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First brew-Half or full boil?

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blk94f150

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I just ordered the Irish Red Ale from Midwestsupply. In the directions it says to boil 1.5-2 gallons of water and put 3.5-4 gallons of clean water into the fermenter.

I bought a 30qt stockpot to do full 5 gallon boils with .5-1 gallons of boil off. Do I do what they say or can I put all the water into the stockpot. Is there any real difference besides how fast I can get it boiling?

Mike
 

c.n.budz

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Follow what the instructions tell you. If you put too much water in the boil your IBUs will be all screwed up. 30qts will be tough to do full 5 gallon boils in, you'll most likely get lots of boilovers. Welcome to the forum
 

wilserbrewer

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If you don't have a wort chiller your best off boiling about 2 gal. and chilling the make up water. Or if ya like a hoppy brew and wanna get adventurous w/ a full or larger boil then by all means go for it! Be warned it will take time and effort to chill 5 gal in the sink or a tub.
 

stormtracker

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blk94f150 said:
I just ordered the Irish Red Ale from Midwestsupply. In the directions it says to boil 1.5-2 gallons of water and put 3.5-4 gallons of clean water into the fermenter.

I bought a 30qt stockpot to do full 5 gallon boils with .5-1 gallons of boil off. Do I do what they say or can I put all the water into the stockpot. Is there any real difference besides how fast I can get it boiling?

Mike
I have found.. ( Mind you Im on my third batch ) Im still a noob by many standards.

What I am finding though is that I put 1 gallon of chilled water in the fermenter. I boil my wort at about 3 gallons. Add all my extracts etc. and then to cool down my wort quickly I add another gallon of chilled water to the hot wort. This gets my temperatures down quickly. and gives me about 5 gallons of finished product.

If there is an issue with this method Im sure someone will chime in. But it seems to work great and my first batch turned out ok.

Hope that helps.
 

Jesse17

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Most of this has already been mentioned, but I'll summarize it for you...

If you use more water than the recipe calls for, then you will have a lower boil gravity. This isn't a bad thing, it's actually a good thing, as long as you calculate that and lower your hop additions, as you'll get better AA utilization from a lower gravity boil.

On the other hand, in order to get a cold brake, you'll definitely need a wort chiller of some kind.

Also, it's harder to control a full boil because you have so much more thermal mass in that extra volume of water/wort. A smaller volume of water reacts much quicker to lowering the heat, or lifting the pot of the burner, or even stirring it, when it's about to boil over, than a larger volume of water does. That's why the percent of extra space in your pot should increase as the volume of the boil increases, if you don't want a boil over.

I would recommend you do a full boil, but not unless you adjust your hops, have a wort chiller, and watch your pot like a hawk!

But what do I know, I'm just a noob, who probably shouldn't answer this question, but I feel like posting. :drunk: (I'm sure I'll see that last sentence in someone's sig soon. :p

Good luck. :mug:
 

BuffaloSabresBrewer

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Jesse17 said:
Most of this has already been mentioned, but I'll summarize it for you...

If you use more water than the recipe calls for, then you will have a lower boil gravity. This isn't a bad thing, it's actually a good thing, as long as you calculate that and lower your hop additions, as you'll get better AA utilization from a lower gravity boil.

On the other hand, in order to get a cold brake, you'll definitely need a wort chiller of some kind.

Also, it's harder to control a full boil because you have so much more thermal mass in that extra volume of water/wort. A smaller volume of water reacts much quicker to lowering the heat, or lifting the pot of the burner, or even stirring it, when it's about to boil over, than a larger volume of water does. That's why the percent of extra space in your pot should increase as the volume of the boil increases, if you don't want a boil over.

I would recommend you do a full boil, but not unless you adjust your hops, have a wort chiller, and watch your pot like a hawk!

But what do I know, I'm just a noob, who probably shouldn't answer this question, but I feel like posting. :drunk: (I'm sure I'll see that last sentence in someone's sig soon. :p

Good luck. :mug:
Done. It stays for now.
 

SuperiorBrew

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Will your stove boil 5+ gallons in a decent time frame or do you have a outdoor burner?
I would stick with the directions for you first batch and decide how you want to do the next one. I did a full boil on my second brew and AG on my 4th. It all depends on what you are after, I am more interested in the learning of a new great hobby and the science end of the brewing. The great beer is just a bonus & part of the challenge for me.

If you do decide to go with the full boils get a chiller before you make the switch.
 
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blk94f150

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The stove is a little slow, but it gets the job done. I do have the turkey fryer burner, and I'll probably be using that. I haven't tested its effectiveness at boiling 5 gallons.

If I use 2 gallons to boil, should I add an extra .5 or so to compensate for water boiling off, or do you think that's already been conpensated for in the directions?

Mike
 

stormtracker

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homebrewer_99 said:
Nothing wrong with that method as long as you're making great tasting beer. :rockin:

I only boil 1.5 gals for my brews. I've been doing it for over 14 years.:D
I can appreciate the above 1.5 gal. However I am trying to brew some potent stuff. and it gets really thick sometimes. Placing 12 lbs of LME into 1.5 gal is a recipe (excuse the pun) for disaster. Would you alter the 1.5 gal in this instance?
 

Joker

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If you want to do brews that are that big you would be better off getting a wort chiller and a bigger pot and going with a full boil.
 
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