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Old 05-19-2011, 07:26 PM   #1
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Default How are pre-boil levels determined?

This is a question that's got me spinning a bit. I'm totally right-brained. Anyways, what's a comfortable level of pre-boil water for a 5 gallon batch?

I understand you can take OGs of the wort post-sparge to figure out if you're on target, but how much excess water do you want to compensate for your boil?

Thanks!

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Old 05-19-2011, 07:29 PM   #2
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It takes experience with your system. Boil-off depends on temperature, humidity, vessel size and shape, etc.

Do a boil test with your current setup and see how much volume you lose after an hour.

With my old kettle, I lost maybe a gallon after an hour. Haven't done my boil test with my new keggle, though.

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Old 05-19-2011, 07:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by JoePro View Post
This is a question that's got me spinning a bit. I'm totally right-brained. Anyways, what's a comfortable level of pre-boil water for a 5 gallon batch?

Thanks!
If shooting for a volume target then shoot for 6.25 - 6.5 gallons. You want hit 5.25 gallons in your fermenter to end up with 5 gallons of beer.

You can determine your boil off volume by boiling for 15 minutes and multiply the loss by 4.
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:42 PM   #4
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You can determine your boil off volume by boiling for 15 minutes and multiply the loss by 4.
Bah. Fie you and your "maths" nonsense.
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:42 PM   #5
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You both have my thanks. So accounting for the grain soaking up a great deal of liquid, how many gallons of water total should I be looking at in terms of preparation. 8.5?

I remember reading somewhere there's a rule that for x amount of grain you want to use y amount of water. Anyone know this off the top of their heads? And does this take into account pre-boil level?

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Old 05-19-2011, 07:48 PM   #6
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Go download some brewing software like BrewTarget (Free) or some of th eother s(not free).

They'll help you with those calculations, and much more.

You start with your yield, then add for boil-off, then add for grain absorbtion. You'll also want to figure hot much loss you get due to spillage, liquid left in hoses, at the bottoms of your vessles, etc.

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Old 05-19-2011, 07:53 PM   #7
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Beersmith works great for this too, and it will store your boil off rate for your system so that you can scale recipes up or down and still know how much you need.

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Old 05-20-2011, 12:58 PM   #8
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Awesome advice, guys! Thank you so much!

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