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Old 12-01-2008, 02:43 PM   #1
gallagherman
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Just moved into an apartment, and I want to continue to do all grain. I tested a 6 gallon boil of water on my gas stove to ensure that I could do a full boil indoors, now that the turkey fryer is not an option in the city where I am. It took a while, but the water hit 212 and bubbles were coming from the bottom of the pot, but there was not really a rolling boil. The surface of the water was at most at a simmer i'd say. It got better after the volume of the water lessened due to evaporation. I have a couple of questions:

1. If this is how my wort will boil, what effects will this have on my beer?
2. If I leave the cover partially on, the boil becomes a bit more violent, is this an acceptable solution?
3. Will an actual boil (with wort and not just water) boil more violently or more calmly? I was thinking the massive amount of sugar will increase the specific heat of the liquid and the boil will be more violent because the wort can retain more heat.

Can someone please ease my stress?
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Old 12-01-2008, 03:06 PM   #2
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1) If your recipe has a lot of lightly kilned malt, like pilsner, a weak boil *could* result in DMS in the finished beer.

2) If your recipe has a lot of lightly kilned malt, like pilsner, a partially covered boil *could* result in DMS in the finished beer.

You could use a bucket heater, or a heatstick to help supplement your stove.

Also, is it an electric, or gas range? If it's electric, you could try insulating the sides of your pot, which may help.
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Old 12-01-2008, 03:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gallagherman View Post
...I tested a 6 gallon boil of water on my gas stove...
Insulating is out unless he uses a non-flammable material.
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Old 12-01-2008, 03:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemE View Post
Insulating is out unless he uses a non-flammable material.
D'oh! I missed that he said he had a gas range. Using an immersion heater is probably the best way to go then.
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Old 12-01-2008, 03:33 PM   #5
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Here's a good read on the subject. The short of it is that you want a full rolling boil.

Quote:
One of the most important reactions that occurs in the wort boil is the formation of "hot break". Hot break is the coagulation of proteins, formation of protein-polyphenol complexes, and reaction with hop compounds to create larger particles that will sediment out in the whirlpool at the end of the boil. These reactions occur at higher rates at higher temperatures and more agitation. This is why your wort boil must be full and rolling... the more vigorous and turbulent the boil, the more of these compounds form over time..
The Beer Life of Brian: Importance of a Full Wort Boil

 
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Old 12-01-2008, 04:49 PM   #6
aaronwillen
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I brew on my stove in my apartment. Although the stove is a brand new larger style gas stove Its sometimes hard to keep a rolling boil. One thing you could try that worked for me was to make a keggle. This allows me to span both burners and use the larger "powerburner" for the bulk of the work but also supplement it with the "precise simmer" burner.

 
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Old 12-01-2008, 04:56 PM   #7
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For a lot of years when I was in your position without the space or ability to move things outside and with an apartment sized kitchen I simply divided the wort into two large 4 gallon pots and boiled those, dividing my hops between them. It's not ideal, but it worked fine and I made some remarkably good beer this way. Now, I've got my turkey fryers outside. But two smaller sized boilpots can work just fine.

 
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:27 PM   #8
gallagherman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkling View Post
I simply divided the wort into two large 4 gallon pots and boiled those, dividing my hops between them. It's not ideal, but it worked fine and I made some remarkably good beer this way. Now, I've got my turkey fryers outside. But two smaller sized boilpots can work just fine.
do you have to adjust your hop calculations? does hop utilization change when you are splitting the volumes in two?
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:30 PM   #9
gallagherman
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also, it looks like the bucket heater is a very good option. However another caveat of my apt is that we are limited by 15 Amp circuits (its and old 1930s art deco place) can anyone please let me know the amperage of their bucket heaters or immersion heaters?
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:08 PM   #10
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The commercial bucket heater that I linked to is 1000 W and should draw 8.3 amps at 120V, so you'd be fine.

If you wanted to build a heat stick, you could go up to 1500 W which will draw 12.5 amps.
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