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Old 12-29-2013, 03:05 PM   #1
medic699
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Default Is my pot big enough?

I acquired a big (already seasoned) aluminum stock pot for 5 dollars. I know the aluminum / SS argument already. Lol. Moving up from my Mr. Beer kit to BIAB 5 gallon kits. Also looking into the future for all grain batches. I never had to do a true boil before. Ki filled the pot with 5.5 and 6 gallons of water. I'm a little concerned with the level of the water preboil. I've heard the boil over horror stories. I was wondering if this pot was big enough to do 5 gallon batches. Pictures below. First is 5.5 gallons and second is 6 gallons. Thanks for the help. imageuploadedbyhome-brew1388333143.048967.jpgimageuploadedbyhome-brew1388333154.448586.jpg

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Old 12-29-2013, 03:11 PM   #2
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sure thing, it's big enough to boil full 5 gallon batches, something that can help is something called Fermcap - I haven't used it but I've heard good things.

even without fermcap you can use a spray bottle full of water to keep boil overs under control in conjunction with a spoon

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Old 12-29-2013, 03:14 PM   #3
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Agreed on the fermcap and spray bottle. You shouldn't leave a brew unattended regardless, but you'll have to watch it. It is just barely big enough.

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Old 12-29-2013, 03:15 PM   #4
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I would not try it with that little room, knowing how much hot brake or foaming I get when doing hop additions to my wort...

If I tried that in your pot set up..I'd have wort all over the place...

If it works for others, great...... just not worth the hassle to me.. your milage may vary

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Old 12-29-2013, 03:25 PM   #5
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Ok, part two. If I do a 5 gallon boil and end up with 4 gallons after boil off, if the O.G. Allows me, is there an issue with adding water to bring the volume back up to 5 gallons when racking into the fermenter?

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Old 12-29-2013, 03:45 PM   #6
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That is a pretty common practice known as "partial boil".

However you are talking about BIAB, which means you'd have to make adjustments to the recipe to compensate. You cannot just save 1 gallon of sparge water from a recipe for topping off and have it taste the same. Your gravity during the boil will be different, which means you will have to adjust hops additions at the very least. And, I'm not necessarily convinced that even 5 gallons of preboil wort will fit in there once you account for the fact that you also need to fit in ~10lbs (or more) of grain, plus whatever water you'll lose to absorption, plus the fact that the photo was presumably of room-temperature water and does not account for thermal expansion.

What I would do personally, if I wanted to use that pot, would be to scale the recipes down to, say, 3 to 3.5 gallons post boil. That will also help with the fact that you are trying to do this on a kitchen stovetop (believe me, I've been there, done that with BIAB) and you are very likely to have trouble getting to and maintaining a solid boil on the larger volumes.

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Old 12-29-2013, 04:04 PM   #7
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It's not ideal for a boil, but it will work. BIAB mashing for 5 gallon will be tough though. I just did a 5 gallon batch in my 9 gallon and the water level was pretty tight (had to scrub the caramelized liquid off the stove post boil).

Then again I hit 1.074 OG, so a little less grain and water and you might be ok. Just do smaller high gravity batches.

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Old 12-29-2013, 04:43 PM   #8
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I have a 7.5 gallon brew pot. Here is what I did for my first 5 gallon BIAB batch. I do a mash out with no additional sparge. I also use Brewer's Friend to calculate my recipes to account for the lower amount of water for hop utilization.

Farm House Saison Ale
(Recipe Upscaled from Emma Christensen's book True Brews)

9lb Pilsner Malt
0.75lb Malted Wheat
0.75lb German Dark Munich

1.5oz Palisade Hops 60 Minutes
0.25oz Sorachi Ace 20 Minutes
0.25oz Sorachi Ace 1 Minute

90 Minute Boil

Yeast:
Wyeast 3711
WLP 568
(I did not have time to make a starter so decided to pitch two yeasts)

Mash at 150 for 60 minutes.

I placed a metal trivet in the bottom of my kettle and then placed my brew bag in the pot. I use the paint strainer bags from Home Depot. Filled the kettle with 5.5 gallons of water. Brought the water up to strike temperature and then poured in grains and stirred to stir up grains and to get to mash temperature of 150. With 5.5 gallons and 10.5lbs of grains I had about 3/4" of head space left. Put lid on pot and covered lid with a folded up towel. When temperature dropped below 150, I heated up the pot and stirred. Only a little heat is needed as there is a lag to heat up the water and stirring it up to distribute the heat. If you leave burner on too long or have the burner on high you will suddenly see the temperature rise and keep rising. When mashing was finished I turned on the burner and brought the temperature up to 170 to mash out. I held it at 170 for 10 minutes while stirring continuously. Then I pulled out the grain bag placed it in a colander over a second pot. I then used a pot lid to squeeze the grain bag. After about 10 minutes I added what drained from the grain bag back into the pot. I ended up with a pre-boil volume of 4.75 gallons at 1.062 (84% Efficiency). I then did my 90 minute boil with adding hops at 60, 20 and 1 minute. With a 90 minute boil I lost about 1 gallon. I then cooled the wort, added to fermenter and topped off to 5 gallons. My OG of the 5 gallons was 1.055. This equated to 71% brewhouse efficiency. When setting up the recipe I used 70% Efficiency. Held temperature at 70 degrees and it finished out at 1.009 in 5 days. 6% ABV. I'm very happy how this beer turned out.

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Old 12-29-2013, 05:23 PM   #9
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I am going to do a Vienna Lager kit from Brewers Best. It's a BIAB kit that says I can boil with as little as 2.5 gallons. It says to add water to the fermenter to equal 5 gallons. It says if you can use more water for the steeping, go for it. I plan on using 3.5 gallons for the steeping and the boil and adding probably 2.5 gallons after the boil to equal 5 gallons. If the O.G. allows it. Does this sound right? I also have learned that I am going to need a bigger pot and a propane burner to do 5 or more gallon boils. As you probably already knew, 3 hours on my stove and still no boil with 5.5 gallons of water from room temp. Lol. Lots learned today.

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Old 12-29-2013, 05:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medic699 View Post
I am going to do a Vienna Lager kit from Brewers Best. It's a BIAB kit that says I can boil with as little as 2.5 gallons. It says to add water to the fermenter to equal 5 gallons. It says if you can use more water for the steeping, go for it. I plan on using 3.5 gallons for the steeping and the boil and adding probably 2.5 gallons after the boil to equal 5 gallons. If the O.G. allows it. Does this sound right? I also have learned that I am going to need a bigger pot and a propane burner to do 5 or more gallon boils. As you probably already knew, 3 hours on my stove and still no boil with 5.5 gallons of water from room temp. Lol. Lots learned today.
Steeping is different than BIAB mashing. It looks like the Brewers Best Vienna is an Extract with Grains. With an extract with grains you steep the grains to add flavor and color to the beer. The fermentable sugars are coming from the Liquid or Dry malt extract that is included with the kit. These kits are designed to boil 2.5 to 3 gallons and top off with 5 gallons in the fermenter.
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