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Old 03-11-2013, 03:32 AM   #1
mazzstar26
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Mar 2013
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I am new to brewing and many of the beers that I want to start making are based on clone recipes. I would like to understand and get a better grasp of the process and effect that individual ingredients have on a beer and I figure that trying to replicate some of my favorite craft beers is a good place to start. I just picked up all the ingredients to do a Two-Hearted Ale clone and when reading the recipe it states that I need to steep the crushed grains at 152 for 45 minutes in 1.2 gallons of water. My question is that after I steep the grains and I'm ready to bring it to a boil, do I add more water then and how much? I've noticed some people that are brewing extract boil lower volumes of wort (IE 3 gallons for a 5 gallon batch) and then add water when going into primary. I have also noticed that some people prefer to do a full boil. I was told by the guy at my local homebrew store that you get greater utilization of your ingredients from more liquid so I have been leaning on moving towards a full boil. My first beer that I did, I boiled 3 gallons and added water when racking to primary but was just curious as to what more knowledgeable homebrewers thoughts were. HELP ME!

 
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:39 AM   #2
JayWeezie
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Apr 2011
Charlotte, NC
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When you're doing extract brewing its easier to do a smaller boil. Then add the water in the primary.
One. it brings down the temp a lil quicker and two if you're doing it on a stove its much easier to boil 2.5 gls instead of a full 5.

 
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:05 AM   #3
bleme
 
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A partial boil is much easier to boil and cool.

A full boil is more sanitary, gets slightly better hop utilization and is less likely to carmelize.

I would try to boil 6.5 gallons of water before you try a full boil.

 
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:30 AM   #4
DonnieZ
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Jun 2011
Joliet, IL
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You will get better utilization of your hops in a full boil. This isn't the scientific way of describing it, but it's the simple way...

If you add the same amount of malt extract to 3 gallons of water, or to 5 gallons, which one will be "thicker" (This is on oversimplification of specific gravity.)? The 3 gallon mixture, of course. Think of the hops being able to release their potential into the "thinner" mixture easter than the "thicker" mixture as there's less force preventing the hoply goodness to get out of the hops themselves and into your beer.

Again, gross oversimplification, but it helps to understand how hop utilization gets better with full boils.

 
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:49 AM   #5
stvo
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Nov 2012
Covina, California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonnieZ View Post
You will get better utilization of your hops in a full boil.
^^ this for sure, but at the same time if you are doing partial boils you should also do late additions with your extracts... adding 1/2 or 1/3 of your liquid or dry extract at 60 min the rest at 15-10 min or at flame out ... to avoid carmelization of your extracts and not have your final product way too dark... the other consideration is if your using your stove top and no wort chiller, if you're doing a full boil you'll be lugging around 5 gallons of scalding hot wort to your ice bath

 
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:59 AM   #6
brewerbeev
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Oct 2012
West Des Moines, IA
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If you have a wort chiller then I definitely recommend a full volume boil. As stated, you get a much better hop utilization and better sanitation/smaller likelihood of infection. However, when steeping your specialty grains, I would recommend you not steep in the full ~6 gallon volume. I usually steep in about 2 gallons of water and come out fine, regardless of amount of specialty grain. I know many recommend you go about 1.5-2 quarts of water per pound of grain, but I've done it both ways and haven't had any noticeable negative effects. The reason you don't want to steep in a full boil volume is because there aren't enough grains to measurably impact the pH of the water and your pH will end up too high, possibly resulting in tannin extraction and astringent flavors in the finished beer. I always steep in roughly 2 gallons then top off to my full boil volume prior to the boil.

Good luck and brew on!

 
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:28 PM   #7
bleme
 
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You should also consider that better hop utilization will make a batch more bitter than the recipe intended unless you scale them back slightly.

 
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:46 PM   #8
mazzstar26
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Mar 2013
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Awesome! Thank you all for the advice. Also I have a DIPA in secondary now and have dry hopped it with 2 oz of pellet hops. There is a floating layer of hops on my beer and not all of it has settled and some remains suspended. Will cold crashing at the end of my dry hop before I rack to my bottling bucket settle all the hop solids or do I need to filter when siphoning?

 
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:08 PM   #9
bleme
 
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Filter while siphoning. You can put a paint strainer bag over your siphon, then just try and keep the end in the sweet spot between the layers.

 
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:16 PM   #10
mazzstar26
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Mar 2013
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Great advice. Can't wait to see how it turns out

 
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