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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > lid on, less water, or immersion heater?
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:00 AM   #1
lknbigfish
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Default lid on, less water, or immersion heater?

with a 3 gallon partial boil, my burner can only get to 213 with the lid on, its a very light boil. with the lid off i can hover near 211/212 barely boiling. would i be better off cutting back to 2.5 gallons, leaving the lid on, or investing in an immersion heater. (i'm still in the kitchen and not ready to go propane)

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Old 01-19-2010, 01:39 AM   #2
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I assume you are doing extract? The reason for boiling extract batches is more for alpha acid extraction from the hops. Extract has already been mashed and boiled so it's not at all crucial to boil it. This article makes a lot of sense in not boiling the extract: http://baderbrewing.com/store/produc...cat=396&page=1. If I were you I would just boil as much water as you can to get a full rolling boil. You might consider adding a bit more hops to your batches because you will get less AA extraction due to having less water in the boil. When I used to do extract and I first read the above article and began following Bader's suggestions my beer improved quite a lot.

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Old 01-19-2010, 01:48 AM   #3
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So I re-read Bader's instructions and remembered one thing I changed after a few batches. I don't see any reason to add one cup of extract for the full length boil. I tried doing it that way and also just adding all the extract at the end to the same beers and there was no difference. Just steep your grain in 2.5 gallons then add your hops as directed by your recipe. Then add the extract at flame out. Make sure the spoon you use to stir has been sanitized. I think Bader also says to add your Irish Moss or Whirlfloc early on. You should not add this until the last 15 mins or so.

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Old 01-19-2010, 01:57 AM   #4
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thanks, that makes sense.

i have never used irish moss or whirlfloc, should i be, and what are they?

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Old 01-19-2010, 01:59 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by lknbigfish View Post
thanks, that makes sense.

i have never used irish moss or whirlfloc, should i be, and what are they?
They are both just clarifying agents added to the boil so the beer will turn out clearer when it finished. You don't have to use them and I have seen some extra kits come with Irish Moss (my mini mash kit came with a whirlfloc tablet). I don't think they are crucial to a beer, but they really help it come out clearer.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:43 AM   #6
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ok, if i do a late addition of the extract, the hop utilization will be 25% higher, and hop utilization is lower in a lower volume boil, would still need to reduce the hops?

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Old 01-19-2010, 02:53 AM   #7
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or could i shorten the hop boil time?

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Old 01-19-2010, 03:13 AM   #8
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I wouldn't worry about it too much. Just follow your recipes as they are and realize things might change a bit if you change your set up along the way. Just focus on sanitation and get that water to a full boil. Don't be afraid to experiment though, messing around and altering recipes or coming up with your own is a great way to learn. Just stay objective and strive to make better beer.

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Old 01-19-2010, 03:18 AM   #9
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check out this thread... http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/impr...tovetop-53683/

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