5 gallon boils?

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Yellowirenut

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I have only done a few brews. One 5 gallon and two one gallon recipes.
In my reading around I came across something that said when making a 5 gallon batch to boil 5 gallons of wort. The instructions on my first 5 gallon brew said to only use 2.5 then add water afterwards to 5 gallons.

It makes seance to me that it would be better to do a full 5 gallon boil.(better infusions/mixture of ingredients) Are they any cons not to?
 

RM-MN

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Yes there are. One is hops utilization. If you want the beer to turn out just as the recipe planned, you follow the instructions. If you do a full volume boil you will get beer that is slightly more bitter. Enough to matter? Maybe, maybe not.

The big con is chilling the wort. There is a lot of energy in that 5 gallons of hot wort that has to be removed and you can't add cold water to help out like you can when you boil a smaller amount and top off. An ice bath in the sink takes a long time.
 

Adrenaline-Junkie

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Generally the bitterness isnt going to be a problem (imo, especially depending on how much is used). Ive done full boils on all of my brews and its worked great. That being said i do have a wort chiller so my cool down times arent long at all but it could be a problem if you dont have one.
 
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Yellowirenut

Yellowirenut

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Thanks for the input. I think I will go with a 5 gallon boil on my next brew.
A quick stop at Lowe's will get me wort chiller for about $25
 

Yooper

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In general, the more you can boil, the better the beer. The directions for a 2.5 gallon boil are meant for people who don't have a way to bring 6+ gallons up to a boil on their stove. If you can, with a rolling boil, then I'd suggest doing it for sure!

If people can't boil all the wort at once, one thing that helps make a better beer is adding the bulk of the extract near or at the end of the boil instead of the beginning. You'd get less maillard reactions (like caramelization) and so a lighter color and a less "cooked extract" taste.
 

VampireSix

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For those who CAN do a full boil (or near one) with extract, do you still recommend splitting up the extract additions for color/taste reasons? If so, I'm assuming the hop additions will need to be adjusted to prevent over-bittering?
 

Adrenaline-Junkie

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I split my extract additions up with most of it going in at knockout (if not all of it). As for hops, like ive said its kind of dependent on the hops used and how much is used. I havnt noticed any overly bitter outcomes from doing it as called for.
 

Weezy

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I do the half and half method. Boil 1/2 the water & put it aside. Then use the other half of the water to steep grain and to boil the extracts and hops. Put the wort in the fermenter then add the plain, boiled water to top it off. Add the plain water in a little by little, to get the OG you want. I do 2.5-3 gallon batches, so my 20 quart pot is oversized.

I, imprecisely, do put 1/2 of my extract in at the boil and 1/2 15-minutes before the end. Palmer's book states that hop extraction needs proper wort, not just boiling water.

I've only seen mention about too much water being potentially a problem when your mashing base grains, not working with extracts. too little density (low gravity) of the wort seemingly inhibits the enzymatic action in the AG batches that are convert the proteins to usable sugar (like the enzymes have a harder time finding the protiens in the olympic size pool....you might need a longer boil to give them time). In extracts, all of that has already been done for us. so I don't see a problem with full boils.
 

GrogNerd

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Yes there are. One is hops utilization. If you want the beer to turn out just as the recipe planned, you follow the instructions. If you do a full volume boil you will get beer that is slightly more bitter. Enough to matter? Maybe, maybe not.

The big con is chilling the wort. There is a lot of energy in that 5 gallons of hot wort that has to be removed and you can't add cold water to help out like you can when you boil a smaller amount and top off. An ice bath in the sink takes a long time.
the Gentleman from the Great State of Minnesota is correct, but it's more than just "slightly"

if it's a kit and the instructions are for a 2.5 gallon boil, then the IBUs are calculated for a 2.5 gallon boil.

quick test in BS2 with a single hop addition for an hour, IBU goes from 30.7 to 52.5 just by switching from 2.5 to 5 gallon boil.

70% increase.

then again, I don't find BS2 very reliable with hop calculations
 

Adrenaline-Junkie

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Weezy - Is there any explanation as to why there needs to be malt present to get proper hops extraction? Its not that i deny that to be true but it sounds a bit far fetched. Sadly a lot of info on just about everything gets thrown around and is taken as fact just because it is spoken by a respected source rather than because its a proven fact.
 

Weezy

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GrogNerd is exactly right. sorry for missing it. Hop utilization is based upon boil gravity and time of boil. Boil gravity is based on volume of water, obviously.

[DELETED MISINFORMATION...SORRY FOR CONFUSION!]
 

Adrenaline-Junkie

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Now im curious as to how much the IBU actually increase if you do a full boil on a half boil recipe (raises hop utilization) AND add the malt late in the boil (lowers hop utilization). Thats what i do and would explain why i dont really get an overly bitter result.
 

Weezy

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VampireSix

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I posted this in another thread, but I'm going to do it again here as well to clear up any confusion.

Quote taken from the above link to Palmer's How To Brew book:

As you will see in the next section, hop utilization decreases with increasing wort gravity. The higher concentration of sugars makes it more difficult for the isomerized alpha acids to dissolve.

This indicates hop utilization % INCREASES with a lower wort gravity.
 

Weezy

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You're right. I apologize for the confusion. I haven't read the book in quite a while and I should have reviewed it better before posting. I deleted the mis-info.

The OP's question has been asked and answered best already. The instructions should be targeting on estimates of hop utilization and final IBU values that are based on the water volumes stipulated. My sidetracking of this thread over just utilization hasn't helped.
 
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