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Asking for Pre Boil Volume Advice

Hi All,
Since graduating to a keggle, I’m capable of brewing 10gal batches. I’ve only done one this size so far and it’s challenged the time it takes to get approx 11gal’s to boil as well as the time it takes to cool down the batch with my chiller. Because of these two reasons, I’m contemplating doing a pre boil volume of say 8gal’s and then adding cold water to each fermenter to achieve 5gal’s thus decreasing ‘time to boil’ and chill. Naturally adding +/- a gallon of cold water to each fermenter is also a plus right?? Are there any of you colleagues that do anything similar to this for the same sort of reasons? If so/if not, what is your method to make 10-gallon batches.

I’ll occasionally add a gallon or two or water to make a full 16gal batch. Its sometimes hard to predict how much volume will be lost to hot/cold break.

I see nothing wrong with what you propose. I would add the cold water after bringing the temp of the wort down first, you get your best heat exchange when there is a big temp difference.

Thanks Lennie, my first 10gal batch had so much ‘break’ in it, it was thick… Am I correct that increasing boil time from 60 to 90 might help this?

Sounds like it came out of solution well enough with a 60min boil. If you’re racking it all into the fermentor it really doens’t matter. If you are letting it settle and racking the wort off clean, use that extra 30min to let the cooled wort settle out better. In fact a couple hours of settling does a lot for reducing the amount of wort lost to the trub. I’ve even gone so far as to dump the trub in a sanitized pitcher and harvested off another half gallon of clean wort after letting it sit overnight in the fridge.

Lenny, if I may; my keggle is set up with a whirlpool valve that didn’t really whirlpool. On my first go around, I sucked up all the trub into two fermenters and did experience much loss to trub. If I were to allot additional time for settling, would it be best to siphon top down into both fermenters thus leaving behind a major amount of trub?
Thanks, Mike

I am doing 90min boils with mine. What size burner are you using? You should be able to achieve a good boil in a fairly short amount of time with a good burner. A New burner and a new chiller may need to be in your future.

To help with chilling, you can just add 1G of ice, rather than cold water. Freeze it in a ziplock bag the night before, then just cut it out of the bag into the fermentor and rack your 4 gallons of wort on top. 4 gallons of wort chilled down to 100* or so plus 1 gallons of ice will leave your final temp in the low 60’s. Especially helpful in the summer…

Remember that you will be loosing some of the sugars by not sparging the full amount. You will need to add additional base malt to make up for it.

I’m using a valve and pickup tube on my kettle so I only rack off the bottom. I do move the pickup up a little so its not sucking right off the bottom. I can do this because I have a weldless valve. I can get pretty clean wort this way even when running off at a farily fast rate. Racking with a cane, you rally ought to be able to avoid trub easily.

I also use Supermoss so I get even more trub, it settles nicely in an hour though. It settles flat across the bottom in spite of whirlpooling. The pellet hop tuff stays in a cone though.

I purchased a heavy duty KAB6 which I used on my first batch. I like it!

Lennie, I’d like to see your pick up. Mine is off the bottom and to the side. I assume you do not pick up much trub because you allow a longer period for it to settle to the bottom. Also, I use moss or wirfloc religiously.

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