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Old 01-21-2009, 01:48 AM   #1
Jersh
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Default Volume too large for kettle...

Hey everyone, after a couple brews and several test boils I've been able to dial in my boil-off rate, volume lost to trub, brewhouse effeciency, dead space in MLT, etc so that I think Beersmith is giving me pretty good numbers to go by.
I'm planning to try a recipe for a Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout clone, and it calls for a 90 minute boil which bumps me up to a boil volume of 7.71 gallons. My brew kettle is 8 gallons so I don't feel comfortable pushing it this close to the brim. Would it be a bad idea for me to start of with a more comfortable volume of ~7.25 gallons, and then after some boils off, add another 2 quarts of boiling water? Will the slightly lower starting volume lead to over-utilization of the hops? Here is the recipe:


8 lbs. - 2 Row Pale Malt
1 lb. - Flaked Oats
1/2 lb. - Crystal Malt (60L)
1/2 lb. - Chocolate Malt
1/4 lb. - Roasted Barley

1.75 oz. - East Kent Goldings - 90 min.


White Labs Irish Ale Yeast (WLP004) - 1800 ml starter

Mash at 151° for 60 min.
Sparge as usual
Boil for 90 minutes

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Old 01-21-2009, 01:53 AM   #2
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Do you have another pot that can hold an excess? You can start as two things being boild, then combine when you have room

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Old 01-21-2009, 01:58 AM   #3
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Yeah I have one of those cheap speckled enamel 5 gallon stock-pots that I use to heat my sparge water with. I would prefer to not have to transfer that large of volume though, because I'd have to mix all in my big pot first and then transfer 1/2 to the other pot, then boil for a bit, than transfer it back together into the bit pot... More of a PITA than it's worth in my opinion.

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Old 01-21-2009, 02:00 AM   #4
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You don't have to split it evenly - just a gallon or two in one pot should be ok.

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Old 01-21-2009, 02:03 AM   #5
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I have a smaller pot that I put on the stove and it boils separately and I will add it to the larger pot at about the 30 minute mark. I just use it for the excess wort which is about 2-3 quarts.

I don't see what you would gain by adding more water when you are boiling off water. It seems it would just dilute your beer. If you haven't tried foam control drops I would recommend them, they work well in a full pot situation like yours.

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Old 01-21-2009, 02:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blender View Post
I have a smaller pot that I put on the stove and it boils separately and I will add it to the larger pot at about the 30 minute mark. I just use it for the excess wort which is about 2-3 quarts.

I don't see what you would gain by adding more water when you are boiling off water. It seems it would just dilute your beer. If you haven't tried foam control drops I would recommend them, they work well in a full pot situation like yours.
Thanks for the input. Do you add a small portion of your hops to the smaller pot while boiling? I guess that's my main concern, hops utilization that is....
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Old 01-21-2009, 02:19 AM   #7
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Thanks for the input. Do you add a small portion of your hops to the smaller pot while boiling? I guess that's my main concern, hops utilization that is....
No I just boil it down to reduce it as the larger pot is going. I don't think the small volume you mention will hurt your utilization all that much if at all noticeable. I was a bit leary on the foam control at first but I can fill my 8 gallon pot to at least 7.5 and it does not foam over. It really is great stuff for boilovers. 3-4 drops is all I use.

If you have any left it isn't bad for starters either which can be a side benefit.
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