2 Gallon Recipe VS Full 5 Gallon Boil

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hal simmons

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So...if i've got an extract/specialty grain recipe that calls for boiling 2 gallons of wort and then topping off to 5 gallons, but I've got a 15 gallon brew pot (converted keg), can I just steep the grains as usual, and then start the boil at 6.5 gallons (or so, to account for evaporation) so that I end of up with a little over 5 gallons at the end of the boil?

Do I need to adjust the recipe if I'm doing a full boil VS 2 gallon boil and topping off?
 

FatMonsters

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You don't have to adjust the extract or specialty grains. These are set for the total 5 gallon recipe. Boiling the 2 gallons and then topping up to 5 could net you about the same gravity as if you boiled the 6.5 down to 5 but it really depends on the total volue of water that you are going to use overall (for the 2 gallon boil, are you starting with 2 gallons?).

You do have to adjust the hopping rates. Lower gravity boils (boiling 6.5 gallons of wort) will increase the hop utilization rate making a hoppier beer. The hops and their schedule in the recipe are set at the 2 gallon boil gravity.
 
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like Mulcahey said, you could do that, but why waste the time, water and the energy boiling all that water? also, if it's a lighter beer than you'd be better off not boiling so long to keep the color light.
 

SuperiorBrew

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I would do a full boil if you have the equipemnt, you can use 25%-50% less hops and you will also get rid of most if not all of the extract twang. Water is alot cheaper than hops & I think you end up with a better brew to boot.
 

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DeathBrewer

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thanks...i'll check that out later. not brewing much extract lately, but i'm sure i'll do some in the future.

i just figured with a smaller boil you would get a better rolling boil (assuming he's in his kitchen or something) and it would boil off more off flavors.
 
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hal simmons

hal simmons

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I'm brewing in a converted keg (15 gal) and i've got a propane burner, so It's very easy to achieve a good rolling boil outside. I was planning on steeping 2 gallons in the kitchen with the specialty grains, then dumping that into my brewpot with another 4-5 gallons, adding malt, etc..and doing a full boil.

Am I wasting my time and propane by doing a full boil vs 2 gallons and topping of? I was under the assumption that i'd get a better beer this way.
 

Yooper

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Heck, no, you're not wasting time and energy! It'll be a better beer. You'll have less carmelization of the wort, and less darkening. You'll have to reduce the hops some, though, so if you have some brewing software (Beersmith has a free trial) you can easily know how much to reduce. Or post the recipe here, and one of us can run it through our software for you.

Remember, you have to be able to cool that much wort, though. You really should have a wort chiller if you're boiling 5 gallons. You want to get the wort to pitching temperature in 20 minutes or so if you can.
 

explosivebeer

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One thing to consider is whether or not you can effectively cool your five gallons of hot wort. Topping a smaller batch off to five gallons with cold water is a very effective way to bring the temperature down so you can pitch the yeast. Or if you have an immersion or counterflow chiller, go for the bigger boil size.
 
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hal simmons

hal simmons

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Yeah, i've got a counterflow chiller so I can bring 5 gallons down to pitching temp in less than ten minutes. The consensus seems to be go for the bigger boil size, since i've got the equipment to do it.
 

EdWort

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I did an extract Anchor Porter clone recently, but used a full 7 gallon boil down to 5.5. I used RO water added to the wort from the steeped grain, heated it up and added the 9 lbs of LME.

Man, this beer turned out tasty. The full boil and RO water make a difference in extract brews that I am happy with.

It's my first extract brew in over 20 years that did not have the "Twang".
 

logburner

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Mind if I throw my recipe in here? I've got the same question of what changes to make to this 2 gallon recipe if I'm running a full boil...

* 3.3# Briess Pilsen Light LME
* 3# Briess Bavarian Wheat DME
* 1# grain (.5 Durst Vienna; .5 German Wheat)
* .5 oz organic sweet basil (that weight includes stems)
* 1/4# Wildflower honey
* 1/2 peel of organic lemon (gently scrape off the outer peel, don't gouge too deeply into the peel)
* 1oz Hallertau Tradition hops
* 1oz Hallertau Hersbrucker hops
* 1oz Citra hops
* White Labs Belgian Wit Ale Yeast
 

Yooper

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...and what if I were to go for a double batch and start with 12-13 gallons?
Steep the grain in 1.5 quarts per pound of grain at 155 for 45 minutes. When the time is up, lift up the grain bag and pour up to a gallon of 170 degree water over it. Bring the volume up to your boil volume by adding water. Bring to a boil, and then add the extract. Bring to a boil once again, and add the first hops as the recipe directs.

For a double batch, double the recipe, still using 1.5 quarts of water per pound of grain and sparging (rinsing) up to .5 gallons of 170 degree water per pound. For a finished 10 gallons, you may want to start with 12 gallons of wort.
 

