what happens if not a very strong boil

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bdaddy

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Was brewing an Irish Red Ale from midwest (LME), using 3 gallon boil in 22 quart SS pot on my gas stove.

My stove really struggled getting to a boil (took forever), and when it did it wasn't what I see as a "rolling boil", rather just a slight boil. Mostly small ripples, although occasionally the center would boil pretty rough and pop high so I had to turn it down occasionally to keep from splashing out of the pot, but the whole pot never really came to a rolling boil nor was there a huge foam rush (mild foam at the beginning that dissolved).

Once the bubbles came I added the hops and let it go for an hour, but it was a very small boil for that time....my question is..what's likely to be the outcome with a mild boil? Reason I ask is it's going on 24 hours now and still no action in my airlock, so wondering if this has anything to do with it? (I used safale-04 dry yeast, re-hydrated about 30 minutes before pitching...aerated to wort by dumping between fermenter and another bucket about 4 times).

Had a lot of glitches as it was my first batch..main issue being my thermometer was not up to the task (too slow to measure and apparently not too accurate), so I was really having a hard time judging the temp for cooling as well as the hydration of the yeast. I thought I had cooled my wort to <80 but when I added it to the fermenter (which had 3 gallons of pre-boil water) the LCD therm on it read 82 degrees. I pitched anyways, so maybe that's an issue as well. My hydrometer reading before yeast pitch was 1.038 (at what I guess was that 82 degrees if the LCD therm. was correct).

It's been a "son of fermentation chiller" since the pitch at around 68 degrees for the chiller (although the fermenter said 72 at one point when I checked).

Wondering what I should do at this stage. Leave be for 48 more hours to see if fermentation starts? Repitch another safale-04? Toss the whole thing and try with a new batch on a more powerful outside burner?
 

android

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don't toss it. my first brew had a similar boil to yours. i could tell it wasn't a good boil since i didn't even come close to a boil over. i had the same slight boil, little ripples, etc. and the beer came out pretty darn good. that temp is a little high for pitching, but i don't think you'll have any real problems with that. with your temps, you might get a little more frutiness out of the ale yeast, but that's ok. just leave it and see what happens. you could take a gravity reading to see if it's dropped any to see if fermentation is happening.
 

Got Trub?

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Yes, let it go for another 48 hours and by then I bet you see fermentation going strong. In terms of the boil it is not a problem. You just need the wort "ticking over" and you will get good hop utilization and hot break. A more vigourous boil can be helpfull in some styles as you will get melanoidin formation, in other styles you may want to avoid it (like in a Bohemian Pils).

GT
 

HotbreakHotel

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Please don't toss your beer!

Neither the slow boil or the 82 degree pitch would cause the yeast not to start.

Your boil sounds like it was good. If you had to turn it down to keep it from splashing around, it sounds like you had enough boil. I used to boil on the stove, and I still do if it rains, and your boil sounds like my stovetop boils. You would just have a hard time if you were trying to really boil it down a lot.

Conventional wisdom is to wait 48-72 hours for the yeast to start, but if you have another packet and you absolutely can't stand waiting, if you pitched it you wouldn't hurt anything. There's such a thing as overpitching, but do not believe 2 packets of Safale would do that.
 

bsruther

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My first two brews didn't come to a full boil and they turned out fine. I couldn't get the temps past 210° on my stove top. Using propane now.
My first brew is tasting pretty good after 3 weeks in the bottle.
My second is conditioning very well too.
Don't worry about it.
 

TheTower

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If you're having difficulties maintaining a good boil, you could use a lid to keep some of the heat in the pot. Some might disagree with that, but I've used it to keep 3 gals boiling on an electric stove. There are volatile chemicals that need to be released during the boil, so make sure the lid is cracked as much as possible while still keeping the boil (I usually have a 1-2" opening in the lid).
 

HotbreakHotel

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If you're having difficulties maintaining a good boil, you could use a lid to keep some of the heat in the pot. Some might disagree with that, but I've used it to keep 3 gals boiling on an electric stove. There are volatile chemicals that need to be released during the boil, so make sure the lid is cracked as much as possible while still keeping the boil (I usually have a 1-2" opening in the lid).
I would agree with this. I've seen commercial boil pots that connect to a smaller chimney -- they're not completely open.
 

Stef1966

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I always have a slight boil like you described, im using the stove as well and i really wouldn't enjoy a freaking boil over, if youre brewing for yourself and no contests, your beer will be just great as it is.

I know mine is.
It's beer... not rocket science.
 

snailsongs

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just don't keep the lid on there all the time, or at all if you're using pilsner malts (I don't think it's an issue w/ pils extract though) because pilsner malt produces a lot of DMS, which will make your brew taste like oysters or cabbage.....that's no good.
 

snailsongs

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I always have a slight boil like you described, im using the stove as well and i really wouldn't enjoy a freaking boil over, if youre brewing for yourself and no contests, your beer will be just great as it is.

I know mine is.
It's beer... not rocket science.
the first time I used my outdoor propane burner I boiled over at least 4 times.....I was shocked at how good I could get 6 gallons boiling so violently....but yeah, boilovers suck. I have learned to read the signs on the bubbling surface and always have a spray bottle of cold distilled water at hand. :D
 
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bdaddy

bdaddy

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thanks all for the advice. just under 48 hours and I'm getting some bubble action in the airlock (not as much as I thought, but about 1 bubble every 5-10 seconds). We'll see how it turns out. I plan on letting it sit in a primary for 3 weeks before bottling. Any reason to check gravity before the 3 weeks?
 

BrewStooge

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I could only think for having a mark to make sure it stopped dropping, and as a nice excuse to give a taste test, gotta check the progress ya know... :)
 

taylornate

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the first time I used my outdoor propane burner I boiled over at least 4 times.....I was shocked at how good I could get 6 gallons boiling so violently....but yeah, boilovers suck. I have learned to read the signs on the bubbling surface and always have a spray bottle of cold distilled water at hand. :D
Why distilled?
 

snailsongs

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Why distilled?
Oh, because I've had some trouble with plastic-y band-aid-ish type flavors and I think it's due to the fact that I was using tap water in the spray bottle, and to mix up my sanitizer as-well.......I have decided on a zero tolerance policy with my tap water, that's all, and if you mix up your star-san w/ distilled water it keeps for a long time and you can re-use it, so I always have some around now.
 

DocBrown

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My first brew (just a few weeks ago!) was also an Irish Red. I did a full boil - though it was more like a full simmer! I never aerated the wort, and I let it sit on the counter with the lid on the pot to cool off (it took 14 hours!). I started to get some bubbles between 24 and 48 hours, though it wasn't a lot of action. All bubbles stopped about 48 hours after they started. But I'm not drinking a great Irish Red!
 
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