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Old 08-06-2012, 09:01 AM   #1
May 2012
Posts: 4

Hey there. I'm relatively new to brewing. I've made some mead and a couple of batches of extract beer, but I'm slowly trying to improve the quality of my ales by steeping grains and better temperature control. My question is that I'm brewing with limited space in my kitchen and using 5 Gallon carboy/bucket. Most recipes call for a 6 gallon pot for boiling the wort (obviously to reduce the liquid down to 5). But my pot however is about 3 gallons. Is it possible to boil the wort in a condensed form and then add cold water once i transfer it to the fermenting bucket (to make it 5 gallons and bring it down to it's intended gravity)?

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Old 08-06-2012, 10:41 AM   #2
Nov 2011
Nevada, MO
Posts: 245
Liked 11 Times on 11 Posts

You can and you will make good beer, but the best way is to do a full boil of 5 gallons. The more condensed the boil, the less hop oils will dissolve and your beer will come out darker. This is what I would do: boil as much as you can with about a 1/4 of your extract and follow your normal hop schedule. Then cool and put in your fermentor. Measure how much wort you have, then boil your remaining extract with enough water to top off your fermentor to 5 gallons. Remember to figure in for boil off. Boil it for 15 minutes to sterilize. Cool and add to the fermentor.

This takes a little longer but you will make better beer. And don't worry if you don't hit your intended gravity, as long as your close you will be fine.
Beer is proof god loves us and wants us to be happy-Franklin

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Old 08-06-2012, 10:47 AM   #3
mikeysab's Avatar
Aug 2009
staten island
Posts: 4,505
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Do a search for "partial boil". Theres a lot of info spread over a lot of threads. Also keep in mind with any fermenting vessel, you'll need a little room for krausen, usually a gallon or two. So you can't fill a bucket to the rim without having a mess. 6.5 gallon buckets are good for 5 gallon batches, ime.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:04 AM   #4
Registered User
Jul 2012
Bronx, NY
Posts: 160
Liked 17 Times on 15 Posts

I live in NYC and a condo. I feel your pain. Steep small and brew big. I started out with a 5 gal carboy and brew pot. I didn't do the above and my first brew came out amazing ! Next batch I'm going to try and only use 1/4 of the LME and add the rest at the end. I have since added a 6.5 gal ferm bucket to my gear. For fast turn around beers "4 weeks" I'll opt for the bucket. Anything longer I'll use the glass carboy.

Outside of sanitation . Good yest and temp control is key.

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Old 08-06-2012, 12:04 PM   #5
Oct 2010
Stowe, Pa, Pennsylvannia
Posts: 460
Liked 14 Times on 13 Posts

Even stepping up to a 5 gallon pot and doing partial mash brews will increase the quality of the brews you are producing or allow you to do smallet all grain batches. I did both of those on an electric stove for 2 years. You can get rid of the glass carboy and go better bottle with smaller batches (much safer). Either way, limited space should not stop you from making quality beer. I am working on mini kegging, space is a speed bump not a stop sign.
Bill from Pa

On Deck: Irish Stout,
Primary: Pumpkin Ale
Secondary: Empty
Completed: Red, Wit and Blue, Irish Stout, Red Ale, German Style Amber Lager, All Grain Brews: Irish Red Ale, American Stout, Honey Weizen

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Old 08-13-2012, 05:51 PM   #6
May 2012
Posts: 4

Great thanks for the tips!

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Old 08-13-2012, 07:44 PM   #7
Mar 2012
spokane, wa
Posts: 1,971
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5 gallon SS pots are the biggest of the cheap easily available pots. your still doing partial boils but you can keep increasing it until your stove maxes out. 3-4 gallon boils will improve your results over the 3 gallon pot

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