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Old 01-22-2008, 02:33 PM   #1
Jah
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Default first real brew

I just recieved my first real brew kit. I got the ahs belgian trippel extract kit. It says in the instruction to use either a 16 qt or 20 qt stock pot. I already have a stainless 16 qt. In my mind this seems to small for a 5 gallon batch. Can someone please tell me if it will be big enough or if i should get a 20 qt or even bigger? I know you add water to the wort once it is in the primary. I just dont know how much. I just dont want to have to worry about a boil over.


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Old 01-22-2008, 02:39 PM   #2
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16 qt. should be fine for a 2.5-3 gallon boil, but be sure to really watch it like a hawk when you get it close to the initial boil after adding the hops and extract. That point right after adding the ingredients and you're coming up on that first good rolling boil is the one where you're most likely to boil over. It's not like it's an explosion, and if you stand by with your stirring device you can keep everything well under control easily.

If you enjoy making the first batch, and you're pretty sure you're hooked, then by all means go get yourself a bigger pot. I've only got 3 beers, a wine and a batch of Apfelwein done so far, but I think I'll be doing this beermaking thing for a while now and I just found a nice 30qt pot and propane burner combo at Home Depot this last week. I already know that 30qt pot is too small, and will be replaced before 6 months is up...

Matt



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Old 01-22-2008, 02:44 PM   #3
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So what you saying is that for a 5 gallon batch my wort will only be 2.5-3 gallons. In the instructions it says to start with 2.5 gallons of water. I'm sure alot of it will evaporate. I'm just trying to figure out how much wort there will be after everything is added.

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Old 01-22-2008, 02:55 PM   #4
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You will be doing a "partial boil". This means that you'll cook all your ingredients into less water, and then adding the water in your fermenter to make it a 5 gallon batch. This is commonly referred to as topping off. If you take a specific gravity reading of your wort, after it has cooled some, on the stovetop you will proabably see that it is a much higher reading than the kit says it should be, this is because it's concentrated at this point and needs to be diluted. This is another reason you should always take your OG, Original Gravity, reading from your primary just prior to pitching the yeast, as this is when you will have the best actual reading.

The How To Brew website has a great description of all this, and you should read up on the whole procedure a few times to really understand what you'll be doing the first time you make beer. This page has a pretty nice example of the process, and should answer a bunch of questions.

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Old 01-22-2008, 03:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jah
So what you saying is that for a 5 gallon batch my wort will only be 2.5-3 gallons. In the instructions it says to start with 2.5 gallons of water. I'm sure alot of it will evaporate. I'm just trying to figure out how much wort there will be after everything is added.
Sorry, forgot to answer your question above. You will likely start with a 2.5 gallon boil, which will get larger in the pot with the addition of the Liquid Malt Extract (LME) from your kit. Depending on the kit this LME is probably in the 1/3 to 1/2 gallon amount, so you should be around 3 gallons in the pot when you really get cooking. After an hour's boiling time you'll probably lose anywhere from 1/2 to 1 gallon, so you should be transferring around 2 gallons to your fermenter, at which point you'll be adding around 3 gallons of water to make a 5 gallon batch.

Does that make sense? Sorry if I got a little "wordy"...

Matt
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Old 01-22-2008, 03:29 PM   #6
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thank you. that helps out a great deal.

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Old 01-22-2008, 03:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
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thank you. that helps out a great deal.

i'm in the process of getting my new kit and whatnot, and this helped me out alot as well.

thanks for the info ma2brew.

now back to reading my How To Brew book
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Old 01-22-2008, 04:14 PM   #8
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You're both welcome, and someday soon you'll answer the same questions for someone else! ;')



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