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Another bonehead mistake

So I have yet to have a brew day go smooth and not have something go wrong and yesterday was no exception. I was brewing the Trick or Treat Bock in BCS. I decided to try something new and steep my grains on the stove in a smaller pot to prevent tannin extraction then add it to my brew kettle in the garage and boil away. So after calculating the amount of water I was using for steeping, the amount of water I need in the kettle and taking into consideration boil off, I had all my numbers dialed in and had everything ready to go.

So I steeped my grains, and started my boil in my 10gallon kettle. Had the water up to about 170* by the time I finished steeping and added that to the kettle. Got it up to a boil and added my 12lbs of LME…that’s when it hit me. I never compensated for the volume of extract! So I’m sitting at 8 gallons of wort in a 10 gallon pot with a nice rolling boil and foam starting to form. So I quickly took 1/2 gallon off the top and dumped it, I was then able to keep the boil under control so i didn’t get a boil over. I boiled it for another 20 minutes or so to get it down to my standard starting volume and added my bittering hops and was back in business.

I finished with 5.25 gallons in the fermentor and hit my target gravity EXACTLY. I finished with enough time to pour myself a Blackout Stout and watch the Browns lose to the Bears…I guess we can’t win them all :cheers:

I’d have saved the wort either for starters, or added it back gradually and just boiled a little longer. Its against my nature to waste wort.

Yeah I cursed myself after doing it but it was an “oh crap, dont want a boil over” move without thinking about it.

Boil-overs are definitely no fun. I have some anti-foam for those occasions when I’m pushing the limits of a kettle. Of course now I have four kettle sizes so its less likely anyway, but when I was doing full boils in an 8gal kettle the anti-foam was essential.

Yeah that was the other thing I forgot was the Fermcap-S in the boil. It was in the basement and I didn’t want to leave the boil to go get it at that point. I did remember it before I pitched my yeast though. That stuff is nothing short of amazing.

[quote=“mattnaik”]So I have yet to have a brew day go smooth and not have something go wrong and yesterday was no exception. I was brewing the Trick or Treat Bock in BCS. I decided to try something new and steep my grains on the stove in a smaller pot to prevent tannin extraction then add it to my brew kettle in the garage and boil away. So after calculating the amount of water I was using for steeping, the amount of water I need in the kettle and taking into consideration boil off, I had all my numbers dialed in and had everything ready to go.

So I steeped my grains, and started my boil in my 10gallon kettle. Had the water up to about 170* by the time I finished steeping and added that to the kettle. Got it up to a boil and added my 12lbs of LME…that’s when it hit me. I never compensated for the volume of extract! So I’m sitting at 8 gallons of wort in a 10 gallon pot with a nice rolling boil and foam starting to form. So I quickly took 1/2 gallon off the top and dumped it, I was then able to keep the boil under control so i didn’t get a boil over. I boiled it for another 20 minutes or so to get it down to my standard starting volume and added my bittering hops and was back in business.

I finished with 5.25 gallons in the fermentor and hit my target gravity EXACTLY. I finished with enough time to pour myself a Blackout Stout and watch the Browns lose to the Bears…I guess we can’t win them all :cheers: [/quote]

That’s interesting, but how do you calculate the volume increase from the LME? I mean, the extract is specified in weight, not volume, so how do you know how much additional volume the extract is going to create? Is there some equation you use, and if so, where did you get it from? You haven’t specified how big a batch of beer you were brewing, but it would seem to me that a typical pre-boil volume ( 6 to 6.5 gallons ) for a 5 gallon batch ( if that’s what you were brewing ) would absorb 12 lbs. of LME without any significant increase in volume. Apparently not, I guess. It’s a good thing I wasn’t brewing that batch. I rarely ever brew with extract, though, so such considerations don’t come naturally to me.

LOL, we all have done bonehead mistakes. Welcome to the world of homebrew!

:cheers:

I have also been caught off guard by the LME volumes. I find that the 6 pound comes in a half-gallon bottle/milk jug, and the 3 pound containers come in the quart size jugs. Have to adjust the starting water by at least that amount.

I used to boil in a 7 gallon aluminum turkey fryer pot. My starting volume was 6-6.5 gallons if you stay on top of it for the first 15 minutes or so you’ll be fine once all the atoms settle down.

[quote=“deliusism1”]

That’s interesting, but how do you calculate the volume increase from the LME? I mean, the extract is specified in weight, not volume, so how do you know how much additional volume the extract is going to create? Is there some equation you use, and if so, where did you get it from? You haven’t specified how big a batch of beer you were brewing, but it would seem to me that a typical pre-boil volume ( 6 to 6.5 gallons ) for a 5 gallon batch ( if that’s what you were brewing ) would absorb 12 lbs. of LME without any significant increase in volume. Apparently not, I guess. It’s a good thing I wasn’t brewing that batch. I rarely ever brew with extract, though, so such considerations don’t come naturally to me.[/quote]

The LME came in 2 half gallon containers. Therefor the mass in those containers would displace the water 1 gallon. Whether it’s dissolved or not shouldn’t matter too much since the same amount of molecules are still in the solution they’re just more evenly distributed amongst the water molecules.

Unless you’re doing full boils it won’t really matter.

It was a full boil. What specifically doesn’t matter? I think I’m lost :slight_smile:

I have a 5 gallon BK so I’m limited to partial boils at the moment. I don’t worry too much about LME displacement because I’m topping off in the fermenter anyway. I just start off with as much in the BK as I can without having a boil over (3.5-4 gallons) and top off with chilled distilled water. I think that’s what Mr. Sawyer was referring to.

Ah gotcha. That makes sense. Thanks

Yep. Sorry if you said that already, I don’t always reazd things through real careful. Congrats on doing full boils.

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