Author Topic: boil volume question  (Read 5064 times)


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boil volume question
« on: March 29, 2010, 08:11:03 AM »
So I brewed my Belgian brown today and I have a question about the pre-boil volume. I add the amount of water exactly that brew smith tells me to ( mash in, and sparge)... and I batch sparge emptying the tun first. I always end up with way more wort than I should. I was targeted to achieve a 6.8 pre boil volume, and ended up with 7.65.... Am I supposed to shut the mash tun valve when I approach the recommended boil volume or drain the tun completely? This obviously has dropped my efficiency to low levels and has effected the desired outcome of my beer. Please help!!!

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: boil volume question
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2010, 10:11:01 AM »
The short answer, IMO, is yes.  I struggled with this far too long (cuz I wasn't thinking clearly).  Part of it is knowing your system and entering all the critical parameters into BSmith.  Garbage In, Garbage Out, definitely applies here. 

But as far as making the beer you intended, stopping wort collection when you reach the boil volume is the safest bet.  Otherwise, you risk diluting it way down and you'd have to boil 'forever' to get the OG back up.

You can always adjust the numbers for the next batch and continuously tweak until you get the repeatable results you want.

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: boil volume question
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2010, 01:37:42 PM »
Part of it is knowing your system and entering all the critical parameters into BSmith.  Garbage In, Garbage Out, definitely applies here. 
Agreed, It sounds like you need to check your measuring marks and your equipment settings in BeerSmith. Check here for your equipment settings:

I intentionally have 1G of water for those just in case times, and if I do add it. I will add the appropriate time to the boil to evaporate it off.

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Offline CR

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Re: boil volume question
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2010, 03:20:23 PM »
What sort of boil do you achieve? Violent or just barely?

Normally, with a rolling boil,  I boil off more than a gallon.
I collect wort until there's no more then I batch sparge.  Sometimes I sparge again.
Then I recycle everything through the grain bed several times  till it's all brilliantly clear.
When recycling (Vorloaf)  I use a fairly large flat bottomed collanter steamer thing that came with a three gallon stock pot.  The holes are small about an eighth inch.    I pour the first vorlaf in and press the colander thing down firmly to compress the grains.
From then on the filtration is very good.   I use a braided SST in the Tun so I have yet to stick a sparge.

 My mashing  is  a nice slow  process that  takes me through all the phases

I dough in at 113 and build temperature by draining off the tun and re heating the wort to the next temperature  seeking to just  pass that temp  in the pot  so that I raise the grains slowly in temperature.  Usually it'll take me three of four cycles to get the grains in the tun to the next step where I'll let it rest for a while.  I hold it at 151 F for an hour  and then  peak out after a starch test at 168.

Offline Pirate Point Brewer

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Re: boil volume question
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2010, 05:16:37 PM »
Controlling volume is one of the most important things you can do to make your results consistent!! I use very simple equipment (cheap) and try to use very simple and practical (cheap) accessories. To measure volume, I make a dip stick from 1/2” copper tube for each pot. I cut a piece to fit the pot, then use a measuring pitcher to mark the tube by 1 gal. To keep the mark accurate, I score the tube at the mark with the tubing cutter. I do not leave the dip stick in the pot only dip it in to take a measurement.  I use the same technique for Primary & Secondary carboys.  I clean the outside with iso –p alcohol, put a stripe of tape from bottom to the neck. Pour in water 1 gallon at a time and mark the tape. For the smaller more critical volume areas, you can extrapolate between the 1 gallon marks.
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