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Old 04-30-2014, 03:33 PM   #1
bernardsmith
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Default Two questions about no-chill method brewing.

Total beginner beer maker. Have been doing some reading about the no-chill method and so here is my first question: Assuming that no chill works for small batches (say 5 gallons), many of the basic recipes suggest that the DME and any specialty grains are boiled and brewed in 2- 3 gallons of water, the additional water being added to the fermenter cold. Does that mean that I can usefully buy a small container of about 3 gallons to accept the boiled wort? Why do brewers refer to 5 and 6 gallon containers? Would mixing the now cool wort with the remainder of the water create a problem before I pitch the yeast?

The other question is this: My understanding is that the isomerization of hops is inhibited in higher gravity wort. Does this mean that it makes more sense to boil the hops in the water I am not going to use to steep the grains or boil the malt? Does it mean that despite the recipes I should be boiling my hops in 5 gallons of the wort rather than the 3 (and so I need to buy myself a 6 gallon kettle)?
Thanks

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Old 04-30-2014, 03:40 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by bernardsmith View Post
Total beginner beer maker. Have been doing some reading about the no-chill method and so here is my first question: Assuming that no chill works for small batches (say 5 gallons), many of the basic recipes suggest that the DME and any specialty grains are boiled and brewed in 2- 3 gallons of water, the additional water being added to the fermenter cold. Does that mean that I can usefully buy a small container of about 3 gallons to accept the boiled wort? Why do brewers refer to 5 and 6 gallon containers? Would mixing the now cool wort with the remainder of the water create a problem before I pitch the yeast?



The other question is this: My understanding is that the isomerization of hops is inhibited in higher gravity wort. Does this mean that it makes more sense to boil the hops in the water I am not going to use to steep the grains or boil the malt? Does it mean that despite the recipes I should be boiling my hops in 5 gallons of the wort rather than the 3 (and so I need to buy myself a 6 gallon kettle)?

Thanks

For a 5 gallon batch, you need more than a 5 gallon vessel (to account for krausen).

Regarding hops utilization - couple things.

First, my understanding is that you need some sugar in the water to get good utilization. However, some have posted good results my boiling in plain water. I've never tried.

Second, I have always heard that gravity affects utilization. I have also heard that it is a myth and while it may have some effect, it is greatly exaggerated and the mechanism is not understood. I don't know where I stand on this one...

Finally, I do believe that there is point of saturation of hop oils in wort at around 90-100IBU. So if you put a bunch of hops in 2.5 gallons and get the IBUs to 100, then dilute to 5 gallons you will have 50 IBU. This is true, even if you put in enough hops to have 5 gallons of 100 IBU beer. That is the best reason (in my mind) to do full boils.
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:26 PM   #3
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You may be able to leave it in the pot to cool, or pour it into the fermentor. You can also pre-cool the top-off water which makes it so you don't have to cool the wort as much. If you mix 2.5 gal of wort at 105F and 2.5 gal of water at 35F the result will be 5 gal of 70F wort (or close to it).

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Old 04-30-2014, 04:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by freisste View Post
For a 5 gallon batch, you need more than a 5 gallon vessel (to account for krausen).

Regarding hops utilization - couple things.

First, my understanding is that you need some sugar in the water to get good utilization. However, some have posted good results my boiling in plain water. I've never tried.

Second, I have always heard that gravity affects utilization. I have also heard that it is a myth and while it may have some effect, it is greatly exaggerated and the mechanism is not understood. I don't know where I stand on this one...

Finally, I do believe that there is point of saturation of hop oils in wort at around 90-100IBU. So if you put a bunch of hops in 2.5 gallons and get the IBUs to 100, then dilute to 5 gallons you will have 50 IBU. This is true, even if you put in enough hops to have 5 gallons of 100 IBU beer. That is the best reason (in my mind) to do full boils.
No myth. The higher the gravity the lower the hop utilization. There are many books out there with charts and explanations. You boil a concentrated wort, you need to add more hops to compensate. If you brew a high gravity beer, more hops are required to get the IBU target you want.

I put the equations on my site

http://www.thegreatmaibockaddict.com...ulations.shtml
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:00 PM   #5
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THis is all very useful. Thanks. Freisste - You wrote, "For a 5 gallon batch, you need more than a 5 gallon vessel (to account for krausen)." . I do understand the need for a larger than 5 gallon fermenter but the idea was to take the boiling wort and allow it to cool overnight rather than force the temperature to drop rapidly within 30 mins. And so pour the cool wort together with additional water into a fermenter with the pitched yeast. But Petrolspice's point about the drop in temperature that would likely result from the addition of chilled or near frozen water to the hot wort would make the need to chill the wort mechanically rather moot.

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Old 04-30-2014, 05:21 PM   #6
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THis is all very useful. Thanks. Freisste - You wrote, "For a 5 gallon batch, you need more than a 5 gallon vessel (to account for krausen)." . I do understand the need for a larger than 5 gallon fermenter but the idea was to take the boiling wort and allow it to cool overnight rather than force the temperature to drop rapidly within 30 mins. And so pour the cool wort together with additional water into a fermenter with the pitched yeast. But Petrolspice's point about the drop in temperature that would likely result from the addition of chilled or near frozen water to the hot wort would make the need to chill the wort mechanically rather moot.

Ah, I see. Sorry. Then yes, if you finish your boil with 3 gallons, you can cool it in a 3 gallon vessel. Then combine with cold water when it has sufficiently cooled.

Obviously, after that you need a larger vessel.
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