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Is there really no easy place to find 5 gallon boil recipes? I can't hardly find any that are ment for a full boil (5 gal). I know there are converters but it's pain. Is beer smith the best software out there? Does anyone know of a website to get good full boil recipes?

Cheers,
 

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Is there really no easy place to find 5 gallon boil recipes? I can't hardly find any that are ment for a full boil (5 gal). I know there are converters but it's pain. Is beer smith the best software out there? Does anyone know of a website to get good full boil recipes?

Cheers,
I'm not sure I understand the question. If you want to boil more liquid than the recipe states, why not add more water like I described? I mean, every recipe can say "Add water to get to your boil volume" in it, but it's not in there because that's understood.

ALL 5 gallon recipes are 5 gallon recipes. Anybody can add 2 gallons of water to the pot. You don't need a separate recipe to tell you to do that.
 

GuldTuborg

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For the same reason as late extract additions do. I have read this in many places and heard it on Jamil's show and others many times in the past.

http://www.maltosefalcons.com/tech/Extract_Beers.pdf

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/search.php?searchid=1062764

I dont want to link to other forums so just google extract twang and full boil
Your second link doesn't work for me. Your first one gives a huge list of publications. Do any of them stick out as particularly germane? I poked around for a few minutes but didn't see anything relating to "extract twang" and late extract additions.
 

sendkyleanemail

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EdWort said:
I did an extract Anchor Porter clone recently, but used a full 7 gallon boil down to 5.5. I used RO water added to the wort from the steeped grain, heated it up and added the 9 lbs of LME.

Man, this beer turned out tasty. The full boil and RO water make a difference in extract brews that I am happy with.

It's my first extract brew in over 20 years that did not have the "Twang".
Where did you get your Anchor Clone? That is one of my favorite beers!
 

logburner

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Yooper,
Thanks for the helpful reply....so you wouldn't adjust the hops at all? In other recipes, you had recommended reducing the amount of hops when running a full 5 gallon boil. What's different with my recipe?
Thanks again for your help...
 

stltk65

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@yooper: What I mean is if boiling a 5 gallon batch (full boil w/5 gallons) is the way to go. Why is it so hard to find recipes for 5 gallon (boil volume) batchs from extract?

I figured there would be recipes out there for a new brewer with a kettle large enough to brew 5 gal./ full boil. Without having to find a converter for the recipe. Like "beersmith" to adjust the hops. The vast mojority I have found, call for boiling less water (2-3 gallons) and adding more later.
 

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@yooper: What I mean is if boiling a 5 gallon batch (full boil w/5 gallons) is the way to go. Why is it so hard to find recipes for 5 gallon (boil volume) batchs from extract?
It's not hard at all! If you have a smaller boil recipe, add water to get up to your boil volume. That's all you have to do, and that's why the recipes don't mention it. "Just add water to your boil volume" is understood.
 

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Yooper,
Thanks for the helpful reply....so you wouldn't adjust the hops at all? In other recipes, you had recommended reducing the amount of hops when running a full 5 gallon boil. What's different with my recipe?
Thanks again for your help...
Well, with some experience I've learned that at most you "gain" 20% more hops utililation. I've found that instead of adjusting the hops just adding the bulk of the extract at the end of the boil works better. Not just for the hops utilization, but also it keeps the extract from darkening, and from getting carmelization type flavors.
 

logburner

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OK, let's see if I've got it...
1.5 Quarts per pound of grain for steeping ( my recipe only uses one pound of grain, so maybe I'd do this in a smaller pot first, and then add to the keggle after I sparge and top up to 5 gallons for the full boil?),
2-4 Quarts per pound of grain for sparging the grain bag
top up to full boil with water...get boiling, mix in some of the extract,
bring back to boil, start hopping per the recipe...add the bulk of the extract near the end of the boil, maybe when the aroma hops go in?
 

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OK, let's see if I've got it...
1.5 Quarts per pound of grain for steeping ( my recipe only uses one pound of grain, so maybe I'd do this in a smaller pot first, and then add to the keggle after I sparge and top up to 5 gallons for the full boil?),
2-4 Quarts per pound of grain for sparging the grain bag
top up to full boil with water...get boiling, mix in some of the extract,
bring back to boil, start hopping per the recipe...add the bulk of the extract near the end of the boil, maybe when the aroma hops go in?
Sure, that would work fine. Use 2 quarts of water per pound of grain for sparging, though- not 4 quarts!

Adding the extract near the end of the boil does tend to stop the boil since you stir it in and it drops the temp, but it doesn't really matter much. You can add it closer to the end of the boil, so it doesn't affect the hops at all if you want.
 
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