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Machiavelli

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I had some supplies arrive today. One of the items was an 8 gallon pot from AHS. Man, it looked taller and not so fat in the picture.......im sure there's a joke there somewhere.

Anyway, I tested it out on the cooktop and took FOREVER to bring 5 gallons to a boil, and then very hard to keep it; I'm thinking probably impossible after I add ingredients to it.

Any ideas? Will it work better outside, on a propane burner? My other pot is 5 gallons, but I was wanting to start doing some full boils.

Thanks
M
 

The Pol

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#1 8 gallons is tight for a full boil. Invest in some foam control drops! I can boil over a 5 gallon batch in a 15 gallon sankey with the hot break... no kidding.

#2 It will boil MUCH easier on a propane burner, wow, indoors on the stove is tough.

#3 Do a test with water to see how much boil off you get in an hour. With a wide pot, you may boil off more than you think.
 

Ton

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sorry but im about to be a vast opposite of the last post.....

I brew all grain now with a 8 gal pot, indoors on the stove. I never have a problem with boil overs, not even close in fact. On top of that i boil with the lid on because it keeps the boil vigorous.

I put the pot on two burners, cause it big enough to be on majority of two of them. It take about a half hour for 6 gals of a 50 point brew to boil.
 

FlyGuy

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Yeah, stovetop boils can be tough. See my thread here with some tips to make it a bit easier, however. Either way, Pol is right, a propane burner makes the job trivial.

I also agree with Pol that 8 gal is tight for boiling -- especially in the kitchen where a boil-over can be disastrous. But foam control drops eliminate the worry. That stuff is magic.

Ton -- boiling with a lid on your pot is generally not recommended, particularly if brewing all grain or partial mashes. One purpose of the boil is to eliminate a lot of nasty flavour volatiles that through the boil. If you put a lid on the pot, those volatiles collect on the lid, then drop back into the wort. DMS (cooked corn flavour and aroma) is a real culprit here, especially if you brew paler beers.
 

The Pol

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#1. Do not cover a boil with a lid. It promotes boil overs and it keeps in all of the junk that you are trying to boil out. Also, it would severely curb your ability to boil down your wort. All three of which are very important points to actually boiling your wort.

#2. I used to have an 8 gallon pot... it was fine, but hot break during a vigorous boil can, and will, consume 3-7 gallons of volume on top of what your wort already consumes. Like I said, I have had 7.5 gallons boil over in a 15 gallon kettle! Get some foam control drops and it will make your boils effortless.

#3. If you CAN boil outside on a propane burner, do it, it is cheap, easy and makes reaching and maintaining a boil a breeze. Which by the way is the reason that anyone who CAN do it that way, chooses to.

Brew on brother. :tank:
 

Jersh

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I'm going to agree with Ton... I'm still a noob but so far with my 8 gallon kettle I have not had any problems with boil-over. I watch it closely and use the foam control drops. Also, I'm doing this on my stovetop as well, my kettle is ~16" wide and my burners (gas) are about 12" apart, so I'm able to straddle both burners with my kettle. I still don't get as vigorous of a boil as I would like, and I think that is partly to account for my lack of boil-over. I assume that if I were outside with a big propane burner then I'd be more likely to boil over. That will have to wait until we can get out our condo and into a SFM.
 

The Pol

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I'm going to agree with Ton... I'm still a noob but so far with my 8 gallon kettle I have not had any problems with boil-over. I watch it closely and use the foam control drops. Also, I'm doing this on my stovetop as well, my kettle is ~16" wide and my burners (gas) are about 12" apart, so I'm able to straddle both burners with my kettle. I still don't get as vigorous of a boil as I would like, and I think that is partly to account for my lack of boil-over. I assume that if I were outside with a big propane burner then I'd be more likely to boil over. That will have to wait until we can get out our condo and into a SFM.
I think I said that?

If you use foam control, you can boil 7 gallons in a 8 gallon pot... without much problem, which was the point of my original post.
 
OP
M

Machiavelli

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Thanks for the advice!
Here's my pot:
Austin Homebrew Supply

I think its about 14" wide. 30 minutes seemed about right, when I tested it too. You're right Pol; I think I got quite a bit of boil off. So, I'll just need to add bit more water? Trial and error. My cooktop is not gas (island glass). I tried to straddle a couple burners and can get the pot partially on both, but still not a vigorous boil. I have to kind of keep moving it. Ill mess with it again though. So a propane burner will get me a better boil and easy to maintain? Ill go that route then, when trying full boils....be fun anyway out on the deck. Brew Day! How many hours do you get out of a typical tank? My grills hooked to natural gas, so I dont use one.

