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2.5 gallons vs. 5 gallons

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leemorgan

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Dead Ringer IPA calls for boiling around 2.5 gallons of wort and then adding 2 gallons of water to the fermenter after cooling wort to 100. Should I be doing it this way? Maybe I should boil 5 gallons, cool then top off in the fermenter.
 

JonM

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If you have a burner powerful enough to bring five gallons to a boil, then by all means go for it!
 

Malty_Dog

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Moving to full-volume boils (or as close as you can get) is one of the things I did early on to instantly improve my homebrews. That was in response to advice on here, which once again is so much appreciated. I'm guessing your final product won't be as dark in color either, especially if you go with a late addition of extract.
 

Jayhem

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if you boil twice as much wort volume but use the same hop schedule your beer will actually be more bitter than expected.
 

Yooper

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I think that boiling as much as you can improves the beer. If you can boil 3, 4, 5 gallons, or as much as you can, it seems to have a "cleaner", less "cooked extract" taste to the finished beer. It has to do with maillard reactions (similar to caramelization reactions), with darkening in color and changing the flavor.

Many kits advise to boil 2.5 gallons and later top up because many people just don't have the stove or burner or a big pot to boil up all of the wort at once.

One thing that is something to think about is that it's harder to cool 5 gallons of boiling wort than 2.5 gallons, so a way to cool the wort is something to think about when doing a full boil.
 

trboyden

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Dead Ringer IPA calls for boiling around 2.5 gallons of wort and then adding 2 gallons of water to the fermenter after cooling wort to 100. Should I be doing it this way? Maybe I should boil 5 gallons, cool then top off in the fermenter.
Doing the full 5 gallons will make it easier to determine whether you'll need some extra extract to hit your original gravity. When concentrated at 2.5 gallons, it can be hit or miss. The 2.5 gallon method is just to make it easier on new brewers who may not have bought all the equipment they need to boil a full 5 gallon batch. I've done that recipe both ways and also the all grain version. They all come out pretty similar, because its a simple recipe that makes a decent IPA. Try their Black IPA next. That's what hooked me into homebrewing.
 
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leemorgan

leemorgan

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So if I go ahead and do the 5 gallons instead of the 2.5 does the hop schedule change?
 

Yooper

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So if I go ahead and do the 5 gallons instead of the 2.5 does the hop schedule change?
No. That beer is better with a full boil anyway, so don't change the hops schedule and you'll get a nice IPA in the end. It may be a bit more bitter than the smaller boil, but that's a good thing in this beer.
 
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leemorgan

leemorgan

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Ok, thats great to know and thats what I'm going to do then. Should I start with exactly 5 gallons then or more?
 

Jayhem

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Ok, thats great to know and thats what I'm going to do then. Should I start with exactly 5 gallons then or more?
If you don't want to have to add any top off water you will need to start with around 6+ gallons and boil down to 5.0. How much water boils off depends on your equipment but 10-15% per hour is typical with a rolling boil.
Also, keep in mind that 212 F wort is about 4% more volume than the same wort at 65F so you will actually have to stop the boil when you have 5.2 gallons in order to have 5 gallons once it cools.
 

bajaedition

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So if I go ahead and do the 5 gallons instead of the 2.5 does the hop schedule change?
ah... yes and no.

the specific gravity of the wort does change how much utilization you will get out of your hops. Another thing that changes that is length of boil.

the good news is

at 5 gallons you probably will not notice it.

and if you do, I think it is discussed in the book Brew Chem and formulas are given. That or do an internet search, I am sure there will be articles about it.
Plus IPAs are real hoppy anyway
 
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leemorgan

leemorgan

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So I'm confused. If I do a full boil of this recipe will this change the boil schedule as instructed in the receipe? Will I have to boil longer?
 

Hackwood

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+1

one thing that is something to think about is that it's harder to cool 5 gallons of boiling wort than 2.5 gallons, so a way to cool the wort is something to think about when doing a full boil.
 

Stas StoLat

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If you don't want to have to add any top off water you will need to start with around 6+ gallons and boil down to 5.0. How much water boils off depends on your equipment but 10-15% per hour is typical with a rolling boil.
Also, keep in mind that 212 F wort is about 4% more volume than the same wort at 65F so you will actually have to stop the boil when you have 5.2 gallons in order to have 5 gallons once it cools.
Wow, that is a deeper dive. Thank you. I will toss that factoid out at my next collab. Thanks.
 
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