Brew Pot Size

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HossTheGreat

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First of all, I've been reading this site for weeks and soaking up wizdom like a sponge. Thanks to this site I brewed and bottled my first batch stress free. I'm anxiously waiting to see how it turns out. I'm now about to start my second batch, and do have a conundrum.

My brew pot is somewhere just under 16qt. I can fit just under 4 gallons of water in it. My first brew was an extract kit from Midwest and the instructions only called for a 2 gallon boil. No problem.

My second kit is an extract kit from Morebeer.com. In their instructions, they call for a minimum of a 3 gallon boil. I seriously doubt I can accomplish this in my current pot. I would have very little headroom left in the pot...2.5 gallons I'd say would be the absolute max in the pot, still with that I'd be a little concerned with controlling boilovers.

I bought a 21qt porcelain on steel stock pot from Walmart today, but it's pretty wide and doesn't fit on my stove all that well. i don't really think it's going to suit my needs. I'm still hunting for one that will, but in the meantime...my question is even though my instructions say to do a 3 gallon boil, can I simply just do a 2 gallon boil? Would I have to make any modifications to the recipe at all to do this?

Again, thanks for all of your help!
 

hopvine

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Opinions will likely be very mixed, but in all honesty I think it will be just fine to do the 2 gallon boil, while you try and track down a nice 10 or 15 gallon pot for your next batch. The only thing you may want to tweak is the amount of hops, as the less water there is (i.e. the higher the gravity), the less hop utilization you'll get. For that reason, you may want to increase the hops a bit, especially if you're a big hop nut.
 

Figbash

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A full boil will produce beer lighter in color and have better hop utilization. As hopvide suggested, just increase your hops a bit for a 2 gallon boil. You might also hold back half of the extract and add it at the end of the boil. The late addition will keep the malt from caramelizing and making the beer dark.

The best deal around on stock pots is this 24 quart stainless pot from Bayou Classics for $55. You'll be able to do a full 5 gallon boil with this baby and not have to worry so much about boil overs.

Tom
 

talenos

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I was in your boat and just got the cheapest 20 qt. pot they had at the brew shop. It's much better to not have to worry about boil-overs.

They're about 35-40 bucks.
 
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HossTheGreat

HossTheGreat

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Thanks, but I'm still a bit confused. Unless I read incorrectly, Figbash, you said to cut back on hops but hopvine said to add more.

Now, if use the method of only using half of the extract then add the other half at the end, with how many minutes left in the boil should I add the second half? I assume that I should add it before my whirloc and aroma hops...is that correct? Also, what will happen if the malt does carmalize? Will it just darken the beer or will it affect the taste too?
 

hoppheadIPA

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less water than the instructions, use more hops. Full boils when the instructions say 2 gal, use 10-15 percent less hops.
 
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HossTheGreat

HossTheGreat

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Thanks. My kit comes with both LME and DME. Should I do the same with the DME? Add half in the beggining and half at the end?
 

Figbash

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Thanks, but I'm still a bit confused. Unless I read incorrectly, Figbash, you said to cut back on hops but hopvine said to add more.

Now, if use the method of only using half of the extract then add the other half at the end, with how many minutes left in the boil should I add the second half? I assume that I should add it before my whirloc and aroma hops...is that correct? Also, what will happen if the malt does carmalize? Will it just darken the beer or will it affect the taste too?
Sorry, I was thinking full boil and typing for a 2 gallon boil. You'll want to increase the amount of hops for a 2 gallon boil.

I do a five gallon full boil with 2 pounds of malt for the full 60 minutes. The remainder goes in at flame out. Put your Whirlflock tablet and aroma hops in for the last 15 minutes of the boil.

Caramelized malt will have some effect on the flavor, but it will mostly just make the beer dark. The problem is that the higher the gravity of the wort is, the easier it is to scorch and that will affect the flavor.

Hoss: I like to add LME (if I use it) after flameout so there is no chance of scorching it. LME sinks to the bottom of the pot when you pour it in and if the bottom is hot, it may burn.

Tom
 
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HossTheGreat

HossTheGreat

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Thanks Tom. I'm still going to try and pick up a bigger pot before my next brew day to do a 3 gallon boil. I have been reading up on adding the extract late. I'll have to give it a shot.
 

hopvine

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Thanks Tom. I'm still going to try and pick up a bigger pot before my next brew day to do a 3 gallon boil. I have been reading up on adding the extract late. I'll have to give it a shot.
If you're going to invest in a pot that will allow you to boil a larger volume, do yourself a favor and get one that allows you to go straight to 5 gallon full volume boils. The Bayou Classics stockpot linked by Figbash would be perfect for you.
 

snailsongs

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I second the Bayou classic, but go for a full burner and pot set-up. going full boil will greatly improve your brew and you should be able to find the same Bayou Classic setup (a 32 qt aluminum pot and burner) for roughly that same $40 dollars for a 20 qt ss pot.......it's what I've been using for the last few months and it will get your foot in the door till your ready to spring for a better pot.....just make sure you boil some water in it before you use it for brewing, as you need to oxidize the aluminum to prevent stuff leaching into your brew.
 

springer

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keep looking for a larger pot Sam's sometimes has a 24qt SS pot that is very good quality I bought one at first now SWMBO uses it. But until you get the bigger pot use Fermcap 3 gallons in a 4 gallon pot will be no problem at all.Just to give you an idea on how well this stuff works boil
 

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