Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Lid On or Off the brewpot?
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Old 05-21-2006, 10:53 PM   #1
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Default Lid On or Off the brewpot?

If quaility and taste are your priorities, and efficiency aside, is it better to brew with the lid on or off the brewpot? Or does it make a difference at all.

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Old 05-21-2006, 11:01 PM   #2
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The one big difference is with the lid on, boilovers are more probable to happen. Even with the lid cracked open, when the boilover starts it makes its way to the top much faster (or so I have seen).


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Old 05-21-2006, 11:51 PM   #3
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Leave it off. If you brew with it on you run the risk of DMS not having the escape through the steam it needs. Even with the lid partly on you run the risk of having condesation dripping back into the wort causing DMS.
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Old 05-21-2006, 11:55 PM   #4
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Off, as boo boo mentioned that are some chemicals that you don't want in your ale that are carried off with the steam. This is much less of a problem with extract, since it is heat-concentrated or heat-dried.
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:17 AM   #5
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The only boilover I have experience was when I put the lid on a full 5 gallon boil. I'd leave if off for the most part... I have found that I can get my wort boiling faster though if I put the lid on until I get the roll... Once you toss in your first set of hops, it's dangerous to the cleanlyness of your stove to put the lid on... hehehe Plus there are the schools of thought that say that you prevent the boil off of some off flavor stuff..
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:13 PM   #6
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Ok, so the issue that I ran into while brewing my first batch over the weekend was that my electric stove simply does not have the firepower (er... "ceramic heating element"-power) to bring the wort to a full, rolling boil. It could bring it up to around 208F or so, it was at what I believe would be called a "soft boil," but could not get over the edge without putting the lid at least partially on.

The executive decision I made was to leave the lid about 3/4 on, enough to get an aggressive boil but still allow some steam to escape. That the right decision? I know the ideal is to not have the lid on, but I believed having the lid partially on was a less egregious violation of brewmaking protocal than not getting a full boil.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:27 PM   #7
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How big of a kettle are you using? If you are doing extract and not AG then the issue of having the lid partly on isn't so big an issue.
Trying to boil 5 gallons on an electric stove element is however almost a futile chore. If you are doing a 5 gallon boil you should invest in a turkey fryer setup using propane etc.
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
The executive decision I made was to leave the lid about 3/4 on, enough to get an aggressive boil but still allow some steam to escape. That the right decision? I know the ideal is to not have the lid on, but I believed having the lid partially on was a less egregious violation of brewmaking protocal than not getting a full boil.

Thoughts?
Get a bigger burner or boil smaller volumes.

As pointed out earlier, boiling is necessary to drive off volatile gases that may lead to off flavors in beer. DMS, which will give the beer a cooked corn smell, is the most prominent of them. A good boil is also necessary for hop utilization and hot break formation. The latter may not be as important for extract brewing.

I'm not saying that you can't make beer with the lid on, I'm just saying that you may create off-flavors or other quality problems. Since you already brewed with the lid on, please keep us updated on how the beer turns out. I'm curious if you will see the problems that have been mentioned.

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Old 05-22-2006, 03:41 PM   #9
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Well, since it is my first shot at this, I may not have a developed-enough pallate to identify the specific problems, but I'll let you know. I was using a kit (the whole setup was a present from the wife), so it was extract-based, but with some grains and hop pellets. Again, though, I was leaving SOME room for the steam to escape, I didn't have the pot completely covered.

As for volume, the directions that came with the kit told me to do the boil with (gasp) only two gallons. I hesitated, it seems that you usually boil with three gallons, but I figured for the first go-'round I would follow the directions as closely as possible. I can't imagine how much difficulty I would have run into trying to boil three gallons, much less five (to speak nothing of the difficulties of doing a five-gallon boil in a four-gallon pot).

As to the turkey fryer... I can see how this hobby is going to quickly get expensive...
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:52 PM   #10
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