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Full wort boil

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Philly_BrewGuy

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Currently I brew extract batches in a 5 gallon pot. I end up with about 3 gallons of wort which I then add tap water to bring up to 5 gallons. I'm thinking about getting a 7.5 gallon pot so I can do full wort boils. Are there any advantages to full boils vs what I am doing now ? Disadvantages ? I imagine it takes alot longer to cool the wort but I have a wort chiller.
 

D-brewmeister

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I know that as far as sanitization is concerned, full boil is best, since there is no liqud added to the beer that hasn't been boiled, thus no way for nasties to get into the fermenter. Also, hop utilization is higher the lower the gravity of the boil. So if you have a very concentrated wort (as you would doing 3 gallon boils) you have to add more hops to get the same amount of bitterness.
 

Uncle Fat

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I'd think about getting a 9 gallon pot for a 5 gallon boil. You'll boil off between 1.5 and 2 gallons during the boil, so you'll need to boil around 7. That would be a little too easy to boil over in a 7.5 gal pot.

Yes, 5 gallons takes longer to bring to a boil, and to cool. As D said, the benefits of hop utilization, and sanitation make it worth it.
 

Janx

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Full boil makes better beer. I've always understood the reasoning to be exactly what Uncle Fat and D said...sanitation and hop utilization. Especially hop utilization. All I know is it definitely makes your beer better, having done it both ways.
 

D-brewmeister

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Uncle Fat said:
You'll boil off between 1.5 and 2 gallons during the boil, so you'll need to boil around 7.
Do most of you guys boil with the lid off of your pot? Would leaving the lid on reduce the amount of boil off? I know that when you are first hitting boiling, adding malt extract or hops or whatever you gotta watch for a boilover, but other than that should leaving the lid on be a good idea?
 

Majikcook

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D-
I would at least use a vented lid or crack the lid a bit on the pot. You are still looking at a pressure buildup from the evaporating water into steam. Ideally the top of the lid collects the steam and it goes back into the wort as water. I would at least crack it. But what the heck do I know?
 

NUCC98

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D-brewmeister said:
Do most of you guys boil with the lid off of your pot? Would leaving the lid on reduce the amount of boil off? I know that when you are first hitting boiling, adding malt extract or hops or whatever you gotta watch for a boilover, but other than that should leaving the lid on be a good idea?
I left the lid on my brewpot once. It was 45 minutes into the boil.......I added the last ounce of hops, replaced the lid, and left the kitchen for a bit. Several mistakes here...

1. Don't fully cover your brewpot.
2. If you do, don't leave the room....I know they say that a watched pot never boils...but it also never boils over.
3. Be careful with the consumption of homebrews while brewing...it can sometimes lead to bad decisions. (see #1 & 2)
4. Never even think to yourself "wow...I must be lucky because I've NEVER had a boilover....
 

uglygoat

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i always keep the lid on my pot, it's a large stock pot and the lid is not real heavy, and can rattle a bit to let some steam escape if needs be... but nothing comes close to keeping an eye on, and being withing diving distance of the dial on the stove... ;)

the best times for a boil over are when you first add the extract if you are using extract, and it begins to boil, then the first addition of hops, then the second if you are boiling hops on a schedule. this has been my experience anyway.

i think throwing new things into the pot always stirs up the chemical reactions and gives you the potential for the boil over...

once the stuff settles down after you added (about five minutes and a few good stirs) it i put the lid back on... to keep the evaporation loss minimal, and to keep my overall boil consistent... my new stove doesn't seem to have the sack that the old one did when it comes to btu's... ;)

anyone ever added more boiling water to the boiling wort as you lose volume, or would that be less desireable than just assuming your gonna lose x amount during the boil and start out with more wort?
 
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