Author Topic: How Vigorous Do you Boil?  (Read 18580 times)

Offline Wildrover

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 480
How Vigorous Do you Boil?
« on: July 14, 2008, 05:54:51 PM »
So my wife thinks I boil the brew a little too vigorously and all I need is a small rolling boil to do what I need.  I guess it wouldn't matter but if thats true then I have my gas up too high and am basically wasting gas and money.

What say you?

Offline UselessBrewing

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1115
  • Useless Brewing
    • Useless Brewing
Re: How Vigorous Do you Boil?
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2008, 06:34:20 AM »
I start with a low boil until the Hotbreak subsides, then I boil vigorously enough to keep the wort moving rapidly. NO SISSY SIMMER FOR MY BEER! Personally I like the flavors created during a Long vigorous boil (Most of my boils are 90-120 min). But it you need the technical reason here you go.

Technically speaking you should boil vigorously because:
1. Sanitizes the wort
2. Gets rid of unwanted compounds like oxidation on equipment and Dimethyl Sulfides (DMS is constantly produced during a boil and needs to be evaporated off. NO LIDS During Boil!)
3. Coagulates unwanted proteins (IMHO one of the most important reasons)
4. Extraction of Alpha Acids from Hops
5. Removes water which increases the SG of the wort

Here is a good read about boils
http://bavarianbrewerytech.com/news/boilhops.htm

Cheers

Preston
« Last Edit: July 15, 2008, 06:40:06 AM by Wastegate »
The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!

Offline Nightbiker

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 14
Re: How Vigorous Do you Boil?
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2008, 05:50:48 PM »
I'll second that.  Though I never had the scientific reasons (thanks for that! -interesting read, and will read the article as well) but I also boil vigorously once the break is passed.
"if it ain't roiling', it ain't boiling!" :)
All life-threatening conditions are self-resolving if given enough time.

goose on fire

  • Guest
Re: How Vigorous Do you Boil?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2008, 03:56:33 PM »
TOO vigorously, as I've discovered in my first two all grain brews.

I bought a bunch of new gear all at once, including a 10-gallon stainless pot that is much wider than my previous kettle. 

I just finished pitching my second all-grain brew, and I started with 6.5 gallons pre-boil and after 60 minutes was under 4 gallons.  I use a propane burner from a turkey fryer and I've always heard that "more boiling is better" but in this situation I think I was boiling way too vigorously and need to tone it down a bit next time.

The mash and everything else pre-boil were perfect, all gravities within 20 points of target, but after the boil everything went to crap, including dropping my "wine thief" into the carboy where it will remain until I rack to secondary...

But the important thing is that I've learned my lesson and won't run the propane valve wide open next time; I'll show a little restraint and look for a rolling-but-not-out-of-control boil.

Offline Maine Homebrewer

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1371
Re: How Vigorous Do you Boil?
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2008, 07:52:11 PM »
Boil as high as you can without making a mess and wasting product.
During the first few minutes of an all grain boil there's some mojo going on with proteins in the wort that create conditions for a boil over, but that's only in the first five to ten minutes.
I do reduce heat when adding hops, but otherwise I'd say keep it as cranked as you can without making a mess.
Especially if you're making some all-grain batch where you're starting with eight gallons that you want to boil down to five and a half; the higher the heat the sooner you're done.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline UselessBrewing

