5 gallon full boil question

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twah

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Hi everyone

This is my first post here. I'm not new to brewing, been doing it for 6 years now but they were all partial boils. I just purchased a new equipment, 8 gallon kettle, wort chiller, and burner to do full boil brews.

Question is, I started off with 6 gallons of water. After transferring it into my carboy, I was at roughly 4.5 gallons! No biggie just curious. Everything I've seen says like 1/2 gallon will boil off. Of course mine was 3 times that.

I steeped the grains with the lid on for 20 min and controlled it around 160 degrees to make sure things were good. After that cranked it up to boil. After it got boiling, turned off, added the extract and the covered the pot around 75% so I can watch for boil overs and that's what I've read to do also to keep water in but allow DMS to boil out (I think it's DMS, could be wrong).

So what do you guys tho k of why I lost ~1.5 gallons?

Thanks in advance.
 

C17-EHSE

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I'm about to do my first full boil. I'd also like to see an answer to this. Welcome!
 
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twah

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I watched where the water level was at by the handle rivets and there wasn't any noticeable difference. The level was about an inch below the handle rivets. After the boil, the level was down about 3" from after removing the grains.
 

zeno27

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I do all-grain, but I will easily boil off a full gallon in a 60 minute boil.

Are you sure it was 6 gallons before you added the extract? Maybe I could see you boiling off 1.5 gallons, but if you take into account the volume of the extract it would mean you removed more than 1.5 gallons of water ... a bit hard to understand.
 

Yooper

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It's very common to boil off 1-1.5 gallons per hour in most pots. I don't know anybody that only boils off .5 gallons per hour, to be honest.

You don't want the lid on your pot at all once you start the boil. Even 1/2 off, you could have condensation from the lid dripping back into the pot, so leave it off. If you have a rolling boil, that's all that matters. If the boil is way too hard, like with the pot shaking and really rolling, it's ok to turn the flame down a bit. But you need a rolling boil, not a simmer! So, if you boil off more than you think, next time start with more water or add water at the end to top off. It doesn't really matter what the boil off is, as long as you get a nice boil.
 
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twah

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Hey Zeno

Yeah I'm sure it was 6 gallons or just a tad lower after steeping and any vapor from getting up to a boil. I started with 6 gallons of water and added the extract. No scientific measurements but I just know 6 gallons of water, 6lbs of malt extract and in my carboy, it's around 4.5 gallons of wort. Next brew time I'll get water measurements and mark the spoon to be able to measure things to see how much water I have then check after the extract and then final after boil.
 

Rev2010

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For one, listen to Yooper, don't cover your pot at all during the boil.

Second, I average 1.25 gallon boil off in one hour for a 5 gallon batch but also seem to lose about a quart to trub so I now start my preboil volume at 6.5 gallons. I used to do 6.25 gallon but found I was only getting about 4.75 gallons in the fermenter after straining out the hop trub. So I would say try 6.5 gallons as your boil amount. Of course start with less... in other words... if you're steeping grains do the steep then add water to reach about 4.75 gallons of volume, bring it to a boil, then shutoff the heat and add the DME/LME (if you're doing extract). Then, after all the extract is added top off to 6.5 gallons and get it to a boil. The reason for this is extract takes volume itself, so you definitely do not want to have 6.5 gallons in there then add the extract as you will go over your preboil amount.


Rev.
 

lumpher

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next time start with about 6.4 gallons. for an average system, to get 5 gallons, according to beersmith (which i've been using for years ) is 6.38 gallons
 
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twah

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Hey Yooper

I was reading Al Korzonas Homebrewing and he said to leave the lid partially on. That's the first time I have ever done that. I'll leave it off next time. I did have a nice rolling boil going. I'm Still learning my new Blichmann burner (first time use) so it took a little to figure out the sweet spot so maybe that tweak time could have contributed to the extra boil off? I've read several things about the amount of water that could boil off from 1/2 gallon to a gallon for a 60 min boil.

Let me know if you have any more thoughts. Thanks
 

Yooper

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Hey Yooper

I was reading Al Korzonas Homebrewing and he said to leave the lid partially on. That's the first time I have ever done that. I'll leave it off next time. I did have a nice rolling boil going. I'm Still learning my new Blichmann burner (first time use) so it took a little to figure out the sweet spot so maybe that tweak time could have contributed to the extra boil off? I've read several things about the amount of water that could boil off from 1/2 gallon to a gallon for a 60 min boil.

Let me know if you have any more thoughts. Thanks
No, I think you're good! I think a gallon or more is more realistic per hour, depending on the size of the pot and the output of the burner. But now you know, so you can just start with more, until you are sure of your boil off.

You don't want the lid even partially on, unless you absolutely have to, to maintain a boil. If you lift up the lid, you'll see why- there are droplets of stuff on there that are better boiled off. You're right- it's the DMS precursors that you want to boil off. That's not a huge concern with extract brewing, although it is something to think about so it's best to just go without a lid.

Sounds like you're heading in a good direction!
 
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twah

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Hey Rev

Thanks for the advice. I'll do that next brew time. That makes sense to do.

I'll keep the lid off for sure, first time I've ever done that. My partial boils, never put the lid on.

First time growing pains on full boils. That's why we have these lovely forums to ask questions.

Appreciate all the help.
 
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twah

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Hi lumpher

Thanks for the advice. I'll add more water with the next batch.

Thanks!
 
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twah

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Hey Yooper

Thanks again for the info. Lid will stay off next batch. Haha. I thought that too when I was watching the boil that the DMS could collect and drop back off inside.

I read a lot about doing full extract boils so I know I'm heading in the general direction but you just don't know until you experience your first full batch. So now at least I know what to do differently and change up/tweak on the second full batch. Even still, I know that this full boil will taste better than my partial boils with the full boil and getting things cooled down quickly with the wort chiller.

I brewed so infrequently the last two years because of the partial boils off flavors and all that. I mean they weren't horrible but there was a distinct similar taste that wasn't pleasing to my tongue. I needed to reboot and go onto brewing version 2.0 so got all new equipment to help get better tasting brews. step one accomplished, now to tweak a tad for brew #2.
 
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