I switched to all-grain not that long ago, and with the increase in volume/boil pot size, I’ve been having trouble keeping a solid rolling boil for an hour. It’ll stay just below a boil, and if I leave the lid 3/4 on I can get a full boil, so I do get a hot break, etc. Anyone think this is a problem? My two main worries are that I’m ending up with higher volumes (and lower OGs) than I want, and I worried that any sort of off-tasting stuff that’s supposed to be boiled out probably is sticking around in my beer (although in general my beer doesn’t taste bad).
If anyone has any suggestions, I’d definitely be grateful for those too. Unfortunately, the two solutions that I can think up are buying a new burner or a new, smaller, brewpot with more insulation, and neither of those will work for me. The landlord won’t allow the first one, and the brewpot I have is both as small as it can go and has pretty good insulation on it. Maybe I could just increase my boil (simmer!) time?
An un-lidded vigorous boil is indeed important for a number of reasons. Why not do what I do for bigger batches, and boil in more than one kettle? I have only ever brewed on my stovetop and I can boil up to 6 gallons in 2 kettles on my stove with no real issues. You should be able to find a cheap 3 or 4 gallon aluminum kettle for as little as $15 or $20 – that’s what I’ve got. Alternatively, go down to smaller batches as I have. I usually brew 2.5 gallon batches, and now I’ve decided to go down to 1.25 gallons, because I seriously don’t drink too much, and this way I can brew more often, which is fun, and I’ll have a much greater variety of beers to choose from in my stash.
Thanks for the advice – I could definitely manage multiple kettles. I assume I’d have to split hops, etc, proportionally? Again, thanks – sometimes the easiest (and cheapest) fix is also the simplest!
Yeah, you’ll need to split up the ingredients between the two pots. You can just eyeball it and it will turn out fine – no need to measure exact amounts between the two, since it is all going to end up in one fermenter at the end anyway.