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Boil off

First timer here. Well, actually I’m starting my second batch.
I’m doing 1 gallon kits right now and my question is about adjusting for boil off.
Instructions for my NB 1 gallon kit calls for 1.25 gallons to start but with my first batch I boiled off over 2 qts. I had some other water boiled so I just added a little before cooling to get close to a gallon in the fermenter. Fermenting seemed to go well and it’s in bottles now.

What would be the best approach on my second try?
Start with more water in the boil kettle or just top it off after boiling like the 5 gallon kits recommend?

I have no experience whatsoever with 1-gallon batches.

That said, you’re always going to be better off with a full-volume boil. You’ll end up with lighter-colored beer because a concentrated wort will cause the sugars to partially caramelize. You’ll also get better hop utilization out of a more dilute boil. It’s easier for hop acids and oils to dissolve into a less concentrated wort.

If I were you, I’d certainly shoot for ending up with 1 gallon.

Better yet, I think you’d find it much easier to brew a larger batch. Five gallon batches are the standard, but they aren’t the only option. I brewed about 100 5-gallon batches and now have scaled back to 3 gallons. It’s really allowing me to brew more often and work through recipes faster, yet I still get a decent amount of beer out of a batch. I can also brew a regular 5.5 or 6 gallon batch and split it for experiments.

In my opinion, brewing at such a small scale just complicates things. Enjoy the journey. :cheers:

I was actually going to do a survey to see what most did regarding adding water at the end or the beginning of the boil. I’ve done it both ways on a 5 gallon batch and can’t tell a difference. Many recipes call for adding water at the end, but I agree it’s better to do a full boil. Having a brew pot with clear marking in gal/qts is really good too. Before all I had was a turkey fryer pot with no markings at all. One advantage to adding water/ice at the end is cooling off the wort quicker, for me this time of year it’s no big deal but in summer my ground water is much warmer and it takes a lot longer to cool the wort with my immersion chiller.

You basically have to figure out how much your particular setup/pot boils off in an hour. Some people boil off about a gallon. I have a pretty wide 10 gal pot and boil off about a gallon every 1/2hr or so. After many batches, I’ve learned my boil off is about 20-22%. If boiling outside, weather also has an impact. A cold dry day will cause greater boil off. A warm humid day will be less.

Trial and error.

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