Wort. Your best bet is to follow the instructions, as the amount of Hops should be based on the boil volume indicated. To cool your Wort more quickly, pick up a Wort Chiller.
nicely put.
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Old 10-15-2008, 01:00 PM   #4
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For Reno's second concern (caramelization), I recommend adding the bulk of your extract near the end of your boil. Another benefit from using late additions is better hop utilization. The lower gravity throughout most of the boil increases hop utilization.

See the chart here: Gravity and Hop Utilization

Do a quick search on late extract addition for more information on getting the best out of your partial boils.

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Old 10-15-2008, 11:08 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, this is the most topical information I've seen so far on this site.

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Old 10-16-2008, 12:27 AM   #6
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If you have enough capacity, go with boiling the full volume, use a chiller, and adjust hops (downward - save $) - it just makes better beer, on average. Good beer can be made either way, of course. May also help slide you toward the all-grain slippery slope.

Of course, depending on your pot size you may want to start with more than 5 gallons, so that you end up with about 5 after boiling off some - but if you are starting with 5 gallons of water and adding extract to it, you'll be over 5 gallons to start anyway.

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