Almost Full Boil

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scoopjackson

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I am new to brewing (have my third batch in bottles and my fourth fermenting) but I have caught the bug big time! I have been reading the Papazian book (Complete Joy of Homebrewing) and that is about the extent of my knowledge, other than the little bit I've picked up here and at homebrew supply shops. Charlie seems to advocate boiling with two gallons, but...

I just learned about "Full Boils" this past weekend. Can someone tell me if it is safe to attempt a Full Boil (5 gallon) in a 7.5 gallon turkey fryer pot or will it boil over?

My second question would be if it's not safe, what about boiling 4 gallons and adding it to my glass carboy containing the other gallon? Could the carboy withstand the shock?

Thanks all!!
 

erw128

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full boils are the way to go if you can do it for several reasons, such as hop utilizaton. You should be fine with the 2.5 gallon buffer. I have done it with more wort in a smaller pot. I would be careful adding really hot wort to a glass carboy. Thick glass doesn't like extreme temp changes. I would make an ice bath and chill the kettle down a little before adding to the carboy. Eventually, a wort chiller would be the way to go. I would also check out the Basic Brewing™ : Home Brewing Beer Podcast and DVD - Welcome podcasts for more brewing info......great stuff
 

SumnerH

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full boils are the way to go if you can do it for several reasons, such as hop utilizaton. You should be fine with the 2.5 gallon buffer. I have done it with more wort in a smaller pot. I would be careful adding really hot wort to a glass carboy. Thick glass doesn't like extreme temp changes. I would make an ice bath and chill the kettle down a little before adding to the carboy. Eventually, a wort chiller would be the way to go. I would also check out the Basic Brewingâ„¢ : Home Brewing Beer Podcast and DVD - Welcome podcasts for more brewing info......great stuff
The BBR episodes are great.

The March 20th one from 2008 interviewing John Palmer about the current state of knowledge about hops and IBUs:
Basic Brewing : Home Brewing Beer Podcast and DVD - Basic Brewing Radio, 2008

is particularly worth listening to, especially if you're still operating under the old belief that hops utilization is lower in a more concentrated boil (there are certainly other good reasons to go to a full boil and/or do late extract addition).
 
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scoopjackson

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Maybe I'll start with 4 gallons and add to the one in the carboy because frankly I'm not very skilled yet at maintaining a constant temperature. If that goes well I'll attempt the full boil. I would imagine based on what I've read here that the larger the wort volume the better the end result, so 4g would have to be better than the 2g I've been doing, even though I've been very pleased with how all of my batches have turned out.

Thanks for the feedback and the links.
 

BPD

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I'm on batch 13 this weekend and have done almost full boils from early on. It is safe but you do have to watch the boil and the hot break. I usually now boil almost 5 gallons in a turkey fryer, do my 60 min boil , add chilled spring water that I had in the fridge to top it back to 5 gallons and cool it a little (I measured where on my boil pot 5G was) then I use a cool water bath to cool down the wort the rest of the way while in the pot then i transfer to my glass carboy and top off to the 5 gallon line. this avoids adding hot wort to the glass. This worked really well for 6 batches, now the only change I do is use a wort chiller but also keep the bath and let the chiller drain into and cool the bath water as well . In my limited experience I found that the more you boil and closer to a full boil the better the entire process and so far the beer. Hop utilization is important when going from 3 to 5-6 gallon full boils the kits made are usually adjusted for 3 gallon boils so the full boil will give you a few more IBU's and hoppiness. in beers that you do not want this you will need to lower the amount of hops a little or decrease the time a little for the bittering hops.

there are many forum topics for this as well as several charts. here is one but there is another I am having a hard time finding again that graphs the utilization with time. Hop Utilization Chart - HomeBrewTalk Gallery

a program like brewsmith or The Beer Recipator 2.2 where you can adjust the amount of hops or the time for bittering is indispensable

enjoy experimenting. At the very least it will give you more beer, at the best it will give you more beer. You can't go wrong
 

android

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try fermcap, that stuff is supposed to work wonders for us turkey pot brewers. i've got some, i just haven't had a chance to use it yet. it should definitely allow you to do full boils. another thing that has worked for me is using two pots. boil one inside with a little in it and boil the rest in the turkey fryer pot. split the hops accordingly.
 
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scoopjackson

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Thanks for the information. The hop utilization chart is interesting... I always thought that flavor/aroma peeked in 2-10 minutes. SO much to learn...

I will have to try fermcap and I like your suggestion about splitting it up into two pots. Sounds like a good chore for the little ones... "Honey, help daddy brew beer before you go out and play."
 

woollybugger2

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the only trouble you'll have is cooling the wort. I have trouble cooling anything over 3 gallons. So I'll be getting a wort chiller before attempting any larger boils.....
 

Homercidal

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I'd boil as much as you can safely fit. Might need to add a bit of water back, but that's the way it goes. If you are not set up with a chiller, maybe consider building an immersion chiller now while the price of metal is low again.

I've brewed an IPA in my turkey fryer. Of course I underestimated the number of boil-overs, but live and learn. I just kept adding a bit more wort into the kettle as it boiled. I only had a little bit extra.

I've heard the fermcaps work wonderfully, but I have not had the guts to try them yet.
 

Joker

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With a 7.5 g pot you are at risk of a boil over because you will want to start with 6-6.5 gallons because you will lose a gallon or so during the boil. As long as you are careful it can be accomplished without a boil over but it is tricky.

You will want to beg, borrow, or build a wort chiller though.
 

MikeG

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I took a standard 5 boil kit where they expected me to boil about 3 gal and top off up to 5 with clean water so I took the suggestion and started off with 5 gal of water.

I did not alter the recipe, added the same amount of hops as it called for 3 gal. Once it was done I had boiled off prob .75 - 1 gal of water in the one hour boil. I added enough to get to 5 gal in the fermenter. BTW, I have zero extract 'twang' with this method but I also utilized late extract addition.

Even if you want to go for a larger boil don't worry about having the exact amount to boil down to 5 gal but rather 5 gal when you pitch your yeast. :mug:
 
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