Making a 3 gal wort and topping with 2 gal boiled water; difference in taste? - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Making a 3 gal wort and topping with 2 gal boiled water; difference in taste?

Thread Tools
Old 10-29-2009, 10:15 PM   #1
MonkeyWrench's Avatar
Oct 2009
Republic of Cascadia
Posts: 346
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

So I'm looking at boiling pots for my 5 gal system. I've read you can boil 2 gallons ahead of time (like the night before) and let it cool, and boil 3.5 gallons for the wort at brew time. Then use the 2 gallons to help cool the wort down when done to bring the total volume up to 5 gallons total.

Is there any difference in taste with this method since the hops don't steep in all of the water? Would you get better taste by doing it all at once?

My Mom has a 21.5 quart canning pot that is free for me to use (good since I've spend lots of $ so far getting everything together). I'd have to only boil the 3.5 gal in it, but if the taste is going to suffer, I'll consider getting a larger one instead.


Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2009, 10:30 PM   #2
Oct 2009
Sagle, ID
Posts: 8

I'm led to believe that boiling the whole wort is better, but you can definitely brew fine with a smaller wort.

My first brew was from a kit that had me make 1-1.5 gallons of wort and then add enough water to that to bring it up to 5 gallons. I haven't had a chance to taste it yet but it certainly isn't short of colour and odor... it's very dark and very hoppy. =)
Something witty and thought provoking.

Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2009, 12:33 PM   #3
pilotdane's Avatar
May 2009
Roxboro, NC
Posts: 330
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

I use a 5 gallon Rubbermaid cooler and 6 gallon turkey fryer pots. They are a bit small for 5 gallon batches but it works. On Brew day I often boil up an extra gallon or two of water in a covered pot and I set it in plastic tote full of ice water to cool. If I miss my volume I top off the fermentor with my sterilized & cooled water. You can boil the extra water the night before but I am hesitant about letting it go too long between sterilizing and use. Even if you leave the lid on as the pot cools the air inside will contract and draw air in around the lid so there is a very, very minor possibility of contamination. But even if the water is contaminated there is nothing for any bacteria or wild yeasts to eat so their numbers should be very low and your brewing yeast should easily kick their butt.

Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2009, 01:59 PM   #4
Jul 2009
Savannah, GA, US
Posts: 294
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

What you are talking about is doing a "partial boil", and then "topping off".

Partial boils are fine, and many brewers with limited space (such as myself) and on electric stoves (such as myself) do them often. If the recipe calls for a full boil, then you may need to adjust your hops slightly (beer calculus at can help with that).

Other than that, do a search for the terms above, or go to the HBT WIKi - tons of information there that often gets overlooked.
Furry Friend Brewery

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Boiled using a 2 gallon wort... :/ size Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 8 04-09-2009 07:54 PM
Has anyone ever boiled wort on their gas grill? Mogref Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 12 02-12-2009 07:11 PM
can i top up with boiled water? Opherman47 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 8 12-29-2008 08:26 PM
Am I making a mistake by topping up during boil?? mangine77 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 2 11-06-2008 03:31 PM
Fitering the boiled wort delboy General Techniques 1 02-22-2007 09:52 PM

Forum Jump