Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Can I collect wort in 2 different kettles, perform separate boils, and then combine?
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:30 AM   #1
gluttonoussloth
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Default Can I collect wort in 2 different kettles, perform separate boils, and then combine?

I'm new here, so forgive any mistakes or repeated questions, but basically here is my situation:

I boil in a 5 gallon capacity boil kettle on my stove top and usually collect 4 gallons of wort (pre-boil) and end up fermenting approximately 3 gallons.

I really want to end up fermenting 5 gallons (more beer is always good, and actually necessary in my case...my distribution list is too long and 3 gallons doesn't leave much for myself), but my stove does not have the power and my kettle doesn't have the capacity.

How would I go about brewing 5 gallon batches?

Could I:

1) Split wort evenly between (2) - 5 gallon boil kettles so that the OG is the same and perform 2 simultaneous boils and continue as usual until I combine the 2 batches prior to pitching? Any suggestions on how to collect the wort (alternating 1 gallon at a time?)?

2) I only have 1 immersion chiller, so I would obviously have to cool down one batch at a time...would this cause any problems (cold break?)?

Any comments, suggestions, or other anticipated problems I may encounter would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,

Paul


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Old 07-14-2011, 03:54 AM   #2
onthekeg
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Do it in 2 kettles for now and cool them the best you can. Sanitation of fermenters is more important anyway. Make beer and enjoy it, that is the best plan


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Old 07-14-2011, 03:56 AM   #3
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double post
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:01 AM   #4
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Just get a turkey fryer and save yourself all that trouble. It will boil 5gls much easier than trying to get 2 seperate ones going.
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:06 AM   #5
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I am a newb but what I did on my first boil was do a separate boil at the same time and doing hop additions to each at the same time with the proper amount for the volume being boiled. As the large 6 gallon pot reduced, I would add from the other pot until eventually it was all in one pot.

For my second batch I bought a 60qt pot! Now 10 gallon batches are within the realm of possibility!
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:10 AM   #6
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I do a split boil. Here is how it works... I mash in a cooler and collect my wort in my plastic bucket fermenter. That has about a 6.7 gal capacity. I collect about 6.5 gal to split between my pots. One holds 3.25 and the other 4.25. I put them on the stove at the same time, but the smaller one ALWAYS comes to a boil first. Start timing your hour boil for pot 1. Split your additions as closely as you can to match the volume in each pot. Make hops additions to pot 1. Pot 2 (the larger pot) usually comes to a boil 10-15 minutes after the first pot. This difference in my volume and thusly in the timing has worked beautifully for chilling since it takes around 15 minutes to chill each pot down to pitching range. Just make sure you have the counters cleaned off well. Once pot 1 is cool, I switch the chiller over to #2 and then auto-siphon/pour pot 1 into my fermenter. I wait to take my final OG until I have both batches in the fermenter then pitch. Just remember to sanitize your fermenter while the wort is boiling if you use the fermenter to collect your wort. You will lose a little bit more volume with a split boil so, either top up (if the gravity will allow) or try to account for that and collect a little extra wort. in the .25 gal-.5 gal range.

Good luck
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:35 AM   #7
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I have been doing separate boils just fine. I do it similar to how mcbethenstein does, except I boil the wort evenly in two identical pots, so they both boil at the same rate. I split the hop additions evenly between the two pots as well, and when the boil is complete, I combine the two pots and chill with one immersion chiller.
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:36 PM   #8
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I had to do a split boil on my last batch, as I accidentally overfilled my 3.5 Gallon pot. Actually, I had filled it with 3 gallons, but when I added the LME it raised the volume to 3.5 gallons so I was forced to draw off about a gallon and perform simultaneous boils. I certainly don't plan on making a habit out of this as it became a hassle to monitor both, but apart from being a pain, it didn't seem to cause any problems.
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:45 PM   #9
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Paul,
I use Extract kits (midwestsupplies.com).

I do the boil with 3 gallons, cool it, dump it in the fermentation pail, shake (rock hard) it for 45 seconds to aerate it. Then I add 2 gallons of refrigerated water that I boiled a week before to sterilize). With all teh foam, its a bit hard for me to judge 5 gallons, so I may be off a tad.

I end up with 5 gallons, despite having a smaller pot.
No need to boil with the full 5 gallons.
And I get fewer comments form my wife - "ITS HOT IN THE KITCHEN" :-(
than if I used tow burners
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:51 PM   #10
gluttonoussloth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbethenstein View Post
I do a split boil. Here is how it works... I mash in a cooler and collect my wort in my plastic bucket fermenter. That has about a 6.7 gal capacity. I collect about 6.5 gal to split between my pots. One holds 3.25 and the other 4.25. I put them on the stove at the same time, but the smaller one ALWAYS comes to a boil first. Start timing your hour boil for pot 1. Split your additions as closely as you can to match the volume in each pot. Make hops additions to pot 1. Pot 2 (the larger pot) usually comes to a boil 10-15 minutes after the first pot. This difference in my volume and thusly in the timing has worked beautifully for chilling since it takes around 15 minutes to chill each pot down to pitching range. Just make sure you have the counters cleaned off well. Once pot 1 is cool, I switch the chiller over to #2 and then auto-siphon/pour pot 1 into my fermenter. I wait to take my final OG until I have both batches in the fermenter then pitch. Just remember to sanitize your fermenter while the wort is boiling if you use the fermenter to collect your wort. You will lose a little bit more volume with a split boil so, either top up (if the gravity will allow) or try to account for that and collect a little extra wort. in the .25 gal-.5 gal range.

Good luck
Thanks mcbethenstein. I don't know why I never thought to use a fermentaiton bucket to collect the wort...this way I don't have to worry about the two boils' OG being the same to get equal hop utilization...it's just a simple task of pouring equal volumes into 2 kettles.


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