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Old 01-06-2014, 05:19 PM   #1
STL_Lucas
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Default Making Beer without a boil?

So for the most part all of my new equipment is great and my first all grain brewing session went according to plan with one minor exception. My wort didn't really boil.

I have a 10g tall boy kettle and a flat top electric stove and trying to boil 6.5 gallons of wort wasn't really possible. With the lid on the pot I was able to hit 212°F (in about 80 minutes from my 150° wort) and get a slow boil going but with the lid off of the pot the temp would drop to about 202° - 206°. I went ahead and continued through the brew day hoping for the best and added my 60 minute and 2 minute hop additions. I put the lid on a few times throughout to get the small boil going but would remove to try and get some evaportation as well.

The question is do you think I was able to get anything out of my hops at a 204° non-boil? My OG was perfect, had a small small hot break, and it is fermenting away. Just not sure what to expect. Thanks!

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Old 01-06-2014, 05:34 PM   #2
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I had the same issue. What I did was split the boil into two smaller pots. I can get a somewhat rolling boil that way. I split the hops, chill the pots in my double sink, and pour them into the carboy. Works fine!

I'm sure your beer will be OK. The boil serves two purposes - to extract the bitterness from the hops, and to drive off DMS (di-methyl-somethingorother) which can cause off-flavors. Nothing you can do at this point but to let it ride.

Cheers!

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Old 01-06-2014, 06:06 PM   #3
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I'm not very educated on the DMS but I was worried about the hop utilization. Do you still extract some of the bitterness at the high temps but without the boil? I guess for now I'm going to need another pot and have to do the two pot boil just sucks cause I got a bad ass pot for doing full boils!

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Old 01-06-2014, 06:59 PM   #4
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Man if you have the big pot I would buy a turkey fryer burner(propane). Then you can still do full boils and not have to split.

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Old 01-06-2014, 09:48 PM   #5
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Something else you can do is do a smaller boil, say 3 gallons or so, then add top off water afterwards to equal your final volume/meet your OG.

I can only bring 3.5 gallons to a rolling boil on my stove. So the night before, I prep a top off batch of water by boiling about 4 gallons to remove chlorine and sanitize my tap water. I put it in sterilized gallon milk jugs. I chill it too, because I use it to help my wort cool to pitching temp.

I brew as I normally would in that 3.5 gallons, chill by adding some of the water to the kettle, drop the temp to ~85F, transfer to my primary and then top off.

Take into consideration that you need to mix thoroughly after topping off otherwise it might throw off your OG readings.

It will make it easier so you don't have to split your ingredients.

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Old 01-06-2014, 10:07 PM   #6
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Unfortunately I live in a condo and have nowhere to use a propane burner. That definitely would have been my first option if I could but don't think I can hangout on the sidewalk downtown with a burner on the sidewalk!

As for the top off I'm not sure how that would work with all grain. I need the full volume for the mash/sparge so topping off probably isn't a good option. I guess I either need to split and do two boils or I need to find another electric heating element or something to use instead. Definitely up for any other solutions out there. Seems like the real issues isn't even the large volume of water but my pot is extremely thick on the bottom and I just don't think enough heat is getting through.

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Old 01-07-2014, 01:35 AM   #7
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Sorry I misread. Didn't realize you were doing an all grain. Makes it a bit difficult to make a good beer when you top off.

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Old 01-07-2014, 01:46 AM   #8
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DMS is some nasty stuff it leaves a cream of corn smell and tastes like corn as well. If you brewed a lighter ale it will be more prominent then in a darker beer(due to amount of SMM in low SRM malts). Look into using a heating element there are some builds on HBT.

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Old 01-07-2014, 02:05 AM   #9
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Search "heat stick" on the forum here (more or less electric water heater elements sealed water tight in some pipe), or venture over into the Electric Brewing section of the forum. I'm using heat sticks at the moment, and they get the job done easily on regular kitchen outlets (I run two 1500W sticks, each on their own 120V, 20A circuit). With those two sticks, I can get a good rolling boil on 7 gallons without even needing the stove (almost to the point of too strong a boil). I'd eventually like to go bigger with an e-brewery.

Split boil as indicated above will work too.

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Old 01-07-2014, 02:19 AM   #10
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I edited. My previous post was long

I've considered doing a high gravity all grain and using very cold top off water to chill it.

Not sure what would be wrong with that

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