Thanks
M
 

The Pol

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Thanks for the advice!
Here's my pot:
Austin Homebrew Supply

I think its about 14" wide. 30 minutes seemed about right, when I tested it too. You're right Pol; I think I got quite a bit of boil off. So, I'll just need to add bit more water? Trial and error. My cooktop is not gas (island glass). I tried to straddle a couple burners and can get the pot partially on both, but still not a vigorous boil. I have to kin of keep moving it. Ill mess with it again though. So a propane burner will get me a bettr boil and easy to maintain? Ill go that route then, when trying full boils....be fun anyway out on the deck. Brew Day! How many hours do you get out of a typical tank? My grills hooked to natural gas, so I dont use one.

Thanks
M
I am glad to help.

I generally boil off about 1.5 gallons an hour. So you will want to start with nearly 6.5 gallons for a 5 gallon brew.

Turkey fryers are awesome, they heat fast. Consider that a small turkey fryer will be 55K BTU, a typical stove element is 11k to 14K if you are lucky. My 55K BTU burner that I used to use would maintain a vigorous boil even at idle, turned all the way down, once a boil was reached.

You are looking at about 22K BTUs in a pound of propane.

A 55K BTU burner will use 2.5lbs of propane per hour at full power.

You should get about 6.5 hours of burn time at 55K BTU from a 20lb tank.

Generally people get about 4-5 brew sessions from a tank, but you may get more if you are only using it to boil and not heat other water.
 

JVD_X

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I had some supplies arrive today. One of the items was an 8 gallon pot from AHS. Man, it looked taller and not so fat in the picture.......im sure there's a joke there somewhere.

Anyway, I tested it out on the cooktop and took FOREVER to bring 5 gallons to a boil, and then very hard to keep it; I'm thinking probably impossible after I add ingredients to it.

Any ideas? Will it work better outside, on a propane burner? My other pot is 5 gallons, but I was wanting to start doing some full boils.

Thanks
M
I would see if you can return it or save it for outside boils. 8 gallons is mighty small even for a 5 gallon batch. The rule of thumb is you need a pot twice the size of your intended batch size. That doesn't scale really well but the principle works.

Also - the pot is no doubt stainless steel; You would get a much better boil with an aluminum pot AND you can get them for 1/2 the price.
 

BarleyWater

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Just felt like adding to the conversation here.

I boil in a 10 gallon aluminum pot outside on a propane burner. My stove top CAN get about 5 gallons boiling, but it takes about 1.5hrs and 5 gallons isn't enough. Even with a 10 gallon pot, I have had a few boilovers making a 5 gallon batch.

Boiling with the lid on, especially if brewing an all grain batch, could likely ruin your beer by not letting the SMM be driven off, leading to the production of DMS in the beer. SMM is present in most malts, the lighter the higher the level. Boiling SMM brings it into solution and converts it into DMS. If it isn't allowed to evaporate off, the DMS will remain in solution, giving a distinct (and unpleasant) corn tortilla, cream corn aroma and taste to the beer. More on SMM and DMS here... Thermodynamics of Chilling

And the propane burners aren't big at all, they're smaller than the kettle. I used to brew with mine on my balcony in a 1 bedroom apartment.
 

boredatwork

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I used to brew with mine on my balcony in a 1 bedroom apartment.
That's my current setup. I use a 55k burner with a 7.5 gallon pot on my apartment balcony.

I normally start with 6 gallons of water. Once you add in the malt the pot gets pretty full. Before I started using the foam control drops I would get several short boilovers, but I was literally watching the boil every second with one hand on the regulator and a spray bottle in the other hand. I did notice there are some things you can do to limit boilovers, but I think without foam control drops - even in an 8 gallon pot - they are inevitable.

On my last batch I did use foam control drops and that helped immensely. I was able to walk away from the boil without fear of an extreme boilover. However, there were still a couple spills that occurred from the physical boiling. Sometimes the boil would concentrate near the edge of the pot and spill over a little bit. But I wouldn't call it a boilover.

My point was to distinguish vigorous boils spills from boilovers. I think some people who boil on a stove may not get the vigorous boil due to the lack of heating power. And with a lot of attentiveness you can generally avoid a disastrous boilover - especially with foam control drops.

So I think an 8 gallon pot is OK, but with foam controller its perfectly fine. Especially on an indoor stove.

But I just got my 15 gallon pot last week, so I am happy to be moving up in the world.
 
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