I currently boil in 2 pots because I am cheap and didn't want to buy a large pot and a gas stove. However, about 6 months ago I splurged and got what I needed to get off of the electric gas stove. Unfortunately, I didn't ask my apartment management until after I got the stuff whether or not they allowed gas stoves on the porch and they told me it's against code. As such, I kept with the same 2 pot boil method.
Last night, I did a boil test with my large pot and plain water and discovered 2 things. First, my tap water is almost hot enough that I could mash with it (144F)
. And second, I actually can get it to a boil on my stove if I put it on two burners. It took almost 45 minutes to get it to a boil (I lost about a half liter during this stage), but once there I boiled off about a gallon of water in 60 minutes. Now, the boil wasn't as strong as it has been in the 2 pot system where the boils have been frothing and insane, but it was moving even though the very center was relatively smooth (kind of looked like an small eddy).
Now for my questions:
1) How much boil off is considered the minimum to avoid things like DMS? Would a half gallon be enough, or is 2 gallons more in line with what's needed?
2) Does the boil above sound like it will be good, or should I just stick with my current 2 pot system?
3) Is this a good test of what will happen when I actually brew? I would assume the added sugar won't affect the ability or rigor of the boil much if at all.
4) Any other thoughts?