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1115
  • Useless Brewing
    • Useless Brewing
Re: How Vigorous Do you Boil?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2008, 06:56:16 AM »
TOO vigorously, as I've discovered in my first two all grain brews.
I bought a bunch of new gear all at once, including a 10-gallon stainless pot that is much wider than my previous kettle. 
I just finished pitching my second all-grain brew, and I started with 6.5 gallons pre-boil and after 60 minutes was under 4 gallons.  I use a propane burner from a turkey fryer and I've always heard that "more boiling is better" but in this situation I think I was boiling way too vigorously and need to tone it down a bit next time.
The mash and everything else pre-boil were perfect, all gravities within 20 points of target, but after the boil everything went to crap, including dropping my "wine thief" into the carboy where it will remain until I rack to secondary...
But the important thing is that I've learned my lesson and won't run the propane valve wide open next time; I'll show a little restraint and look for a rolling-but-not-out-of-control boil.
Glad to have you with us Goose.
I usually start a 60 min boil with 7 Gallons of wort in the kettle. Some climates are more susceptible to higher Evaporation rates. I have mine set to 15%, which will boil off 1.1 gallons over 60 min. If you are loosing more than 2 gallons to the boil, your evaporation rate would be around 25% or higher. I have never heard of anyone loosing that much, not to say that it is not happening, I just never heard of it. You can adjust your equipment's evaporation rate to compensate for the extra loss of water. I made a copy of a standard equipment setup and then modified it to fit my setup. Over time you can dial it in and get the setup nailed down so that everything that is controllable stays predictable.
Cheers
Preston
The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!

goose on fire

  • Guest
Re: How Vigorous Do you Boil?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2008, 10:50:10 AM »
Glad to have you with us Goose.
Thanks!
Quote
I usually start a 60 min boil with 7 Gallons of wort in the kettle. Some climates are more susceptible to higher Evaporation rates. I have mine set to 15%, which will boil off 1.1 gallons over 60 min. If you are loosing more than 2 gallons to the boil, your evaporation rate would be around 25% or higher. I have never heard of anyone loosing that much, not to say that it is not happening, I just never heard of it. You can adjust your equipment's evaporation rate to compensate for the extra loss of water. I made a copy of a standard equipment setup and then modified it to fit my setup. Over time you can dial it in and get the setup nailed down so that everything that is controllable stays predictable.
Cheers
Preston
It's entirely possible I just hosed up calibrating my new kettle.  I'm using the "story stick" method where I added a gallon of water at a time and notched the stick at the water line.  If I sloshed too much, missed a notch, miscounted, etc. I could obviously be way off.

Maybe I'll take a sanity day one night after work this week and recalibrate all my gear using some more scientific methods (or at least be more careful doing it).

Garrete

  • Guest
Re: How Vigorous Do you Boil?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2008, 07:56:35 AM »
My wort looks like egg drop soup. I see little chunks swimming through my wort. I get enough evaporation as well.

goose on fire

  • Guest
Re: How Vigorous Do you Boil?
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2008, 05:52:48 PM »
It's entirely possible I just hosed up calibrating my new kettle.  I'm using the "story stick" method where I added a gallon of water at a time and notched the stick at the water line.  If I sloshed too much, missed a notch, miscounted, etc. I could obviously be way off.

Maybe I'll take a sanity day one night after work this week and recalibrate all my gear using some more scientific methods (or at least be more careful doing it).
Quoting myself and bumping an old thread to say that yeah, I somehow hosed up my story stick something fierce.  My new (accurate) 6 gallon mark is where my old (inaccurate) 7 gallon mark was... don't know how I managed that.

I'm an engineer, for the love of god, I should know how important instrument calibration is!

Offline UselessBrewing

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1115
  • Useless Brewing
    • Useless Brewing
Re: How Vigorous Do you Boil?
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2008, 08:02:25 AM »
I'm an engineer, for the love of god, I should know how important instrument calibration is!

Ummmm. I got nothing!  Or at least nothing nice! ;D

Glad it is resolved!
Cheers
Preston
The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!

Offline MaltLicker

  • Global Moderator
  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2004
    • Blue Ribbon Brews
Re: How Vigorous Do you Boil?
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2008, 09:39:40 AM »
I'm an engineer, for the love of god, I should know how important instrument calibration is!

Learned that again today.  Saw a digital thermometer at WalMart and remembered I had dropped mine in the mash a few batches ago, so I picked it up.  Put both digitals and my glass rod thermometer into crushed ice and water, and found the old digital was 2.5F high and the calibration screw no longer worked.  Out it went in the trash. 

Might explain why a recent batch did not ferment out like I'd hoped.  Mashed higher than planned.  @#$%$#!!

 

modification