Originally Posted by nickolas388
thanks for all the info guys. i think im just going to keep it simple for now an ddo the brew on the stove top. what you guys are saying is that i cant do a 5 gallon batch with a 20quart pot? =( my local brew store said it would be okay if i just topped it off with some water. i already have the ingredients for a 5 gallon brown ale.
Most responses in this thread assume a full boil. I have a 7.5 gal SS pot and do partial boil and top off. I did my early batches with 2.5 gallons of water, then top off into the fermenter after cooling. That's similar to what your LHBW told you. I have drifted toward something more like 3.8 gallons. Only had 1 boil over, but it was a B&^%$ to clean up. Gotta get it before it hardens on the ceramic cooktop. It's however much wort your heating appliance can do in a resonable amount of time. I can heat to steeping temps in about 20 minutes, and to 200 in about 45 minutes. Never get a really strong rolling boil, so I will not go to full boil unless and until I get a burner. You need head space in your pot to give you time to react to boil overs. I've heard many brewers use fermcaps or baby gas-x to prevent boil overs, but I've never tried it so I don't know how effective it is or if it alters the flavor of the final product. You shouldn't boil 5 gallons in a 5 gallon pot. Also, if/when when you go to a burner, you need good ventilation. Combustion gives off carbon monoxide.