Author Topic: Correct volume for boil  (Read 846 times)

Offline fyouberg

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
Correct volume for boil
« on: October 21, 2013, 05:52:56 AM »
I am going to brew a partial extract this morning. The recipe that I am following asks me to steep my grains and boil the extract and hops in 1 1/2 gallons of water and then add 2 gallons of chilled water to the glass carboy and then top up to 5 gallons. Is there anything magic about the 1 1/2 gallons for the steeping and the boil or could I just use 5 gallons since I have a wort chiller?
If your yeast is happy, it can't help but be a good day.

Offline duboman

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1270
    • View Profile
Re: Correct volume for boil
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2013, 06:23:23 AM »
I am going to brew a partial extract this morning. The recipe that I am following asks me to steep my grains and boil the extract and hops in 1 1/2 gallons of water and then add 2 gallons of chilled water to the glass carboy and then top up to 5 gallons. Is there anything magic about the 1 1/2 gallons for the steeping and the boil or could I just use 5 gallons since I have a wort chiller?

What I would do is steep in the 1.5 gallons for the designated time, add the additional 2 gallons for the boil and add approximately 1/3 of the extract at the start of the boil and follow the recipe's hop additions. Add the remainder of the extract at the end of the boil. Cool and rack to primary and then top off.

The split extract additions will help maintain a truer color to the beer and prevent some caramelization of the wort. The increased boil volume will also help minimize this as well as you will lose about a gallon to boil off over 60 minutes. If you wanted to do a full boil you would need to reduce the amount of hops due to better utilization in a full boil
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 13668
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Correct volume for boil
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2013, 09:08:35 AM »
I am going to brew a partial extract this morning. The recipe that I am following asks me to steep my grains and boil the extract and hops in 1 1/2 gallons of water and then add 2 gallons of chilled water to the glass carboy and then top up to 5 gallons. Is there anything magic about the 1 1/2 gallons for the steeping and the boil or could I just use 5 gallons since I have a wort chiller?

You could certainly do a full volume boil, although you'd have to start with more than 5 gal. to end up with 5.  The bitterness would be a little higher since you'd be boiling the hops in a lower gravity wort, but that's not a huge problem.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline fyouberg

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
Re: Correct volume for boil
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2013, 09:20:09 AM »
I am going to brew a partial extract this morning. The recipe that I am following asks me to steep my grains and boil the extract and hops in 1 1/2 gallons of water and then add 2 gallons of chilled water to the glass carboy and then top up to 5 gallons. Is there anything magic about the 1 1/2 gallons for the steeping and the boil or could I just use 5 gallons since I have a wort chiller?

What I would do is steep in the 1.5 gallons for the designated time, add the additional 2 gallons for the boil and add approximately 1/3 of the extract at the start of the boil and follow the recipe's hop additions. Add the remainder of the extract at the end of the boil. Cool and rack to primary and then top off.

The split extract additions will help maintain a truer color to the beer and prevent some caramelization of the wort. The increased boil volume will also help minimize this as well as you will lose about a gallon to boil off over 60 minutes. If you wanted to do a full boil you would need to reduce the amount of hops due to better utilization in a full boil


I get it all except the part about having to cut back on the hops if doing a full boil. If you boil hops for say 60 minutes, isn't it the time of boil not the boil volume that dictates hops utilization?
If your yeast is happy, it can't help but be a good day.

Offline morticaixavier

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7395
  • Underhill VT
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Correct volume for boil
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2013, 09:51:45 AM »
I am going to brew a partial extract this morning. The recipe that I am following asks me to steep my grains and boil the extract and hops in 1 1/2 gallons of water and then add 2 gallons of chilled water to the glass carboy and then top up to 5 gallons. Is there anything magic about the 1 1/2 gallons for the steeping and the boil or could I just use 5 gallons since I have a wort chiller?

What I would do is steep in the 1.5 gallons for the designated time, add the additional 2 gallons for the boil and add approximately 1/3 of the extract at the start of the boil and follow the recipe's hop additions. Add the remainder of the extract at the end of the boil. Cool and rack to primary and then top off.

The split extract additions will help maintain a truer color to the beer and prevent some caramelization of the wort. The increased boil volume will also help minimize this as well as you will lose about a gallon to boil off over 60 minutes. If you wanted to do a full boil you would need to reduce the amount of hops due to better utilization in a full boil


I get it all except the part about having to cut back on the hops if doing a full boil. If you boil hops for say 60 minutes, isn't it the time of boil not the boil volume that dictates hops utilization?

the gravity of the solution also affects utilization. a higher gravity wort is less capable of isomerizing the hop acids so you get less IBUs (taste and analysis confirm this) the higher the gravity of the wort.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
-A Einstein

"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
- J Joyce

Offline hubie

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 234
    • View Profile
Re: Correct volume for boil
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2013, 11:25:55 AM »
It isn't clear from what you said about the directions, but make sure you aren't pouring that 1.5 gallons you just boiled into the carboy first and then adding the cold water on top.  Your carboy will not be happy with that kind of thermal shock and it can crack and/or break; however, if you were using something like a plastic bucket you'd be ok.

I also would not want to boil only 1.5 gallons.  After you pull your steeping grains out, you'll be left with something closer to 1.25 gallons, and if you boil that for an hour you won't have much liquid left.

There is something magic about the 1.5 gallons you are steeping in (it keeps your water chemistry in a range where you are not likely to extract undesirable flavors from the grain).  Once you're done steeping the grains I would take duboman's suggestion for boiling, or boil as much as you can comfortably fit in whatever pot you are using.  The downside to boiling a lot of liquid at once is that if you don't have some sort of chiller, it takes a lot longer to get the liquid down to the proper pitching temperature.

Offline fyouberg

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
Re: Correct volume for boil
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2013, 05:11:17 AM »
Thanks all for your help and suggestions this morning.  Much appreciated.
If your yeast is happy, it can't help but be a good day.

Offline Joe Sr.

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2943
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: Correct volume for boil
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2013, 02:47:27 PM »
the gravity of the solution also affects utilization. a higher gravity wort is less capable of isomerizing the hop acids so you get less IBUs (taste and analysis confirm this) the higher the gravity of the wort.

You know, I was reading earlier today that supposedly John Palmer and others now state that hop utilization is independent of wort gravity.  These were third person attributions on another forum with no reference to source material, but others seemed to agree and take this as a known and generally recognized fact.

I had never heard this before.  Ever.  And I can't find anything in (admittedly brief) searches on-line that would support the attribution of this statement to Palmer other than third party attributions.

Anybody heard this before?  Should I start a new thread on this?  I suppose it could be total BS but I simply don't know.  It has always been my understanding that a concentrated wort had lower hop utilization.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton