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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Do full boils make that much of a difference over partial boils?
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:20 PM   #1
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Default Do full boils make that much of a difference over partial boils?

I am brewing partial boils right, now but wondering if a big brew pot should be my next investment? Do full boils make that much of a difference over partial boils?

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Old 09-27-2011, 11:11 PM   #2
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If you are only planning to brew 5-gal batches with malt-extract as your base, a 12-16 quart brew pot and partial boils should be fine. I'm sure that most of us would strongly recommend that you make sure that the water you are adding to your fermenter to bring the total volume up to 5-gal has been boiled beforehand to get rid of any contaminents that might degrade or even ruin your finished product (chlorines, bacteria, etc).

I'm not aware of any advantages to doing full boils when brewing from malt extract. Maybe someone else will having a different opinion on this.

You WILL need at least a 32-quart brew pot and a burner capable of full boils if you plan to brew all-grain batches.

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Old 09-27-2011, 11:17 PM   #3
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You can make great beer either way. I do full boils now and think the beer tastes better but I also started doing full boils when I went all grain so it could have nothing to do with the boil size. With a full boil you will get better hop utilization since the sugars in the wort aren't as concentrated while you boil, a plus if you like the hoppier beers. If you don't have a chiller of some sorts you may want to purchase one when you buy your kettle to make chilling your beer easier. You didn't say if you were doing your partial boils on stove top or a turkey fryer but you will want to make sure you have a way to get around 6 gallons to a rolling boil.

It's a slippery slope once you start to upgrade your equipment and modify your processes.

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Old 09-27-2011, 11:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barkingshins View Post
I'm not aware of any advantages to doing full boils when brewing from malt extract.
I can think of one that's indisputable: bittering potential. You can't make a 90 IBU IIPA with a partial boil.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
It's a slippery slope once you start to upgrade your equipment and modify your processes.
+1
I upgraded to an all-grain process about a year ago and it seems like, no matter how much I buy, there's always at least 2 or 3 purchases that I'm convinced will make my beer better. Right now I'm considering a stainless steel conical fermenter and a Blichmann HopRocket.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
You can't make a 90 IBU IIPA with a partial boil.
Very true. I wasn't even thinking about the bittering side of things.

If you have the means and plan to be brewing for awhile, I suppose my vote would be yay... get yourself a brew pot and a burner capable of boiling at least 6 or 7 gallons with at least another gallon of head space. This way you will not be limited at all by the pot itself and it will be one less thing to buy if/when you go all-grain.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:45 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info guys. This is my concern if I move to full boil, I move outside..my stove can barely handle 3 Gallons. I am still doing extract, but hopefully moving to AG by the end of the year which means full boil. Guess I am answering my own question! Lol!

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Old 09-27-2011, 11:54 PM   #8
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I recently purchased the Bayou Classic Turkey Fryer on Amazon for like $40 which comes with a solid propane burner and base, and I believe a 7 gallon pot. EDIT: Correction, it was $60..still worth every penny as far as I'm concerned http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...GJVTW9RHHBA5FR

Previously I'd been doing partial boils in my kitchen. The quality of this new pot may not be the best, but it does the trick and the entire process is just more enjoyable now as far as I'm concerned. We're sitting around the pot, playing guitar and drinking beer - it's more like being at a campfire than standing around in the kitchen.

Not only that, the color of my beers seem dead on where I used to have much darker beers due to caramelization in the brew pot. Even my pale ales were fairly dark.

Anyway, the proof will be in the taste. I was never dissatisfied with my partial boils in that regard, but there was room for improvement. I've got three batches in the works, one in bottles, one in the secondary and one in the primary so I can't say for sure how big of a difference it has made but my initial findings in every facet are that it's the way to go! Upgrade for the experience if nothing else

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Old 09-28-2011, 12:06 AM   #9
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I think everyone has made valid points... I typically boil about 75% of my water then top off. I think there are other things that you can do to get "better" beer then just doing full boils. I have accepted these facts...

1. you can top off with tap water. I've done it for two years with no problems (knock on wood)

2. I don't really care about hop utilization because the amount of hops I use per batch is pretty minimal. Plus, I buy in semi bulk fashion so make it even cheaper. At the most you maybe save about 20% of your bittering hops when performing full boils.

3. I don't want to pay nor worry about propane.

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Old 09-28-2011, 12:07 AM   #10
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I've made plenty of fine tasting IIPA's only boiling 4 gallons. It sounds like I'm kinda in between partial and full boils though

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