Author Topic: Wee Heavy extended boil time?  (Read 3183 times)

Offline colinhayes

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Wee Heavy extended boil time?
« on: October 06, 2014, 09:47:56 PM »
Hi all,

So I'm looking at doing a wee heavy as my next beer and I want to get a solid idea of the two methods I can try for the boil.

1. Boil gallon to a quart, add back. Overall boil time regular
2. Extended boil time of unspecified length.

On here, I've seen people advocate boiling the first 1 gallon of running down to 1 quart. That sounds great and all, but I'd like to also know what the "extended boil" time actually is that would produce the caramelization that we're looking for in this beer. Some things I've seen are boiling 10 gal down to 5 gal, which seems a bit excessive to me right now. Would a 2 hour boil do it? 3? Is it more a function of time or volume?

My set up right now boils off about 1.2 gallons per hour (at work away from notebook right now) with the lid partially on the pot. My usual setup is starting with 8 gallons, boiling for 90 minutes, ending with 6.25 gal after cooling, putting 6 gal in the fermentor, and bottling 5.75 gallons. A two hour boil means I need to collect almost 8.4 gallons, and a three hour would mean ~9.2 which is possible in my 10 gal kettle.

Cheers!

Offline Stevie

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Re: Wee Heavy extended boil time?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2014, 09:53:46 PM »
I've only done the reduced first runnings, so can't help with your question. But, I recommend keeping the lid of the pot until you are chilling.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Wee Heavy extended boil time?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2014, 09:55:43 PM »
I don't think you CAN get the same level of 'carmelization' or maillard reactions in a full boil that you can get with the 1 gallon. By the time you have boiled that gallon down to a quart you've made syrup. The boiling temp has gone way up from 212 at that point because you are boiling something that's around 1.360 (probably higher) gravity so you get actual carmelization (I think, haven't actually done the math) at the boil temps you can achieve with that much sugar in the mix.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Wee Heavy extended boil time?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2014, 09:59:10 PM »
I don't think you CAN get the same level of 'carmelization' or maillard reactions in a full boil that you can get with the 1 gallon. By the time you have boiled that gallon down to a quart you've made syrup. The boiling temp has gone way up from 212 at that point because you are boiling something that's around 1.360 (probably higher) gravity so you get actual carmelization (I think, haven't actually done the math) at the boil temps you can achieve with that much sugar in the mix.

+1. You'll get a way better beer reducing the gallon to a quart method. You will get some 'caramelly' flavors in a long boil but not of the quality or intensity of this method. It makes an awesome beer.
Jon H.

Offline colinhayes

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Re: Wee Heavy extended boil time?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2014, 10:37:03 PM »
Okay, good enough for me, reduced runnings it is!

And I will keep my lid partially on :P, I can't deal with the amount of boil off I get with it completely off, and the beers come out great with no DMS.

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Wee Heavy extended boil time?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2014, 10:39:54 PM »
You could always do a bit of both.  An extended 2hr boil along with boiling down the first runnings a bit. 

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Wee Heavy extended boil time?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2014, 10:51:22 PM »
Okay, good enough for me, reduced runnings it is!

And I will keep my lid partially on :P, I can't deal with the amount of boil off I get with it completely off, and the beers come out great with no DMS.
if you're not getting any DMS then maybe you don't have to worry but you can control boiloff with flame control as well. I try to keep the surface turning over without having giant foamy rolls trying to leap out of the pot. this also allows be to boil a starting volume of 47 liters in my 50 liter kettle.
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Offline colinhayes

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Re: Wee Heavy extended boil time?
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2014, 11:08:10 PM »
That's about the boil vigor I see with both burners going full, any less and it'd be a simmer. It's a mighty wide pot, so there's not a whole lot I can do about it. With the lid partially on, I get 15% loss per hour. I don't have figures for what it was with it completely off as I calibrated that a long time ago.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Wee Heavy extended boil time?
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2014, 01:46:55 PM »
ahh yes, if the dimensions of the pot are wrong you'll get crazy evap without a cover.
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Offline denny

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Re: Wee Heavy extended boil time?
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2014, 03:42:17 PM »
I don't think you CAN get the same level of 'carmelization' or maillard reactions in a full boil that you can get with the 1 gallon. By the time you have boiled that gallon down to a quart you've made syrup. The boiling temp has gone way up from 212 at that point because you are boiling something that's around 1.360 (probably higher) gravity so you get actual carmelization (I think, haven't actually done the math) at the boil temps you can achieve with that much sugar in the mix.

+1. You'll get a way better beer reducing the gallon to a quart method. You will get some 'caramelly' flavors in a long boil but not of the quality or intensity of this method. It makes an awesome beer.

+ eleventy billion and 14
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Offline colinhayes

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Re: Wee Heavy extended boil time?
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2014, 06:15:42 PM »
+ eleventy billion and 14

Well if I wasn't convinced before...

Should I keep with a 90 minute boil like normal, then? And collect 0.75 gallons more in total?

Offline Stevie

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Re: Wee Heavy extended boil time?
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2014, 06:27:46 PM »
I have one change in plan the next time I do a reduced boil, instead of targeting a volume, I am going to target a temperature using a candy thermometer. I think I will target soft ball stage (235 - 245)

Offline colinhayes

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Re: Wee Heavy extended boil time?
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2014, 06:59:29 PM »
I may throw my candy thermometer in the pot and see what it gets down to once it's down to a quart. Brewing this on the 18th or 19th so I can report back

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Wee Heavy extended boil time?
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2014, 09:49:18 PM »
I found that there is a distinct look that occurs at the right carmelization stage - there are striated bubble seams across the surface.  I wish I had taken a picture.  I boiled a gallon down to somewhere above a pint, but definitely less than a quart.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Wee Heavy extended boil time?
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2014, 10:03:17 PM »

I found that there is a distinct look that occurs at the right carmelization stage - there are striated bubble seams across the surface.  I wish I had taken a picture.  I boiled a gallon down to somewhere above a pint, but definitely less than a quart.

Yeah, boiling down to 25% doesn't seem to do it. Flavor is good, color not as dark as I would like.