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Old 01-24-2010, 05:56 AM   #1
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Default I don't think full boils are for me

Did my first brew with my new larger kettle today... Unfortunately my stove could barely get it to a boil. It was bubbling, but not vigorously, and after the LME was added, couldn't get past 209 or so. First I had it on my one super burner, but I think the weight was too much and the flames didn't have enough room, as occasionally flames would shoot out the side. So i stradled two burners but that didn't do much good, and at that point I wasn't able to get the full flame of each burner anyway...

Combine that with the fact that carrying 5-6 gal of water in a pot is no fun, pouring it into the fermenter is tough, etc. I'm not sure that I'll be doing full boils that often. at least when I do partial boils now I won't worry about boiling over. Oh - for those of you about to suggest I get a turkey fryer, I don't have a space outdoors to do that.

I still ended up having to top off slightly under 1/2 gal, and I think that messed up my O.G. reading, which came out really light (1.042 vs expected of 1.048). I started with 6 gal water, after adding 6 2/3 lbs LME it read just under 7 gal, and at the end it looked to be close to 5 gal, but after leaving the solids behind, I still had to top off.

Oh, plus I think I put too much anise in (it's a belgian wit with a ton of spices in it). Hopefully that mellows out. I don't even really like anise, why did i put that in?

Good times.

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Old 01-24-2010, 06:00 AM   #2
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Check this thread. I'm going to do something similar on my next brew, you might want to think about giving it a whirl

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Old 01-24-2010, 06:03 AM   #3
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Figure out a way to mount a simple electric element in the kettle, and you're set. Lots of people can help you with that better than I.

You can do all grain now!

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Old 01-24-2010, 06:12 AM   #4
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I have wrapped my kettle in about 8 layers of aluminum foil before, it DRASTICLY increased my boil. I wrapped it all the way down so it was flush with the stovetop.

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Old 01-24-2010, 06:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WIP View Post
I have wrapped my kettle in about 8 layers of aluminum foil before, it DRASTICLY increased my boil. I wrapped it all the way down so it was flush with the stovetop.

If you plan on boiling on your stove, you need some supplemental heat or insulation like WIP does. It's all about delivering energy to your wort. Many use propane with a burner, but those that use electric tend to use an immersed element rather than an external one. Don't give up on full boils, just manage your energy delivery so that you get the BTUs to your liquid.
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Old 01-24-2010, 06:30 AM   #6
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Dude...just wrap the pot in several layers of aliminum foil....


Cheap, insulation, cheap...

The energy in the heating element is more than enough..the problem you are facing is the LOSS of energy..

You need to capture that loss...

Sorry I am drukn

heat is what it is..


you get out what you put in....less the loss via ...loss


think of heat and energy like cup full of water with holes in it...the more holes you can plug...the better off you are


Plug the holes, you get what you put in!!!!

Leave the holes leaking...you lose

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Old 01-24-2010, 12:19 PM   #7
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Do a search for "heatstick", build yourself one of those to help get that volume of water up to temps on your stove. Not nearly as elegant as a larger element mounted in your pot, but much easier.

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Old 01-24-2010, 12:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jigidyjim View Post
I still ended up having to top off slightly under 1/2 gal, and I think that messed up my O.G. reading, which came out really light (1.042 vs expected of 1.048). I started with 6 gal water, after adding 6 2/3 lbs LME it read just under 7 gal, and at the end it looked to be close to 5 gal, but after leaving the solids behind, I still had to top off.
I'm guessing this was a 60 minute boil. I don't think that you can loose 2 gallons in 60 minutes and not have an adequate boil. Check your thermometer and adjust for altitude. Should be fine!
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:36 PM   #9
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Maybe some of you experts can help me on this. Doing a full boil with an extract recipe has nothing to do with the extract, but the hops, right? So is it really necessary to have a vigorous, rolling boil to extract the alpha acids from the hops? Especially if you are doing a late addition of you LME or DME.

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Old 01-24-2010, 01:42 PM   #10
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I don't think anything is necessary, but I do think it helps out with the flavor of the beer. Just like with cooking there are a million different ways to do things, and everyone has their own methods/opinions. I just happen to be of the opinion that MY beer tastes better with a full boil. YMMV

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And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)
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