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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Largest boil in a 5 gallon pot without a boil over?
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:58 AM   #1
brewinginct
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Default Largest boil in a 5 gallon pot without a boil over?

What is the largest amount of wort that you would recommend boiling in a 5 gallon pot? I'm brewing on a glass top stove so my biggest concern is boil over, I need to avoid that at all costs.

Is 3.5 gallons the most I can safely do without really risking boiling over or is that too much? The recipe I based my recipe off of said to use 4.5 gallons but I feel like that would almost guarantee a boil over.

Also, what difference in taste would there be between doing a 3.5 gallon boil vs. a 4.5 gallon boil? If it's the same difference then I might as well play it safe with a 3.5 gallon boil.


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Old 08-22-2010, 06:40 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewinginct View Post
What is the largest amount of wort that you would recommend boiling in a 5 gallon pot? I'm brewing on a glass top stove so my biggest concern is boil over, I need to avoid that at all costs.

Is 3.5 gallons the most I can safely do without really risking boiling over or is that too much? The recipe I based my recipe off of said to use 4.5 gallons but I feel like that would almost guarantee a boil over.

Also, what difference in taste would there be between doing a 3.5 gallon boil vs. a 4.5 gallon boil? If it's the same difference then I might as well play it safe with a 3.5 gallon boil.
I've seen 7 gallons of wort boil over in a 13 gallon kettle. It isn't really possible to avoid boil overs by reducing volume. Sure, it might make it easier to control, but in the end you just have to watch it.

As for the effects... less water means more potential caramelization. Also, hop utilization will change with volume and wort gravity.

All in all, I'd say stick with the 3.5 gallon boil. It is just safer for you at the time.


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Old 08-22-2010, 06:56 AM   #3
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Try some Fermcap-S. If you use that you can get 4.5 gallons in there and still control the boil pretty well.

As to 3.5 vs 4.5 it can make a pretty big difference because it will change the amount of alpha acids you extract from the hops during the boil.

smaller boil volume -> higher gravity boil -> lower extraction -> lower bitterness
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:43 AM   #4
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I recently stepped up my batch size and now boil 8 gals in a pot within 3/4 inch of the top by using fermcap. That stuff really works. http://www.midwestsupplies.com/catal...t/?q=Fermcap-S

Once I get the boil comfortably going, I feel confident to let it do its thing while I do other things (like clean out my MLT)
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:01 AM   #5
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your recipe will make a big difference too. Hop additions will tend to give you a short term potential for boil over...... you could get more aggressive with a simple kolsch than say an ipa.

fermcap really works.... also a small fan blowing on the wort does wonders. with a big batch ipa, i will often use both.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:40 AM   #6
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Try doing a "dry" run with just water. (I know i said dry water) Odds are if you're on a flat glass top you may never reach a boil with almost 5 gallons of water and I would hate for your brew day to be ruined or take 2 hours to realize it will never reach boil.
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:26 PM   #7
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I have been boiling 3.5 gal , no boilover yet, buy a bottle of fermcap-s
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:54 PM   #8
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I've done a 5 gallon boil in a 22qt pot (5 1/2 gal) with no boil over. However it does get pretty close if you are using any DME.


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