Author Topic: 5.5 Gallon Boil with Extract Kit  (Read 16281 times)

Offline philm63

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5.5 Gallon Boil with Extract Kit
« on: July 06, 2012, 01:08:53 PM »
I got a brewing kit last Christmas that included a Bear Tooth Stout, and finally broke it out and brewed it up a few weeks ago. The box from Santa also came with the book "How to Brew" - good stuff! I think the first batch went alright, I just bottled it a few days ago and am reading the instructions on a new American Pale Ale kit for my next brew. I noticed the kits all seem to call for 2.5 gallons for the boil. Seeing how much I enjoyed making the first batch, I went out and picked up a 5 gallon carboy to use for a secondary, and proceeded to order a larger brew pot and wort chiller thinking I'd like to try a full boil next time (my kit came with a 4-gal pot). My question is two-fold and based on the following; adjusting the water up to just over 6 gallons to yield a 5.5 gallon batch in the primary dropped the OG significantly, so I added some DME in the recipe to bring it back into range and adjusted the hops accordingly. I am using BS2, which helps quite a bit. Are there any disadvantages to doing a full boil with an extract kit, and am I going in the right direction reducing the hops and increasing the malt (or other fermentables) to keep the OG where it is intended (or even higher)? Are there any other brewers out there doing all extraction with a full boil? Are there any full (5 - 5.5 gallon batch size) recipes using extract?
On Tap: Oatmeal Stout, IPA
Fermenting: Air
On Deck: Kolsch

Offline Moonpile

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Re: 5.5 Gallon Boil with Extract Kit
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2012, 11:13:39 AM »
If you can do a full boil with your extract kit, it is my opinion that you absolutely should do so.  You will get better hop utilization, and you may wish to adjust the hopping downward a bit, however for a style like American Pale Ale or any other style that is meant to have a hop presence I personally would not bother, especially given that you're adjusting the total brew volume up an adding DME to compensate.

And if it makes you feel any better, I think full boil is probably the first step an extract brewer should make.  I've been doing all grain for 5 years now after doing extract concentrated boils since 1992.  Last fall, I found myself with the money for extract but not the time for all grain, so I did a full boil 10 gallon batch, and I was totally shocked at how good it turned out compared to my past experience with extract and concentrated boils.  It was a Simcoe-Fuggle APA that turned out so clear and beautiful that I will never hesitate to do that again, given time constraints.

Offline philm63

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Re: 5.5 Gallon Boil with Extract Kit
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2012, 02:43:27 PM »
Thanks for the input - good stuff. My wife will be brewing this one - her first - and she likes a slightly muted hop bitterness in a Pale Ale which is why I backed off on the hops a little and spread it out over 3 additions (recipe attached). From the original recipe; I backed off only 0.5 oz from the original 2 oz bittering hops, and added 1.5 Lbs Light DME to account for a larger boil and a 5.5 gallon primary.

Please have a look at my modified recipe and let me know if I am on the right track. I am a beginner (my first brew is just now in the bottle...) and I'd like reassurance from the experts that I am at least going in the right direction.
On Tap: Oatmeal Stout, IPA
Fermenting: Air
On Deck: Kolsch

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: 5.5 Gallon Boil with Extract Kit
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2012, 07:54:18 PM »
Strictly my opinion, but a full pound of Crystal 20 (11% of grist) may come across as sweet/candy-like for an APA.  If she likes muted  bittering that may be fine.

If she likes Cascade hops, you might shift some of those to later since most of the Cascade flavor/aroma will get boiled off. 

The allowance for boil-off is low for a full-hour boil, and there is no allowance for trub/chiller loss.  If you start with 5.94 gallons and actually do boil off a gallon, you may up end up short after all the likely small losses along the way.   If you want to package a full five gallons, you may want to start with 6.5 gallons to be safe.

Offline philm63

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Re: 5.5 Gallon Boil with Extract Kit
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2012, 04:48:24 PM »
Thanks for the reply.

Ok, so I cut the Caramel/Crystal Malt in half and the profile still looks quite good and, on your advice, I will look at moving some of the Cascade to later in the boil to preserve the character and perhaps add a little more of the original amount back in.

