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Old 12-10-2008, 08:53 PM   #1
Jaha35
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Default Question about full boil vs. partial boil with kits

Well, I finally got off my lazy butt and started home brewing. I had been meaning to get into this for years. So I bought everything I needed to do full boils and off I went. I started out with an Irish Red Ale kit from More Beer and used a 9 gal brew pot to do a full 5 gallon boil (6 gallons reduced to 5 gallons of wort after 1 hour boil). I have read that doing full boils are safer and produce better results than partials so I went that way and the process was easy. Naturally though I am hooked and want to brew two batches at a time. My Irish Red will be ready for bottling this weekend but I went out and bought another primary fermenter anyway (1 6 Gal carboy and 1 bucket yay!). My carby is slated to get a nice German Altbier and for the new bucket I just grabbed a Cooper's Bitter Extract can.

Now here's my question. For the Altbier I know a full boil is the way to go but with the Cooper's kit I have read the instructions and even watched a video online a couple weeks ago and everyone seems to do partials with them.

Can I do a full 5 or 6 gallon boil with a kit of this type or is it better to do a 2 or 3 gal boil and add cold water later?

Is there any risk of deviating from the instructions in this way?

Sorry for the newb questions but this site is great and I appreciate any and all responses.

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Old 12-10-2008, 09:45 PM   #2
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It changes the amount of hops that you need to use to get the same result. Full boils require less hops than partial boils because since you are boiling all the water with the hops you get much better hop utilization. I believe that's the only difference though. Just make sure you aerate the wort well before pitching the yeast.

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Old 12-10-2008, 10:42 PM   #3
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Cooper's Bitter is pre-hopped. So, if you do a full boil, the brew will be more bitter than intended. Since Cooper's tends to shoot for the middle of the IBU range, doing a full boil will put it at the top of the range for the style. We're talking 40+ IBU vs 30.

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Old 12-10-2008, 10:54 PM   #4
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Looks like I'll do a partial boil. that actually works out because I can brew indoors that way and it is darn cold out there lately! ;-)

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Primary 1: empty <=== How sad...
Primary 2: empty
Secondary: Otter's Altbier
Bottle Conditioning: Dovey's Broody Bitter Ale
Drinking: Monty's Irish Red Ale (MY FIRST HOME BREW!!!), Jaha's Root Beer
On Deck: Fuller's London Pride Clone, Newcastle Clone

Happy Holidays to all at HBT!!! Thanks for all the help. I have learned more from the great people on this forum than in any book or instruction manual!

"Life's too short to drink Domestic."

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Old 04-29-2009, 08:30 PM   #5
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Ok. I have a follow up question. How to do you figure out the hop utilization if you have a kit meant for a small vol (say 3 gal) and you do a full five gallon boil? Thanks.

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Old 04-29-2009, 10:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDragon View Post
Ok. I have a follow up question. How to do you figure out the hop utilization if you have a kit meant for a small vol (say 3 gal) and you do a full five gallon boil? Thanks.
It's not huge. Maybe on the order to 10-15%. I typically just lessen the bittering hops by about 10%, and add the left overs to the aroma stage.
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