full volume boil

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boomer453

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so, settled on how to do my next brew (chocolate milk stout extract kit) now wondering what the difference in outcome would be between following the recipe with a partial boil or doing a full volume boil?
 

McKnuckle

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Do you have the equipment to chill efficiently? If not, then that's one way a partial boil, topped up with cold water, can make brew day significantly easier.

Also, a full boil will change hops utilization, which depends on gravity - making the kit's specs a bit off if it's designed for a boil with a particular partial volume.
 

BlueHouseBrewhaus

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If you don't already have one, get a software program like BeerSmith and it will help you figure out the difference in hops utilization. The good news is you'll need less hops for a full boil. Be sure you have a big enough pot. You could do a full boil 5 gal extract brew with a 7 gal pot but most people will recommend a minimum of a 10 gal pot to cover the eventuality of going all grain with your brewing.

An immersion chiller would be helpful. I made my own out of 30 ft of 3/8" copper pipe. Very easy and inexpensive. That said, there are plenty of brewers that do "no chill" brewing. Cover the pot and let it sit overnight to cool to pitching temp.

For many brewers, the move to full boil depends on the capability of getting 6-8 gal of wort to a boil. I do stove top BIAB and my cooktop electric range can boil 8 gal. Many stoves cannot. Many brewers use a propane burner to boil, which means moving your brewing out of the house. That's why so many brew in their garage. Not a lot of fun in the heat of summer or cold of winter.

These are the primary things to consider. Rest assured, it's all worth it to get your own fresh, tasty homebrew.
 
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boomer453

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i have a 20 gallon pot and will be using propane burner, getting up to a boil won't be an issue and i also have an immersion chiller for cooling it down.
would there be any kind of a rule of thumb for reducing the amount of hops?
 

Yooper

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i have a 20 gallon pot and will be using propane burner, getting up to a boil won't be an issue and i also have an immersion chiller for cooling it down.
would there be any kind of a rule of thumb for reducing the amount of hops?
Not really. The reason for the better utilization of the hops really isn't due to the gravity, like the calculators have you figure. It's because partial boils are diluted with water, which reduces the IBUs. This isn't much of an issue in a beer like a stout, where it's not terribly bitter anyway, but in something that is heavily bittered, like in an IPA, the full boil makes a huge difference in the bittering of the beer.

Generally, if your beer is in the 20-30 IBU range you won't notice much of a difference in the bittering but it would be interesting and helpful to run it through some brewing software as suggested.
 

IslandLizard

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For most extract brews, like your stout, a full boil is really not needed. It takes extra fuel, extra time to get to a boil then again more time to chill. So why do it?

Add 1/3 of extract at beginning of boil, the rest at flameout. Top up with cold water. Easy peasy.
 

cyberbrew

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This isn't much of an issue in a beer like a stout, where it's not terribly bitter anyway, but in something that is heavily bittered, like in an IPA
Agreed, however I would caveat this by saying that if your recipe is for a high gravity, big bodied stout, you'll definitely want the IBUs to offset the residual sweetness. I say this having just finished a Founders Breakfast stout with 60 IBUs.
 
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boomer453

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appreciate the help. i'll stick with a partial boil.
 

Yooper

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appreciate the help. i'll stick with a partial boil.
I wouldn't. If you can go full boil, why wouldn't you? It makes a nice 'clean' tasting beer, compared to a partial boil. If you can't, of course the beer will still be good, but in my experience I've found that the bigger you can go, the better the beer.

A 4 gallon boil seems to be better than a 2 gallon boil, in the 'texture' of the finished beer and having less of an 'extract'y' taste, and a full boil seems to be best of all in the ones I've tasted.
 

MotorcycleMatt

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I wouldn't. If you can go full boil, why wouldn't you? It makes a nice 'clean' tasting beer, compared to a partial boil. If you can't, of course the beer will still be good, but in my experience I've found that the bigger you can go, the better the beer.

A 4 gallon boil seems to be better than a 2 gallon boil, in the 'texture' of the finished beer and having less of an 'extract'y' taste, and a full boil seems to be best of all in the ones I've tasted.
completely agree. Its one of the things that helped improve my beer imo. I started with starters and good ferm temp control so the next thing i moved to was a big enough vessel to do a full boil.

Plus with a 20 gallon pot, maybe he is ready for biab?
 
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