Also; some of the numbers regarding boil and other process losses may be a bit off as I am still crawling my way through BS2 and learning the ropes, so to speak. I intend to start with around 6.25 gallons in hopes of fermenting 5.5 gallons, and bottling around 5.1 gallons. I tend to keep the lid most of the way on during the boil to minimize/control boil losses - if you see this as not the best practice, please chime in as I'd certainly appreciate the heads-up - I can always start with 6.5 - 6.75 gallons and let 'er rip sans lid. I have a 32L pot so I think I have enough room as long as I don't walk away from it...

I do appreciate the expert opinions from those who have been there, and hope to be able to share my insights one day as well.
On Tap: Oatmeal Stout, IPA
Fermenting: Air
On Deck: Kolsch

Offline Curly55

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Re: 5.5 Gallon Boil with Extract Kit
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2012, 07:44:39 PM »
http://www.byo.com/stories/projects-and-equipment/article/indices/29-equipment/2483-expanding-your-homebrewery-tips-from-the-pros
is a great little artical from BYO that talks about the first couple of steps to take and i will agree with them ( and you ) that full boils are the first and best inprovment.
1 Timothy 5:23

Offline philm63

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Re: 5.5 Gallon Boil with Extract Kit
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2012, 04:34:03 PM »
Looking back at the original recipe; I see that the Crystal Malt 20L was in there as a full Lb so I added the 8 oz I removed back in and, wanting to remain as true as possible to the original, backed off a bit on the added DME (down to 1 Lb from 1.5 Lbs).

I also restructured the hop additions effectively adding back in the 1/2 oz I took out in my first modification meaning I'm using everything that came with the kit, and the 3 additions now come later in the boil resulting in a more favorable hop profile.

I've essentially restored the recipe all the way back to its original amounts with the addition of 1 LB DME and a modification to the timing for the hop additions.The bitterness ratio is a healthy 0.776 with around 40 IBUs and a lower OG now. My hope is that these new modifications will result in a full boil extract APA that is more representative of its style.

The new modified "Full Boil" Brewer's Best APA recipe is attached, and I'd appreciate if I could get some feedback.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 04:40:00 PM by philm63 »
On Tap: Oatmeal Stout, IPA
Fermenting: Air
On Deck: Kolsch

Offline zymurgist05

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Re: 5.5 Gallon Boil with Extract Kit
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2012, 05:20:34 PM »
I wouldn't cover the boil kettle to lessen the boil off.  Covering the kettle could lead to increase levels of DMS. 

Offline philm63

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Re: 5.5 Gallon Boil with Extract Kit
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2012, 05:38:14 PM »
Cripes! Don't want that, so thanks for the heads-up.

Just discovered after doing a test with 6.5 gallons of water on my stove (it's got one16,000 BTU burner) that my stove cannot handle a full boil. It will take the full 6.5 gallons up to 212 F but it results in a very low rolling boil - not sufficient, in my opinion, to facilitate enough agitation during a 60 minute boil and adding ingredients is only going to make it worse!

So it's back to the LHBS for a new 70k BTU Bayou Burner. Before ya know it, I'll be looking at mash tuns - look out grain; here I come... 
On Tap: Oatmeal Stout, IPA
Fermenting: Air
On Deck: Kolsch

Offline brownsriverbrew

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Re: 5.5 Gallon Boil with Extract Kit
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2014, 09:09:48 PM »
I boil the full 5 gallons to start with Extract and then top off during the chill ( typically lose .5 gallon during a 60 min boil using a Blichmann banjo burner ).  Adding a gallon at the end of the boil while running the chiller gives you a little over 6 gallons in the primary allowing for trub and a true 5 gallon secondary and it allows for more cooling if you chill the gallon you add. 

Offline BeerNut

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Re: 5.5 Gallon Boil with Extract Kit
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2014, 06:23:32 PM »
Definitely boil without a cover.  Covering during the boil traps DMS in the wort.  It will collect on the lid and condensate back into the wort.  Always boil without a lid.
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modification