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Old 02-06-2008, 06:12 PM   #1
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Default 2 or 3 gallon boils - cool all 5 gallons or cool boil first?

I have a few questions.

1. Should I boil as much wort as possible. I have a 4+sh gallon pot. My recipe says to boil only 1.5 gallons. Is there any disadvantage of boiling 3 gallons or as much as i can safely fit in a pot (with room for boil over)?

2. I want to take my hot wort still in the pot and put that in an ice bath to cool. Then once that gets down to 80 or 90 degrees add 2 gallons of cold water from the shower. That cold water from that shower will do a good job of aerating the wort. Is there any disadvantage to cooling this way or should i add the hot wort to the cold water in the primary and then cool that way?

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Old 02-06-2008, 06:18 PM   #2
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1. You won't be able to boil 3 gallons in a 4 gallon pot without a boil over. (or at least I couldn't)

2. I put water in gallon jugs and put them in the freezer to get them almost frozen and then add them to the hot wort. It usually is enough to get it down to pitching temp immediately. I wouldn't worry too much about aeration with the shower, you will get plenty of air by stirring vigerously with a spoon in the bucket.


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Old 02-06-2008, 06:39 PM   #3
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Keep in mind that your recipe is assuming a smaller boil and has included hops measured for that boil. A larger quantity of liquid will mean a lower gravity and therefore higher alpha acid extraction. You'll have to reduce the amount of hops you use to retain the same IBU as the smaller boil.
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Old 02-06-2008, 06:56 PM   #4
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You should be fine.

I have done it several times. I have even split all the ingredients and did 2 boils. With 2 boils the wife has to help out in the cooling phase. I may not be as experienced as some, but I have never reduced the hops when doing that and I have never had to dump any beer out and it is all VERY drinkable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I try to keep my top off water to a minimum.

Again I am not a pro, but I like my beer!!!!
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:38 PM   #5
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shouldn't be a problem, most people do as big boils as possible to get the best utilization of there hops. The extract also will not darken as much in a larger boil. Pretty much the bigger the boil the better IMO.

You will need more then a shower to get enough aeration in there. Make sure you shake it up as vigorously as possible as long as you can. That much better for those yeasts.
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:42 PM   #6
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I pour my wort into the fermenter from 4 feet up or so, this aerates it plenty IMO.

A shower may be a big infection risk due to splashing, mildew spores etc.
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:11 AM   #7
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Instead of the shower, I use the sprayer thing on the kitchen sink. It also generates a lot of O2 into the wort. I spray the thing with StarSan before I fill up the bucket too, to sanitize any potential bad things on there.
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Old 02-07-2008, 03:52 PM   #8
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I fill a cooler with cold water w/ the shower head running cold water directly again the side of the bucket and it there whisking it pretty hard until i get to about 100-110 then start adding luke warm water then coild or hot at the end to make any final adjustments to temp. With the whisking I get plenty of aeration and the water that's at the bottom is being pushed up by the cold water in the cooler so plenty of steam exchange with the air.

We have used ice also 1 small bag = about 1 gallon and that dropped our temp from the stove to near 100 right away, from there 70-90 is easy to do with 2 gallons from the tap.
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Old 02-10-2008, 02:03 PM   #9
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I thought adding tap water to your wort post boil created a big risk of infection. Can anyone weigh in on this issue? I've always used gallon jugs of water from the store when topping off/cooling down a batch.
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Old 02-10-2008, 02:08 PM   #10
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Well, that's an issue that we've debated around here a few times! I think that the consensus is that it's ok IF you have dependable tap water. I have no qualms about using my tap water to top off. If you have an iffy water supply, or bad tasting water, or really want to be sure that you don't have an issue with water, you can either buy bottled spring water, or boil your tap water and cool it.

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